There’s a sand through my fingers perspective that I could take - about how the years are ticking by, the kids getting older and elders getting older (why is it that us mid-life folks seem to stay the same age??), and we won’t have many more Thanksgivings with this configuration of the generations.
There’s an empty basket perspective that includes missing my mom’s pumpkin pie, my brothers’ friendly banter, and seeing the seven teenage cousins together.
Three years ago we were in France for Thanksgiving. And, like this year, we didn’t spend the day with family - it was a regular Thursday, and the kids went to school like any other day.
It didn’t feel sad or lonely - it felt like part of our French adventure. We skipped the turkey because there were none to be had in November and cooked a chicken on the grill. We probably sampled a couple of tartes from the neighborhood patisserie, though my memory on this is vague.
What I clearly remember, though, is feeling okay with not having our usual Thanksgiving celebration. There were lots of new things to be experiencing instead.
Maybe because this year doesn’t have a French adventure to go with it, missing out on Thanksgiving with family feels harder. So, I’ve decided to let myself feel that disappointment, AND I’m going to find a new perspective that doesn’t involve missing or losing.
The problem with the sand through my fingers or empty basket perspectives - they don’t leave much room for gratitude.
In this moment, I am appreciating feeling the sun on my back as it comes through the window behind me. I can hear the cat taking her bath behind me as she sits in the window. The house is quiet, and I want to soak that up just like the sun. There’s nothing I need to fix.
And there’s so much to be grateful for. I guess you could call that a blessings perspective.
Here is a blessing from John O'Donohue to take with you into your day:
No one knew the name of this day;
Born quietly from the deepest night,
It hid its face in light,
Demanded nothing for itself,
Opened out to offer each of us
A field of brightness that traveled ahead,
Providing time, ground to hold our footsteps
And the light of thought to show the way.
- from The Inner History of a Day
Jessica Curtis is a professional life coach who helps people cultivate intention and live from a place of meaning and authenticity. If you think you could benefit from working with Jessica or want to invite her to work with your group, reach out to start a conversation.