The same story is true. We think, plan, worry, fret, anticipate, wonder, question, second-guess, shop, work, clean, work, wait and get ready for days, all for a meal that is over in about twenty minutes. I won't tell you what I'm thankful for or how you should go about being grateful or remind you that you're bad if you're grumbling this time of year and not professing some sort of statement of thanks every second that you're not lying in a gutter somewhere because you've been told all of that already numerous times, I'm sure. Truth is, if you're like most folks, your mind is fighting with itself to be thankful in spite of all the painful things, right? There's sickness in your life and death and dysfunction, disobedient kids and parents, sadness, adultery, divorce, financial woes, anger, hatred, estrangement, mental illness, addiction and downright difficult situations that all come to a head during the holidays. This is our story, the one that we all share, mine is yours, yours, mine. Everything is magnified this time of the year because we think we're supposed to be the happiest right now and if we're not, watch out. We wrestle with our thoughts and tell ourselves we're bad if we aren't overjoyed from November through December because we have so much to be thankful for and we're supposed to just block out all the rest and pretend none of it exists. That doesn't work.
So today instead, I swallow it all in one big pill. This, the day after Thanksgiving I realize the badness and goodness are only bad or good when I judge them as such. I ponder accepting things as they are, watching events come and go, in and out, without trying to control anything or pretending people are going to act any other way than exactly how they always have according to who they are because that is the only thing that's real. I wonder what that would feel like, if I'd be less surprised, dissapointed, do less mind-wrestling. Probably so. I'll just clean up the giant mess we all made from that twenty minute meal yesterday and get ready for the next wave.