Freedom to Be Crazy

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Are you ready for Turkey Day? It’s the beginning of the craziness of the holiday season. Let’s put our running shoes on!

Thanksgiving has always been “my holiday.” I have hosted lots of people—family, friends, strays. This year, for the first time in 35 years, I have opted out of hosting Thanksgiving dinner at my house. My brother Steve immediately stepped up to the plate and will host it at his house, his way. I have been invited as a guest.

For 35 years, I have made the same Thanksgiving dinner that my mother did, with very slight deviations. Steve is talking about grilled lamb. He is a great cook, and I am sure that it will be wonderful.

Letting “my holiday” go is a little bittersweet. The sense of relief that has come over me knowing that I don’t have to shop, cook, and clean is very liberating. The sad part is that it is the end of a tradition.

I remember back when I was first married. For several years, my late husband and I would race from Albion, Nebraska, back to Omaha to make sure that we had a Thanksgiving celebration with both sides of the family. After about five years of this, my wise mother took me aside and told me that it was time to create our own traditions. It was time for the Van deWalles to hold their own Thanksgiving dinner instead of depending upon our parents. That, too, was bittersweet. It took a couple of years to get comfortable with our new tradition. I am sure it’s going to take a couple of years to adjust to this one, as well.

There is one tradition that I will carry on, however: the tradition of reflecting on the past year…and my life…and saying out loud everything in my life that I appreciate. This is truly my favorite part of the holiday. It even trumps the turkey! I know that I am so blessed in my life. I have family and friends who love me, as I love them. I have the freedom to make as many mistakes as I need to in order to learn. I have the freedom to make a decision as to how I am going to live my life every single day. All of that is certainly a lot to be thankful for. Even if it means speaking out loud all by myself, I will keep up this tradition this year. Hey…I even have the freedom to act a little crazy and talk to myself out loud!

I hope that your Thanksgiving is as stress-free as possible. Ask for help. Make the easy version of your favorite recipe. Enjoy the day!

Positive Thought of the Month

“Family is a unique gift that needs to be appreciated and treasured, even when they’re driving you crazy.
As much as they make you mad, interrupt you, annoy you, curse at you, try to control you,
these are the people who know you the best and who love you.”—Jenna Morasca


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