I had a really fantastic day yesterday. Normally, I'm not a huge Thanksgiving fan. I mean, I love the mass amounts of food and all, but the rest of teh holiday seems a little lost for me. It has since I was a teenager and I lost my grandfather. When my family stopped spending so much time together during the holidays, it seemed like there was a lot less to be thankful for, and that's really what the day is supposed to be all about. My teen years and my early twenties seemed even more futile in the celebration of Thanksgiving. I didn'tr really feel a connection to the people I was around for the holiday, and I missed the feeling of closeness that I used to have.
I have to confess, I think yesterday turned it around for me. We had Thanksgiving with Kitten's mom. It was really nice. We hadn't really planned it that way, we weren't planning on being back in town from vacation until Wednesday and we were just going to crash out. Problem was, Kitten has a test for school she couldn't miss, so we decided it would be nice to have a family dinner. Since the fire, our oven doesn't work so well, so we were going to use Precious's oven. Then Kitten's mom asked what we were up to. So we got to go over to her place and make dinner.
I've never made a turkey before, so that was a big deal to me. We got over there at about ten in the morning and started to get things ready. (I have to confess after the first hour we realized there wasn't a baster, so we had to run to the store to get one, oops!) After we got the turkey going, though, we spent the morning teamed up playing games like catchphrase and taboo. It was a lot of fun. It definately felt different to me, because my family never did things like play games with each other on holidays. There was a lot of gossping a squabbling, but not a whole lot of fun. I derived most of my holiday joy from watching my grandparents cook. This year, though, we spent quality time togther, and I really enjoyed it.
When we finished cooking together it was nice to sit at the table and eat, Kitten carved the bird, which turned out really, really well. After dinner Kitten's mom's roommate came and played a few games of Scrabble with us. I loved it because they are both really good players, I like a challenge. There was plenty of good natured teasing going on. I spent a lot of yesterday laughing. I experienced, I think for the first time, how truly joyful a holiday with your family can be. I think Oscelot felt it too, and she was smiling and laughing all the way up to the moment when she fell asleep in front of the fireplace. It was awesome.
It got me thinking about how near a miss I had. Really. I know I talk pretty frequently on how lucky I am to have Kitten in my life, but I really believe it. Eleven years ago I was foolish enough to let Kitten go out of my life. I remember so clearly that day, I can play it over and over in my head. I'm not saying I didn't have happy times after that. When I was with Beloved I had several times where I was pretty happy, given who I was at the time. But thank the lord and lady I have Kitten now. I'm so happy. I feel, for the first time in my life, like I am complete. I feel like I trulyhave a family that loves and supports me. I have the security of knowing no matter what happens, its going to be okay because I have her, and Oscelot, to get me through things. Its this sort of love, the kind that has no restrictions, that makes a person truly able to reach their potential, to grow, to be more than they thought they could. I don't know that I deserve it, but I am glad to have it in my life.
I got a lot of messages from my friends yesterday and I was thinking again how much better my life is now. I couldnt' always say that I had friends who understood me, who knew me well enough to truly be friends. The people who I make my friends now are remarkable. They know how to deal with my constant need of affection, my lack of filter, my ability to say and so incredibly stupid things sometimes. They also know me well enough to know when I need support and when I feel like I need help. They always offer it to me. That's a very rare friend, a wonderful gift from the universe. I feel lucky to have so many people that I can call true friends.
I'm even lucky in my job, although a lot of times I don't feel like I admit it. I work for a company that closes for big holidays so we can be with our families. I work for people who respect me and my religious beliefs. I have two wonderful bosses who allow me to do things like take long vacations so I don't go bonkers and still give me a great schedule when I come back. I didn't have to be at work yesterday. I won't have to work for Yule. I know a lot of people who can't say that. It makes me happy to think I've found a place that treats me with respect and courtesy. Its really nice.
I know its sappy and a little cliche, but I really do have a lot to be thankful for. I'd be ungrateful if I didn't take a little time to sit down and acknowledge that.
I hope that all of you have something that you can be proud of, something that makes you glad to be who you are. Sometimes its just these little things, the ones that really count, that remind you life is worth living.