This year has been and is hard. And Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I'm trying not to be disappointed that it's different this year, but I am. Yesterday, I cried about it and felt better; and when my son saw me, I let him know why. Because hey, we all have feelings.
As I laid in bed last night, sleepy but awake (as only worry and red wine can do) I was doom-scrolling for distraction and read something about the philosophy behind stoicism.
Basically, to be stoic is to reframe how you perceive your expectation; in doing so, you take back your power by making what you do about something intentional, as opposed to reactionary. It is not just looking for and finding the positive in a situation—it's looking at the reality of the situation and creating a new expectation that is desirable, achievable and that you have total control over.
Sounds so simple and dull—and we have all heard something like it before—but it really struck me this time, because everything is just so hard. And I thought, maybe this is how I can save Thanksgiving for myself and my family.
Accepting what we have before us can be defeating or invigorating. We can choose to be beaten, or we can find our resilience.
I am choosing invigoration and resilience.
This is an opportunity to intentionally celebrate the holiday in a different way to keep my family safe and healthy so that everyone can have more Thanksgivings in the future—and that feels GOOD. I am choosing to focus on that—to celebrate it, even. I can replace my traditions and mindset with, "I am intentionally doing this new fun thing with my kids that I want to do, and I am going to have a different experience, and it is going to be good."
So this year we are having Thanksgiving breakfast in bed.
It's going to be turkey sausages with toast and lingonberry jam (thank you IKEA), hashbrowns and pumpkin muffins. We are going to wash it all down with hot apple cider. And it's going to be messy. And I don't care, because this is a mess I can handle.
When we're done, I'll let them help strip the sheets and drag them to the washing machine. They'll get to do all the work of loading and pushing all the buttons. Kid heaven, right?
It sounds silly, but it will be great fun for them—and for me, too, being with them and choosing this new experience.
They will talk about it forever.