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Monday, November 19, 2012


Last year at this time I was reminded of how judgmental we are of each other. It was a chaotic time and there was a lot of family drama going on. It brought me around to examining what family values are for myself and trying to understand what they are for others in my family.

This year I'm taking a step back. I'm paring down and keeping things simple by celebrating the holiday at home, with very few instead of the many. I love my big family and I'm thankful that we live close to each other and visit often. I've decided that I really don't have to spend this holiday with all of them like I have every year. Maybe next year I'll feel differently, but for now I'm thankful to unplug a little and spend this year without all the pressure and chaos that Thanksgiving with my family usually brings. I'm excited to cook the things we love, just the way we like them, and none of the things we don't. I'm glad that I won't be packing things up in the car trying to keep them hot or cold, protecting them from spilling, squishing or falling. I'm looking forward to relaxing with the dog instead of leaving her behind, catching up with Netflix and Tivo and cooking at a leisurely pace. I like the idea of staying in my PJ's all day if I want to, grazing throughout the day instead of loading up all at once. I am relieved not to have to worry about navigating through drunk drivers on the road or sitting in traffic, looking for someplace to make a pit stop because we've been in the car for too long. I'm grateful not to have to make obligatory small talk with the awkward, pretending there's a meaningful connection when I'm really shaking my head on the inside, looking for an escape. But mostly I'm counting on taking this time to recharge myself and reflect on all that is meaningful for me.

And as for the family values that I cherish the most; I value the freedom we all have to do whatever we want and the privilege of making the choices that make us happy.

I know my family and I will have a wonderful Thanksgiving, we always do, and that we will miss each other a little, it's okay. I'll look forward to seeing the pictures and hearing the stories and maybe, just maybe, we'll appreciate that we each created our own happiness and for that I'm thankful.