I’m guessing this Thanksgiving was a little “different” for you.  Actually, at this point of 2020 “different” is becoming the “norm.”  This is precisely why I decided ahead of time that I wasn’t going too get myself to psyched up for Thanksgiving.  With my husband hunting as usual, I’d invited my mom and aunt to come for a relaxed day with a traditional turkey meal at noon followed by movies and a fire…all at a respective distance from each other.

“Different” is becoming the “norm” for 2020.

That is, until my husband called the day before Thanksgiving, saying he was headed home early and thought he had COVID. He’d been careful as planned, and yet, had been reminded that only so much is in our control.  He felt awful for “stealing” the day from my mom, aunt, and me. Thanksgiving lunch was cancelled, and instead of searching recipes and googling how long to bake the turkey, I found myself googling “COVID testing sites near me” so I could send my guy straight there before he got home.

In times like these, it’s easy to go into the depths-feeling sorry for ourselves. If you’re feeling like your Thanksgiving was “ruined” this year, or if you’d like to prep your attitude for Christmas just in case your plans get hijacked, try asking yourself my three favorite questions to pull yourself out of a funk.

My 3 favorite questions to pull out of a funk

1. What if nothing’s gone wrong here?

Once I got over the initial chaos of the changed plans, I told myself a nice quiet Thanksgiving at home is something we’ve never experienced before, and I could use a little down time after such a busy two weeks. Since my husband had little appetite, I decided there was no point in me spending the entire morning prepping a massive meal, and decided to stick to the turkey and replace the rest with a book on the couch!

2. How might this be happening for me (or someone else)?

I’d much rather cancel a Thanksgiving meal and movies than to have my mom or aunt get sick. Canceling protected everyone and gave me a chance to show love to my husband. If I knew that this suddenly free day were a gift and not an inconvenience, I would be more willing to accept it with open arms and look for the blessings of a quiet day without the hustle and bustle.

3. What does this disappointment really represent?

I value family and I’m a homebody. This particular aunt taught me the art of loving on people, making them cozy in your home, and enjoying quality time together. Thank God (literally) that I have people I love spending time with and miss when unable to. I still have many opportunities for those things in the future, despite losing one holiday with them.

It’s nearly impossible to feel entitled
and grateful at the same time.

As I write, I’m remembering that somewhere in the process of answering these questions, my mind slowly starts to make a turn. I recognize that my frustration over a circumstance often also shows some entitlement and a lack of gratitude for the blessings I have. After all, there are people in the world who have never eaten a “feast,” and who have no living loved ones to spend the holidays with.

I’m so grateful for a husband/best friend that I can care for when he’s sick.  I’m grateful that I’ve had over forty years of wonderful Thanksgivings surrounded by family, and will likely have many more. I’m thankful that I have a mom and aunt who I love to spend time with. And I realize that if I had never had any of these things, I wouldn’t have missed them. And just like that…my heart is filled with gratitude rather than focused on disappointment.

When I got that unexpected call from my husband, I ran to the store to grab a month’s supply of groceries before he got home. Then on Thanksgiving morning, when my he had the chills and no sense of smell or taste, I built a fire, baked that turkey and immediately turned it into turkey soup. Maybe that’s the equivalent of making lemons into lemonade this season!

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