I love the sentiment behind Thanksgiving. Take the time to be thankful for what you have.
Then I look around. Is that really what I see? There is so much talk of spending time with family and friends and eating and …and…and Well what is a person to do who has no one, or who has very little? I have very strained family relations. I am never invited to any family function. This can be very hard. Some years it hurts more than others. This year I became very melancholy about family, I’m sure it is because I have been so sick and the steroids have been turning up my emotions a bit, but seeing all the stress on how we should be with family and how things “should be” started to make me feel even sadder about it all. (Don’t worry, all is good with me.) If that could happen to me imagine what it could do to someone who is really depressed? Someone who has no one?
I remember those times. I have spent Thanksgiving and Christmas, alone. On occasion I was invited to friend’s for dinner, sometimes they were fun, other times they were miserable. If you reach out to someone and invite them over for a holiday meal, please try to include them in your festivities, not just feed them. I have never been more miserable than when I went to a holiday meal and felt I was a charity case. Sitting in a corner alone watching people have fun is worse than sitting alone by yourself knowing people somewhere out there are having fun. I’m not saying, don’t reach out and invite someone over….please do! But include them in your festivities. Do not have family gift exchange in front of someone who is alone for the holidays. Do not do your yearly family traditional …. whatever….and not include this person. Do something that includes this person. Make them feel welcome and special. Make them feel you are Thankful they are there. If you have a special family tradition that you cannot include this person in, then invite them to come later, or have the tradition after they leave, or find a way to somehow include them. Some people may not have a hard time with this kind of thing, but I did. It was torture to see a happy family doing things that a family does knowing my family didn’t want me with them. That is not to say I was not grateful to everyone who had me over for a holiday meal, I was. I have been to some homes where I didn’t want to leave I felt so welcome and included. (little hint, if you have someone over….get them involved. Treat them the same as you would anyone else. I loved it when I was put to work, or was told to help with the kids, was taken aside by grandma and told story after story….when I was treated like family, that was the best.)
It’s also that time of year when I see so much food everywhere! I hear people talking of family and friends and togetherness and FOOD!
I’m amazed at how much food is wasted in this country, yet so many people go hungry. There is no reason for anyone in this country to go to bed hungry. There are so many things wrong with this I just don’t know where I would begin to talk about it here. Not today.
Today I want to just say, when you are planning your Thanksgiving meal, think about the people who don’t have one. When you go to the grocery store and you see that box that at the entrance where you can donate to the local food bank, please put something in there. People are using the food bank more and more these days. The place to go when you are in dire need is overwhelmed with people in need. Every time you go to the store, please put something in that box. If you can donate to the food bank, even better, then they can buy fresh food to give out. This is very important, even when the needy are getting something to eat it is often so far below nutritional standards they are so malnourished they are getting sick and often still starving. Most of the hungry are children and elderly. 1 in 5 people in the United States are hungry. When you are wearing your elastic pants this Thanksgiving so you can eat too much, remember there are people who don’t have enough….some who don’t have any. Remember, they won’t have enough the next day either, so continue to give. Project Sunlight is a great place to get ideas on more ways you can help. At Feeding America you can find more about hunger in America and you can find your local food bank and see what they are doing in your area.
Remember, after Thanksgiving people will still need food. We often give more to make sure people have this wonderful meal on this day, but then they go hungry again a few days later. This year won’t you say thank you for your bounty by sharing a little throughout the year.
Now…for a few things I’m very thankful for this year….
- I cannot say how thankful I am for my husband, without whom I do not know how I would manage to navigate this world.
- After 15 months without a job, my husband found work. Not just a job, but one he enjoys!
- this moment is good. (it has been quite a ride of ups and downs this past month, the past 2 days have been better…one moment at a time…accept and make the most of it.)
- I had nearly 5 months of feeling so much better than I thought was possible.
- for learning more and more about living more mindful
- for learning to be less judgmental of myself and others.
- for having a roof over my head, heat when it is cold, food when I am hungry, water when I am thirsty…
- for feeling safe.
- for having at least one friend I say anything to and know it will be OK.
- for a very special email I received the other night that helped more than the sender could ever possibly know.
- for learning how to forgive, and knowing that forgetting isn’t as easy.
- for remembering again and again….I can do this….one moment at a time.
There is so much more I can’t even think right now….actually…I can’t really think right now. Unfortunately, I’m getting a bad headache…ah the joys of weather change.