It’s not the reward I would choose, really; I never manage to use all the vacation time we get, already. But I’m game to see what I can make of it. And as my regular readers know, Thanksgiving – and especially the long break – can be a difficult time for me. It’s hard not to fall into the traps of loneliness and self-pity. I’m looking for strategies that might go a long way toward disarming both of those traps more permanently. But more about that later.
This year I was tickled when my friend L. said, a month or so ago, “Guess who’s coming to Thanksgiving? My parents! … Wait, you are coming too, aren’t you?” How nice to be not just included as a charity case but really and personally wanted and expected to be there. They would have let me off the hook if I wanted to go elsewhere, of course, but I’ve really enjoyed spending such holidays with L.’s family and friends. I think this will be my third Thanksgiving with them.
So, with cooking, and a little Macy's parade thrown in, that's my Thursday.
Now what to do with Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday? It’s hard to know what I’ll want to do with my break until I’ve had the time to unwind and consider – something I also long for. With this weekend pretty full I may not begin the week as refreshed as I will be after the break has begun.
But I would not be at all surprising to wake up Friday dreading the big open space.
Five days of uncharted water is usually too much for me to relish.
I’m afraid I’ll feel more lost and depressed than free and blessed. But this is not inevitable.
How much we all want to be simultaneously included and independent: both safe and free. I picture a child flying high on a swing-set, insisting to the adult at hand to keep pushing her higher. What a wonderful joyous feeling it is to soar like that. But – especially if you are little – it is either impossible to do alone, or a lot less fun.