Gratitude

I thought I understood the concept of gratitude. I completed the “List 5 things for which I am grateful” goal — on both 43 Things and PopClogs. I can pull gratitude out of the worst days, and can find the silver lining in just about any situation. I thought that this meant I had gratitude down.

I do not.

This week has just not gone according to plan. This week was supposed to be cleaning and wrapping Advent gifts and putting together care packages for the Memphis Union Mission and cooking Thanksgiving dinner. We were going to go to Zoo Lights and Starry Nights, have dinner with our families, and I was going to go shopping a couple more times before Freaky…er, Black Friday. I was going to knock out a little freelancing and clean my office and prepare my list for Cyber Monday. I was going to send my daughter to her grandparents for a sleepover so I could go through her toys before Santa dumps another load of them on our house. I was going to get. stuff. done.

And then everybody got sick.

We saw the doctor yesterday; the kids and R have colds, and Kai also has impetigo. Which, given Mom’s precarious immune state, means we are on our own for Turkey Day, and pretty much housebound besides until everyone gets to feeling better.

I feel okay. A little scratchy throat, a barely there headache. Probably more allergies than illness, as I have been dusting that which has not been dusted since I got pregnant with Kai. But I am seriously bummed that my big, beautiful week isn’t shaping up as I’d hoped. I’ve been planning this crap for over a month. I took time off from work. Of course it all fell apart.

That’s fine. Disappointment is fine. The trick is to be grateful anyway.

I may not get everything done, but I can get most of it done. The rest can be rescheduled.

The important part — the family togetherness — will happen regardless of whether or not we check off every box on my list. It just may be more hot cocoa and jammies and Netflix than lights and music and outings.

And isn’t that what my list is really about — spending time with my family? Doing fun things with them?

So I will suck up this internal pouty lip and get over myself. Be grateful for the time I have with my loved ones, even though our activities may not measure up to my highest hopes. And I will enjoy Thanksgiving no matter how we end up spending it.

I hope you, too, are having a pleasant Thanksgiving.

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