Thursday, November 26, 2020

happy thanksgiving

It occurred to me earlier this week that this is the first time ever in my whole life I am not spending Thanksgiving in Rockford amid some sort of family gathering or somesuch.  It's strange, but I've been happily planning my menu and plotting crockpot action and content to sit this one out and get a few days at home. But even still it feels odd.   When I was living briefly in North Carolina, I flew back on my first and only flight for the holiday. Over the years, the configurations differed, and occasionally it was just the immediate family.  More recently, my mother was notorious for occasionally hosting two different dinners for two different sides of the family on different days.  Since she's been gone, my dad typically cooks something or we spend it with my mom's best friend and a handful of others.  Sometimes both. As such, I've never fended for my own on Thanksgiving.  

This year, I secured my supplies early via Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods and am plotting to spend the day--maybe watching the socially-distanced Macy's parade and perhaps some fave Thanksgoving  episodes of shows.  My boyfriend is making dinner for a smaller than usual gathering at his boss's (actors and acting students he works with who have no where else to go). It's  their usual tradition, so I will be mostly alone, not particularly wishing to trade the danger of a family gathering for a another with mostly strangers in this rather pestilential year. I keep reading articles about the strain on folks living alone, and the word "lonely" gets thrown around a lot.  Pathological introvert that I am, I am actually pretty content to spend the day on my own.  I'm sure there will be a lot of texting with my bestie over our solo cooking exploits and cat antics, and a phone call with my dad later tonight. I'm mostly grateful for a few days in which I don't have to pretend to be a fully functioning human amid a national health crisis and can just veg. 

As for gratitude posts, it always reeks of a certain "" vibe, thrown around by rich white women in yoga pants, but even still amidst the bad things, there are good things to be thankful for.  Family, friends,  sound relationships.  Jobs and health, things that seem to be in jeopardy most this season around us, but are holding steady.  Poems and the chance to work with other writers to make lovely books.  Art and reading, though these have been harder to get back to when my mind is in pandemic mode. Chicago and Lake Michigan, still here and still varying shades of blue.  My cozy apartment and a whole bunch of crazy cats. 

I had a lot of goals at the beginning of the year that, of course, did not pan out, but other things happened--virtual art exhibits & new ways of looking at library programming, entire manuscripts of poems, learning to make video poems, stepping back and re-evaluating some things in how I conduct myself as a writer in the world.   All good things amid the creeping fear. Also, gratitude for good decisions on a national level, and though the world is about 49 percent fucked up, racist , self-interested, deeply stupid and backward, the election proved that good wins by a slim majority, so at least its something and bodes well for 2021. And it's something we can all be thankful for.