"O Lord that lends me life,
lend me a heart replete with thankfulness." – Henry VI
Thanksgiving took me almost completely by surprise this year. Even though I had stockpiled my tins Libby Pumpkin and Carnation condensed milk quite dutifully, I was caught unaware.
A rare and funny thing considering that Thanksgiving is an all-time favourite holiday of mine. The food, the colours, less hype than Christmas…
This year something changed. A change that was not due to my new location. An internal change.
I am not proud to say it, but I think it is hard to be thankful when life doesn’t seem to be going your way. And I realize it is always so much easier to see things from a “half empty” perspective.
Things just feel so sad right now, with Lucy being injured; and me still slowly, slowly recovering from my bout with flu. (Side note: I was fine before I had the Flu jab; and fell ill precisely seven days after having the job.)
Lucy’s surgery was a success, and she seems to be getting back to her old self. It’s awful to see her in pain, and it is going to be a long road to recovery for her. They say that pets are a good preparation for having children, as the level of responsibility can be just as high. Well, I can see how that works.
Lucy is going to need full-on care for the next 6 weeks. She will be unable to walk unassisted for that time period. That means for us, our holiday plans will need to abridged or augmented. Still, it’s a commitment we are happy and willing to make.
Along with this very traumatic situation has been my own nearly month-long battle with the flu. I’m not one for just lying around at the best of times, and prolonged idleness makes me quite maudlin.
I find myself thinking far to deeply about things, and brooding about them: “Why are struggling so to find an agent for the cookbook?”, “Why am I even bothering trying to be a writer?”, “Maybe I should just give up and get a proper job?”
In my former life, I was an avid workaholic. Taking leave of that rat race was a joy, and I finally feel like I can breathe. But, it is so difficult when we live in a world that places value on what we do, as opposed to who we are.
I have applied for several teaching positions over the past several months, and have been rejected by every single one. Add those letters to the ones I have recently received from agents and publishers and the pile becomes quite considerable, indeed!
I was even turned down for a job in a local library for having “too much experience.” Is that possible?
Repeated rejection, flu symptoms, a poorly pooch, and rainy November days can really conspire against a girl.
The DEB tells me all the time that he is proud of me. I daren’t say “Proud of what?” He says he’s proud of me for “having a go,” daring to dream a dream, and pursue it with my whole heart.
Some days, I admire me, too. On others, I wonder why I bother getting out of bed. I feel like I am just drifting along, a boat without paddles or a sail.
Even my latest attempts at “doing good” have failed. I organized a charity sale here in Barford, and it was a huge, lamentable flop. If we had had a sale in downtown Manhattan like the one here in Barford, there would have a feeding frenzy. There would not have been a stitch of clothing left after the first half hour.
We had two pairs of Vera Wang shoes, brand new, never worn, each selling for less than $300.00. As a gal who likes a bargain, I thought the idea was heavenly. And apparently, according to The Sunday Times, the “Weekend Bargainista” hitting the second-hand sales is all the rage. In London. It takes a while for trendy to reach the countryside, apparently. Lesson learned.
And that is what this time feels like most of all. A time for lessons. Figuring out who I am, and what I want with and from this life. Pupils are rarely thankful for lessons.
Still, a week late, here I am giving thanks. I am mindful that in the midst of this inertia and seeming inactivity, I have much for which I am thankful. Not least the love that surrounds me on every side.
Our menu for Thanksgiving dinner last week: Southern fried chicken, succotash, sweet potatoes, stuffing and gravy. Pumpkin pie and ice cream.