Thankful

Our Thanksgiving has never been traditional. Growing up I had my fill of that. Cooking all day, setting the tables, family, displaced college students, friends of my parents. All followed by dish washing to the power of ten, tired and very cranky parents, too many people crammed in our house.

After we moved to Pittsburgh and suffered through a couple of friend Thanksgivings, we settled into our own thing. A morning round of cooking our favorite foods, in pajamas. The rest of the day watching movies or football, reading, playing games, or whatever we wanted, in our pajamas. Paper plates, plastic cups, naps, cuddles, quiet, laughter, recharge, our day has it all. Moving twenty hours closer to our hometown hasn’t changed our tradition at all.

We didn’t plan it that way, we thought we’d be seeing much more family. However, a few years in we realized it wasn’t any different from Pennsylvania. Everyone was happy to see us when we made the twelve hour drive, each way. We were exhausted.

 

We like spending time with family but quickly got tired of always making the drive. After two years we slid right back into our comfortable tradition.    [jojo.jpg]Today we celebrated again. We laughed together, argued, cooked, and napped.

This morning while I was lazing in bed, I thought about the things I’m thankful for this year. Too many to count, really.  In past years, that feeling of gratitude has terrified me. Always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Perhaps I’m most thankful for the change in my perspective. After spending so many years trying to ensure that other people love me, I finally understand it all hinges on loving myself. So many people say it, in an offhand manner.

“You can’t love anyone until you love yourself.”

I would have argued, “If you have energy left to love yourself, you’re doing it wrong.”

I would have declared it until I was blue in the face, until that year arrived that I couldn’t love anyone. I laid on my bed, unable to move without excruciating pain and wished someone would take care of me, someone would love me. I cried so angrily with the realization that only I would do that. It was so much easier loving other people. I was so angry at everyone.

What I’m beginning to understand now? My love is the only love I wanted. Only I could give myself exactly what I needed. Only I can fill those cracks with acceptance. Only I know how to open my heart again and share an honest love that comes from a bottomless, bubbling spring, not some rusty bucket I beg others to fill.

And all that brings me to you. All you crazy people who read and comment and for some reason, beyond comprehension, recognize something in me as a kindred soul. Thank you for giving me feathers for my wings, and a soft place to land.

 

 

 

Preaching to Pre-teens

Today I went back to junior high Home Ec class. They don’t call it that anymore. Now it’s called FACS. I have no idea what that stands for. Feeding All Children Sugar? So far they’ve made cookies, two different kinds and a smoothie with no greens. I really don’t know what it stands for but the classrooms look exactly like you remember!

Image result for home ec class

 

I had to go in and talk about my “career”. I was after the Electrician. I didn’t plan any remarks, as a kind of test for myself. It’s been a while since I spoke in front of any kind of group. My youngest has been texting me all week trying to find out what I was going to say.

Don’t embarrass me

Who is this?

MOM!

I’m just going to talk about my job

What are you going to say?

I don’t know. Leave me alone to think about it.

No talking about me!!

I’ll take that into consideration.

So when I started I said, “JoJo is worried about what I’m going to say, so I’ll talk about her first. She was born in Pittsburgh, PA…”

Her head drops to her desk.

I continue, “I have a brief slide show.” Kids cheer and her teacher stands up.

“MOM!”

“Just kidding, I don’t have a slide show.” I laugh.

I give them a brief overview of my ‘career’ which is mostly “housewife”, turns out. A job I’m not terribly good at. As I looked around at their faces I thought about what I want Jo to know. I told them my story, grew up in a small town, just wanted to leave. I mentioned graduating high school, living in New York, traveling, spending too much time in college running up debt and then not graduating. I used words like intention and resillience. I talked about Chicago (don’t roll your eyes!). Told them about Jo’s part, her belief, her mindset. How much I learned from her optimism and flexibility. They’re going to need every bit they can muster, I told them. College isn’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a career for you. There are as many paths to success as stars in the sky. Get up when you’ve been knocked down. Standing where you are until you’re steady, until you see the next step. I admitted I was in college for three years before I even had a clue what I wanted to do. I promised them they didn’t have to know everything now. They just need to keep going.

I only had fifteen minutes. At the end I explained how I wanted to bring each of them a pen and pocket notebook to write their dreams in, but Jojo wanted donuts.

In case you wonder, donuts still trump having to pick up a pencil for any reason in 6th grade.

 

 

 

BTS truth

I’ve been sitting down to write but getting distracted…

It happens like this.

You find a pretty wallpaper on Pinterest. click click

Aww, they’re so cute! click click

Smart, and sweet too! click click

What the….maybe I should make a board. click click

Ahem. I think I need a Jimin board. click click click  Aegyo means cuteness factor, lol.

Better make it private… click click dang! click

What time is- Oh, so true!! click click

Sigh.

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What was I going to write?