This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Observing Thanksgiving In The Company Of One

There was no turkey, no family hovering around the dinner table, no last minute prep.  On Thanksgiving, there was just me.  Not everyone has family.  Some people have family far away.  Others have circumstances that prevent them from getting out-of-town: the time, the expense, the hassle.  And then there are other people who choose to spend Thanksgiving by themselves.

I've done Thanksgiving by myself before.  There should be no shame in this;  it's not the end of the world.  In fact, spending the holiday alone allowed me to put my mind at rest, to appreciate (and be thankful for) the little things without the hustle and bustle of holiday stresses.  It allowed me to listen to my thoughts.  To spend some time getting to know myself better because it's rare that we take the time to know ourselves.  We have so little time...

I reached out to my family far away, to friends, the people I care about and those I'm thankful for having in my life.  Those are the important things.  That's what the day is for: to remember family, the significant people who have touched you, the ones you can't imagine not knowing... the people of your life.  Because this is your life and the majority of people in this world you will never have an opportunity to meet, much less know.

On Thanksgiving, it's not the meal that matters.  Or the turkey or whether or not the pumpkin pie was homemade or store-bought.  It's the people of your life, even if they're not seated around the dinner table with you.  Even if miles separate you from looking into their eyes on Thanksgiving Day or if they no longer exist in this world.  Even if those people are friends you've lost touch with or those who are no longer a part of your life even though maybe you'd like them to be.

It's the people who have made you smile and laugh, the ones who drive you insane (but you love them anyway), the people who have touched you in some way, those who have forever changed you, the ones you love, those you've loved and those who have allowed you to believe in love again, if you've ever lost faith.  And nearly all of us have at some point.  Be thankful for those people and for yourself for being here, for making it through another day, for contributing to the world.  For being significant in other peoples' lives in ways you may never know.

Spending Thanksgiving by yourself doesn't make you an orphan or a leftover.  In many ways, it allows you to reflect on the holiday in ways that might escape you if you were stressed by fixing the turkey or trying to get the table set just right.  Or if you were traversing state lines in a mad rush to make it home in time.

There was no turkey, no family hovering around the dinner table, no last minute prep.  On Thanksgiving, there was just me, a big bowl of buttered popcorn and my chosen movie friend of the evening: Planes, Trains and Automobiles.  Because movies can be our friends, too.  And I'm thankful for movies as well as many other things in my life.

[Note: Today I'm also thankful for other peoples' Thanksgiving leftovers (that I'm getting to enjoy for the first time today.)  One person's turkey leftovers are another person's turkey "first-overs."
Happy Thanksgiving Saturday!]

Copyright © 2014 by Kendra Liedle/@cococaffeine

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