Our Thanksgiving has never been traditional. Growing up I had my fill of that. Cooking all day, setting the tables, family, displaced college students, friends of my parents. All followed by dish washing to the power of ten, tired and very cranky parents, too many people crammed in our house.

After we moved to Pittsburgh and suffered through a couple of friend Thanksgivings, we settled into our own thing. A morning round of cooking our favorite foods, in pajamas. The rest of the day watching movies or football, reading, playing games, or whatever we wanted, in our pajamas. Paper plates, plastic cups, naps, cuddles, quiet, laughter, recharge, our day has it all. Moving twenty hours closer to our hometown hasn’t changed our tradition at all.

We didn’t plan it that way, we thought we’d be seeing much more family. However, a few years in we realized it wasn’t any different from Pennsylvania. Everyone was happy to see us when we made the twelve hour drive, each way. We were exhausted.


We like spending time with family but quickly got tired of always making the drive. After two years we slid right back into our comfortable tradition.    [jojo.jpg]Today we celebrated again. We laughed together, argued, cooked, and napped.

This morning while I was lazing in bed, I thought about the things I’m thankful for this year. Too many to count, really.  In past years, that feeling of gratitude has terrified me. Always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Perhaps I’m most thankful for the change in my perspective. After spending so many years trying to ensure that other people love me, I finally understand it all hinges on loving myself. So many people say it, in an offhand manner.

“You can’t love anyone until you love yourself.”

I would have argued, “If you have energy left to love yourself, you’re doing it wrong.”

I would have declared it until I was blue in the face, until that year arrived that I couldn’t love anyone. I laid on my bed, unable to move without excruciating pain and wished someone would take care of me, someone would love me. I cried so angrily with the realization that only I would do that. It was so much easier loving other people. I was so angry at everyone.

What I’m beginning to understand now? My love is the only love I wanted. Only I could give myself exactly what I needed. Only I can fill those cracks with acceptance. Only I know how to open my heart again and share an honest love that comes from a bottomless, bubbling spring, not some rusty bucket I beg others to fill.

And all that brings me to you. All you crazy people who read and comment and for some reason, beyond comprehension, recognize something in me as a kindred soul. Thank you for giving me feathers for my wings, and a soft place to land.




0 thoughts on “Thankful”

  1. Sometimes it’s the toughest challenge to love the person looking back at us in the mirror. I should totally make a bumper sticker that says “Who’s loved?” so I can stick it on the mirror and it’s the first question I get to answer each day. I’m so glad to know you, Carly! Love you!

  2. I think you have the right idea when it comes to enjoying Thanksgiving. Spending the day with your kids, low stress, lots of love, it is the only way to go. Seems ideal to me anyway. Then again, I’m not a traditional holiday, remembering birthday sort of person anyway.

    Re: Loving Yourself. 🌻 Dudes always want to watch that happening. Oh wait, that isn’t the self-love you mean. Heh. Anyhoo . . . I don’t know how I got to that place, but I do know ya gotta like who you are as a person. (Then again, maybe I like who I am a little too much. Have to think about that someday.) Still, I have always lived with the motto of, “you have to make your own happiness.” Yes, it’s easy to get lost along the way, or look back and think, I was really stupid, blind, naive, etc. But I’ve still had fun along the way and hope you and yours do too.

    Keep writing, you have an amazing talent. I am thankful for that. 🦃

  3. If you mean the self love? Yeah, they do, not that I would Ever do that for my hubs to watch. (Gulp). I base that on what they have said and told me they like, but then again, they are dudes, they are easy to please.

    Another truism I’ve been privy to is how they (men) know they will score if they pretend to cry (or get emo) in front of you. Not my hubs though, he insists I would never fall for that. He is right too. Heh

      1. Haha, see that is the funny part, they aren’t really crying. They are pretending to get teared up, choked up, emo (emotional). No actual tears flow. The woman (I did a poll of educated girlfriends in the 90s, doctors, lawyers, all sorts, everyone fell for it) will then hug them, comfort them and then they have sex with them. I’m not saying they are doing anything non consensual. I’m saying some dudes, hot sexy men too, will pull this card out if opportunity is presented to speed up the getting to the naked part of the night.

        Sure, I will be condemned (again) for revealing secret male techniques.

        I think it somehow fits into that saying; Women use sex to get love. Men use love to get sex. 🌻

  4. “Only I know how to open my heart again and share an honest love that comes from a bottomless, bubbling spring, not some rusty bucket I beg others to fill.”
    Beautifully darling, and totally true.

      1. Ahh, I’m not so good at emo. Ha Ha. I’m kinda lame that way. If you know Kathy Jones, she knows I’m more of a dude (emotionally) sometimes, okay I admit, most of the time. Heh 🌻

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