My mom said that she feels incredibly relaxed going into this Thanksgiving. Not that most years it ends up being completely crazy, but when you have a fair amount of guests attending and food/space to wrangle, things can become a little fraught.
But this year? Stress is going out of the window.
November has been a whirlwind of a month, to the extent that my complaints earlier this year seem utterly narcissistic and base. It started with a hurricane; my family are still dealing with that destruction. It continued with an emotional blow; the cancellation of an event to which I had put into a lot of energy, effort and mental exertion.
Fortunately, other events lit up this cacophonous calendar like the last fireflies of the summer: one of my best friends got engaged to someone with whom she is utterly in tune that it makes the universe that much more harmonious, I spent some valuable time with my family, and have been grateful for continued health, well-being and the promise of what’s next. Things are exciting, but calm, wonderful but grounded.
November also marks a year in New York City. Okay, yes, fair enough, I live in Jersey City, but who’s splitting hairs?
I feel like I made my peace with the city over the past few months. Or perhaps I made peace with myself, and stopped just trying to flow with the craziness and lifestyles to which I did not want to subscribe here. Not being the kind of person who wants to conform has not changed with age, despite some of my former righteous indignation going out the window. Instead, I’m grateful for my outlook. There’s no need to complain viciously about that which cannot be changed, instead all I can do is create my own oasis of sanity and try to unite with like-minded individuals who see things from a “less-conventional” perspective. I’m grateful that I can be the kind of person to take the time to listen to someone who really needs to talk, despite it being highly likely that I will never see that person again, that I can be kind to random people on the street that display equally thoughtful feelings towards me, and that in this “new normal” that has hit the city post-Sandy, I keep it together.
And this Thanksgiving? I’m grateful for my family – all of them, even those not blood-related. I’m grateful for the way my friends have grown, have brought me back into their circle and the reunions that have taken place. I’m grateful for new friends and how they have broadened my world. And I’m grateful for the random, the unexpected and the surprisingly wonderful. I eagerly anticipate what’s coming next.
Oh, and I’m extremely grateful that this Thanksgiving, I am not suffering from the stomach virus from hell. Because being ill and debilitated for three days while empting the contents of one’s insides is not the best gift on the Welcome Wagon to the East Coast (thank you, Thanksgiving 2011.)