Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thoughts on the Day Before

I was late getting out to the barn this morning, distracted by my to-do list of remaining shopping for Thanksgiving dinner and by the muffins in the oven. My daughter made a request for them last night as she crawled into her bed. Since she doesn’t have school today, I decided to give her a treat and start the holiday baking early. I’m always double-parked these days, racing from one task to the next while my mind is full of all the things that I still need to do and won’t get to in these 24 hours.

So, I was expecting to find grumpy, hungry horses. Instead, two sweet faces eagerly greeted me as I dumped the feed in their buckets. It made me stop and realize that during the past month, when I’ve been too busy to give my girls the attention that they need, they’ve been so good. They don’t act bored or naughty. They haven’t injured themselves or gotten sick. They brighten my stressed-out, over burdened, weary brain every time I take a moment to be with them. Looking back on this challenging year, I am so grateful that we all are still here, doing what we did last November.

There are some differences. For the first time, we won’t be having any visiting family or friends at our table tomorrow. Some friends who have become like family and live around the corner will stop by after dinner. Part of me will miss the festivities of a larger crowd, but it’s also a relief not to have to deal with all the temperaments and quirks that often accompany Thanksgiving guests. We will still have the battles of will that accompany any holiday meal in my house since my mother, at age 95, grows more and more insistent that she must have her way. Her nickname is “the General”, and she’s used to being the one in charge. It’s interesting that this year, I have had so many people tell me that they re finding it hard to face the drama and the emotional turmoil that can make Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day a long, bumpy ride.

Who would think that arguments over how to make the cranberry sauce and snide remarks about how much weight someone has gained carry so much deeper meaning? One resolution I set this morning, as I drank my coffee while Silk and Siete munched their hay. was to curb any judgments I might be tempted to make tomorrow. I will remind myself that when someone says something to provoke or dig or pick, I will notice the frightened, lost soul who is hiding behind those remarks. I will make light of it or ignore their efforts to spoil a good time. Fortunately, I can always escape to the barn. Two good horses will be glad to see me.


the7msn said...

"They haven't injured themselves or gotten sick." If that isn't something to be thankful for, I don't know what is. Blessings to you and your family from all of us at the 7MSN.

Grey Horse Matters said...

It sounds like your girls will keep you on an even keel through the holidays and carry you through the New Year. I know how demanding the older generation can be and have been there with a very outspoken Grandmother in the past.
("You're getting a little hippy aren't you? You should try to reduce!)

Here's hoping you and the whole family will have a lovely peaceful Thanksgiving day.Give the girls a hug and a kiss on the nose from me.

billie said...

Happy thanksgiving in advance - I hope the day goes easily for all of you.

Funny - this is the first year in several that we aren't joining my family for the holiday. At some point it became clear that we all had our own desires for this year and I think it was probably a good idea that we ended up deciding to do our own things. Probably won't happen this way every year, but for this one, it felt right.

Anonymous said...

Good thoughts - and may your horses smooth any rough edges. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

C-ingspots said...

Very wise words, and ones I will try to keep in mind when with my extended family members tomorrow. Thankfully, like you, we all have our beautiful horses to bring us back to what really matters in life. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving day!

Lori Skoog said...

Double parked...a perfect description.

Fortunately our holidays have not been impacted by negativity or criticism. My parents and Gary's are no longer with us...there is no "competition" for the amount of time spent where. We put absolutely no pressure on our girls and their families...making them feel guilty if they are not with us. No way. We tend to invite people who are alone or have no family...tomorrow 12, maybe 14 will be here. On Christmas Eve we do the same and have had 28-30 for years. Friends and family all mixed presents, pot luck, jeans, cozy fires and togetherness. My idea of warm fuzzies. The dogs, our cat and the horses give me happiness every single personal energizers.

Have a great day tomorrow!

detroit dog said...


Have a beautiful day.

Dusty Devoe said...

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Esther Garvi said...

Sounds like a very healthy approach in the midst of all the daily chaos.

deejbrown said...

My family rarely gets together so I find myself missing them during the holidays, though I well remember the dull dread of internal sniping and the tension that goes with them. I guess it's the balance we need, a little here and there rather than a flood of family once a year.
I hold on to a reminder from Mark Rashid: "This too shall pass!"
Happy Thanksgiving, Victoria!