“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home and a stranger into a friend” Melody Beattie
Today is the last day of November, the month we typically associate with gratitude so I need to throw mine out there. My first Thanksgiving post divorce, without my kids was so amazing. How many people can say that? I made my kids a lovely dinner the last night I had them for the week and we celebrated being together, and I wasn’t sure how to feel when I said goodbye.
I can’t seem to put my thoughts into words this morning but I am determined to try. I saw a post on Instagram that said it best,
“I am thankful for nights that turned into mornings, friends that turned into family, and dreams that turned into reality”.
A stranger at work asked me out after knowing me for a day, I had turned down most everyone when they asked me out, thinking it was too soon or it didn’t feel quite right. But this time it clicked, our conversation was easy and fun, so I said yes. And so far it has been so much more then I ever could have imagined. I now have someone to talk to about everything, who can back me up when I think something is wrong, but can also point out the other side when I need to hear it. Can I say enough about the value of human touch? A hand to hold, a really long hug that allows you to breathe again?
We spent the holiday hiking with his daughter and it was so beautiful and fun. It was one more thing right about this new “us”. To find someone willing to hike on Thanksgiving and Black Friday lol, thats a gift too! Someone who laughs at me when I’m taking a selfie but also reminds me when I’m about to miss an opportunity for a good one!
So maybe I can’t write a elegant post about it, but I can say thank you to the universe for my friend who is now more, and everything included with him.
Sometimes I wonder if there is something broken inside me. Well obviously I have lots of broken parts. I think our broken parts and our mended edges are what make us unique and human. Like Bruce Springsteen sings, “but hell a little touchup and a little paint…”
Tonight I dropped my kids off with their dad and told them I would see them on Sunday. Somehow until I was saying goodbye I forgot thats what was happening. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and they are spending the holiday with my ex and his large family who live or visit in the area. There was no way I was going to keep my kids from seeing their extended family and skipping all the traditions that we have been a part of for the last 14 years of living by family. I didn’t even consider trying to keep them for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Would they grow to resent me if I did? Maybe, and I’m not willing to risk it.
So here is where I wonder if I’m broken. I’ll miss them, but I’m not devastated to not be spending the holiday with them. I’m ok with it. Now maybe it’s because I am so fed up with the ex-inlaw family gatherings that I never felt really bonded to, so I’m excited to not have to deal with them. Maybe I am just so exhausted from the year of divorce drama that I am happy to step away from everything and breathe. My kids are also teenagers and a new adult, so I have spent all their holidays with them and this is part of life, learning to let them go have experiences without me. Am I broken, well adjusted, in denial? I don’t have the answer but I’m grateful for whatever it is.
I have seen several social media posts from my fellow moms not having their kids around for the holiday and they are discussing how to cope with the sadness, from the positive of exercise to the other side of drinking the weekend away. I plan on posting on social media as well, but of the adventure I am choosing to have.
I made my gluten free version of Thanksgiving on Tuesday for my kids, so I feel like I experienced the holiday with them. Now I am following the prompts of REI and I am going to #optoutside this year for black Friday. I am going hiking with someone I really like and his daughter. Crazy huh? If I’m broken then I’m mending with a little help from my friends.