My impulse in this moment is to be anything BUT thankful. I mean, I am hosting my very first ‘real’ Thanksgiving dinner, and the stress of that alone would send anyone a little nuts. Toss in the fact that this will be the first time Adam and I mix our family members during the holidays just adds another level of chaos to an already wild day. Top that all off with a whopping illness the likes of which I haven’t experienced in years and I don’t think a single person would fault me if I said I was fighting the urge to crawl under the covers and reemerge on Monday when the Thanksgiving holiday has passed.

BUT, even with all that, the stress, and the anxiety, and the illness there is a lot to be thankful and excited about today.

When I left for college, Thanksgiving was one of those holidays that sort of had to fall by the wayside. Tickets were always way too much for our family to justify spending for a four day weekend, and so very quickly I learned the easiest way not to be sad on Thanksgiving was to do non-Thanksgiving-ish things. Like go to Canada with a girlfriend to shop, eat Italian food, and go on a bar crawl. It’s hard to think about your family and friends sitting down to a turkey dinner without you when you’re 5 drinks deep, gazing into the eyes of some Canadian Mounty.

Thanksgiving had started to become a holiday I dreaded. Who would I pawn myself on this year? How would I deflect this family holiday? But this year I’ve finally begun to rebuild the idea of a family filled Thanksgiving I’ve felt was missing. Adam and I were able to bring people from each of our families together under our roof to eat drink and be merry. Sure there have already been serious spills, issues with the menu, a pumpkin pie I am sure I under seasoned (serious WHO messes up pumpkin pie? It has like 2 ingredients!), a dog fight, and I am am certain there are more mishaps to come, but it feels worth it. This very well could be the heavy doses of cold medicine talking, but at this point I’m too doped up to question.

Surprisingly all the stress and nonsense which would typically be driving me absolutely insane doesn’t seem to matter. Right now as family gathers around the fire, drinks coffee and gears up for a truly tremendous eat-a-ton tonight, there is nowhere I’d rather be. This is such an interesting glimmer into my future, a future where once again I might enjoy Thanksgiving because it will represent a time of coming together, instead of a holiday that reminds me of all that I am missing.

I wish you a family or friend filled holiday weekend. And if you’re not able to surround yourself with friends and family this year, I strongly suggest you head North and find yourself a friendly Canadian. They really have this magical power to make the sting of the holidays dissipate with ease.

  • AmyMusings

    Happy Thanksgiving, Ashley!!

  • Ashley, The Accidental Olympian

    Happy Thanksgiving to you too Amy!

  • Rachel

    Happy Thanksgiving! Until this year, I never really appreciated Thanksgiving. We have had it at my parents’ house for the past ten years or so, and it was always just a time to stuff my face. Since this was my first Thanksgiving home with the family in 3 years, I finally appreciated it and was so happy for all of us to come together (even my grandmother’s annoying boyfriend. Yes, she has a boyfriend. She’s 80, he’s 70.) Anyway, feel better and enjoy the holiday!

  • Ashley, The Accidental Olympian

    Rachel – isnt it amazing how going away even for a couple years and spending time without your familycan give you such a different perspective? Glad to hear you had a great Thanksgiving too! Now if I could just kick this damn cold I might be able to taste all those tasty leftovers!