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.