Tomorrow, on the American Thanksgiving, I won’t be waking up in a house full of people, smelling a turkey baking in an oven, looking forward to a day of friends or family or football watching or stuffing myself with an abundance of gravy-covered dishes and whippped-cream covered desserts until I pass out in a lazy-boy.
Like some of you, I’m spending the holiday alone.
Yes, I do have plans.
Tomorrow I will get up early for a hike in the woods – I feel so close to the universe and God when I’m immersed in the quiet of nature – then I’ll come home to make my Thanksgiving dinner, a spicy from-scratch pizza with tons of roasted veggies and sprinkled with goat cheese.
I plan to read books (on my new Kindle touch that will hopefully get delivered today! Yes I finally got one!!) and play Civilization V and watch episodes of Star Trek The Next Generation season seven and be generally lazy and reclining.
I plan to thank God for what I have and reflect on how wonderful my life is, and to write in my journal about what I’ve learned and how far I have come.
Of course, I could have found somewhere to be tomorrow.
If I had put it out there, if I had posted on Facebook or asked around people at my daughter’s school, I could have found a seat to occupy at someone else’s feast.
But the thing is, I know where I want to be for Thanksgiving. I know with whom I want to be for my holiday. And, this year at least, it’s not going to happen.
This may sound strange (especially to you extroverts), but if I spent it with albeit wonderful people who are not my people, it would be even easier for me to miss my people and feel disconnected and fall into that dark loneliness place.
For this holiday at least, I can navigate alone much easier than I can navigate being alone in a crowd.
So I’m spending the holiday with myself. Not in a lonely way, but in an conscious way.
If you’re like me and you are also spending a holiday alone this year, I’d like to invite you to use this time not for slipping down into darkness … but to dedicate to yourself.
Spend your day purposefully, on a wonderful holiday with you.
Do what you love. Spend time in places where you feel connected with the universe. Eat what you enjoy. Share this day with whatever higher power you believe in. Be lazy. Be busy. Be in the now. Whatever you need, so you can be a real expression of you in this moment.
I do not allege that this is easy. It is not.
Too much alone can make us humans susceptible to depression, anxiety, lonely, sickness, all manners of darkness and despair. Especially on days full of societal expectations and reminders on Netflix movies and Target displays of how it seems that everyone else has their people.
But we are not doomed to be trapped by such darkness. I promise.
I wish you so many blessings on your holiday. I wish you to have a wonderful day with yourself, to find a place where you can live in light and see the joy of your life, even if it is not (yet) everything that you want.
I’ll be thinking of you. Always.