Thanksgiving, Teenagers, and Tornados

Happy Thanksgiving to all my family and friends! I find holidays, birthdays and anniversaries to be a time to reflect on where we are and where we are going. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There are no presents to buy, just delicious food to bring to a table with people who hopefully you enjoy sharing meals with. I love sitting in circles and sharing stories and this is the holiday that we do just that. Today there are 28 people whom I will be sharing a meal with. Yes, my blessings are abundant, but if you saw me yesterday, you would not get that picture. I was caught up in STRESS, standing on lines getting pies, sitting in traffic as I went from place to place making purchases, and lost in my to-do list and projections.  It was my daughter’s birthday and I was planning her favorite dinner. In the midst of the rushing around, there was a miscommunication with a loved one. Oh, and there was a CAT scan on the schedule. The stress was not because I had pies to buy or a birthday to celebrate or the miscommunication or the CAT scan. The stress was about the stories I was telling myself.  I got caught up in an old tape that I was not good enough, I am not listened to, that I do not matter, that I get no respect. Those stories alternated with worry. I love Thanksgiving but I hate Thanksgiving Eve. There is lots of drinking and drunk driving on Thanksgiving Eve and my grown children are out and about. I worry about that. I worried that the CAT scan might show something that should not be there. And, for God’s sake I have a teenager in the house now. I was losing my innocent baby girl. The feeling I had was  that I was a direct hit for a category 5 hurricane. Well, can you blame me?  I have raised three children already and I know about the storms that accompany adolescence. Why should this fourth child be different? Teenagers are nightmares. Right? Ha! Finally, when I felt bad enough, I stopped. I literally stopped.  I took some deep breaths. I observed my negative thinking and I told myself that they were all lies. BIG. FAT. LIES. Here was the truth: My house was clean. Desserts were bought. Everyone was safe. I am in good health. My daughter who turned 13 was still my darling daughter. Her birthday cake was baking in the oven. Miscommunications happen. We are human, after all. My older daughter was on the train coming home for Thanksgiving. Ahhh, COMING HOME, that is what Thanksgiving is about. But first I needed to COME HOME to center within. It all starts from that place. I strayed from center yesterday. I am human. Today, my intention is to bring my centered self to the Thanksgiving dinner.

For all of you that read this page, wishing you a very peaceful Thanksgiving.  When it gets too hot in the kitchen, step aside, take a few breaths and notice the stories you are telling yourself and begin again. And for those of you that are not sharing a meal with others, wishing you a peaceful Thanksgiving. Hope you are your own best friend and you enjoy the company you keep in the quiet hours.

Today, I am grateful for my health, my husband and children, my family, my friends, and my work. I am grateful for my ability to shift gears in the storms. I am grateful for teenagers, especially mine,  who show me what creativity, vitality and gaining independence looks like. I am especially grateful to my dad who taught me “When it is too hot in the kitchen, GET OUT!”

4 thoughts on “Thanksgiving, Teenagers, and Tornados

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