Giving Thanks When It Doesn’t Feel Like Thanksgiving – Emily Eldridge

Ever have that feeling when your internal clock/calendar is thrown off and you don’t know what day it is? I feel like I don’t know what month it is.

It didn’t feel much like Thanksgiving to me this year. Most of the month was taken up with the museum’s annual fundraiser Festival of Trees – basically Christmas arrived in my life around November 7 in the form of 24 (beautiful!) Christmas trees, Christmas music, decorations and parties. I worked different hours than usual a lot for the event, and different days once or twice, which threw off my sense of time too. I had a blast, but it definitely overshadowed Thanksgiving. I had two weeks of what felt like Christmas, then Thanksgiving arrived with what felt like no warning.
On top of that, the day Festival of Trees ended, the Monday before Thanksgiving, I got sick. Just a cold, nothing I couldn’t handle with a quick trip to the store to stock up on medicine, orange juice, and chicken noodle soup. I didn’t mind terribly that I was still sick on Thursday and didn’t do anything to celebrate; Thanksgiving has become less and less of a big deal in my family over the years, and if I were at home it probably would have just been me and my parents and a little extra cooking. It’s not even the first time I’ve been sick and away from my family for this holiday, so I knew I’d be fine. And since my brain was halfway convinced it was already December anyway, I honestly didn’t feel like I was missing much by just staying home and resting.
But now I finally have a moment to catch my breath and remember that it’s not quite December yet, before Christmas Round 2: For Real This Time starts up. So I’m pausing to reflect on what I’m thankful for just a little belatedly this year.

The things I’m thankful for this year include:
 – That my illness was mild and I’m back on my feet
– That I had several invitations to Thanksgiving dinner, even after I got sick, and had a great Thanksgiving leftovers dinner last night
– My loving family, who were more concerned than I was about me missing Thanksgiving
– My wonderful boyfriend, who has been so supportive of my decision to move to Colorado for a year
– The time I got to spend with the awesome residents of St. Columba House, and meeting other service organization members, in Denver last weekend
– How fun and successful the Festival of Trees was
– The chance to be here in this program and this place, the experiences I’ve had so far and those yet to come
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