Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Thanksgiving Self Care Story



Thanksgiving is a big deal in my household. Frequently we have house guests as well as dinner guests for the main event.

My sister and I grew up celebrating Thanksgiving mostly in the high-end restaurants our mother managed. After our Thanksgiving meal, we would be sent off to a movie. Occasionally we enjoyed a more traditional Thanksgiving with our stepmother's family. The best was when we visited our father's extended family. All the aunts, uncles, and cousins would come to our grandmother's house. These were rare occasions involving long distance travel. I cherish the memories! ( I spent years and considerable $ acquiring the china pattern we used at the children's table- I use it frequently and always on Thanksgiving). This china makes me smile!



When I was 15 I decided that I would shop for and prepare the Thanksgiving feast rather than go to a restaurant. Our stepmother had taught me many cooking skills. As I worked, our mother was so impressed that she took the day off and invited some friends to join us. One guest actually brought flowers! Another guest was the owner of a large record shop. He was so pleased with the dinner that he gave my sister and me generous gift certificates ( I still have some of those vinyl albums!).
Almost every year since I have prepared  and hosted the Thanksgiving celebration.

This year (here comes the self care part -at last!😉 ). I woke up Thursday feeling totally stressed.  All of the stresses of this autumn took their toll- the loss of my greenhouse and the plant rescue operations, the temporary (I hope!!)  loss of my housekeeper/garden help, some growing pains about yet another career change... To top it off one of my cats has started leaving puddles of bloody urine all over the house. Fortunately we have a wonderful veterinarian  who makes house calls. My little cat is doing better.   Still, when I woke up early Thursday, I did not feel well, and after feeding the cats I slipped on  a puddle I had missed when cleaning up. It was the last straw. I sat down and decided  there was no way I was going to cook a big turkey, make pies, etc. I went to my room - put on clean pajamas and went back to bed.  I telephoned the guests and invited them for Saturday. Everyone was very obliging!

 I spent the whole of Thanksgiving in bed napping, reading, and listening to music. It was lovely!

In years past I would have pushed through- with less than optimal results. By Thursday night I would have been very ill indeed.  I have finally learned to take care of myself and not worry when I must occasionally disappoint people. As it was, no one was really disappointed. The turkey, the pies, etc. were delicious. We were all just as thankful as we would have been on Thursday!

Have you ever opted to take care of yourself and cancel an engagement? Have you ever enjoyed a holiday just resting?

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9 comments:

Barbara Fisher said...

Dear Colleen, firstly, I must say how sorry I was to read about your little cat thank goodness things are not (hopefully) as bad as I first feared. We all love our pets to distraction, and it is just awful when they are ill. Secondly – congratulations! You did what was best for you, and it all worked out fine. I’m not sure I would have been so brave I would probably have ‘soldiered on’ which would have been entirely the wrong thing to do. I’ve hosted Christmas for the majority of the last forty plus years, and a few years back six weeks after a major operation, I still hosted Christmas – botched everything and spent most of the day in floods of tears. No fun for me or any of my guests!

Before I go, I wanted to let you know I’ve tagged you in the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers award. Joining in is entirely optional, and I completely understand if you don’t have the time or the inclination to get involved. I must admit it took me some time to get to it, but once I did I had fun. Barbara x

Janet said...

It takes a lot of bravery to admit that you can't complete a task, especially when it has become almost expected of you. We do tend to soldier on because we feel we can't let ourselves or others down. So well done for having the courage to do the right thing, put yourself first and not give in.

colleen said...

Oh, thank you for the supportive comment,Janet! In the past when i have soldiered on, the results were not generally optimal! Why does it take us so long to learn some of these Life Lessons?

colleen said...

Barbara! You are a sweetheart!~My little cat ,Felice, is on the mend now. What a relief! It is so wonderful to have a really good, supportive veterinarian!
It has taken me a long time to learn the Life Lesson of self care. Like you, I have had less than optimal results when I soldier on!
I do not know the Sisterhood of World Bloggers! I will look it up! Thank you for thinking about me! I really need to get more up to speed on blogging. I really have not mastered all the side bars and things you use!

Barbara Fisher said...

Dear Colleen, I hope Felice is much, much better now (I love the name Felice by the way). It is very sweet of you to agree to play along with the tag. I must admit I had not heard of the Sisterhood of World Bloggers either but I liked the questions set by Tracy and thought it would be fun. Thank you for all your support and kind words about my blog, you always make me smile. xx

marciastrykowski.com said...

Good for you for hosting Thanksgiving in a way that works best for you. Not only did you get to rest up, but sometimes shaking up holiday dates a bit makes it easier on everyone, especially those with more than one invitation. I'm so glad Felice is doing better and I love your china collection--very pretty!

colleen said...

Thank you, Marcia! it sure made the holiday easier on me by postponing it. Next year I will be brave and suggest a whole new way of celebrating...
Felice is pretty well back to normal,now,thank you!
The china is just Grandma's everyday Johnson Bros. "Coaching Scenes"- it was always used on the children's table. She knew better than to let the crowd of cousins use the best china even on holidays! I cannot even remember what her best china looked like- I always loved the flowers and the horses on the "Coaching Scenes".

MarieGray said...

Colleen,
I love the way you handled this. I'll be willing to bet that some of your guests were relieved to have the "day off" as well! Holidays can be a stressful time for all.
Marie

colleen said...

Thank you, Marie! I think beginning next year we will go out for Thanksgiving! One of my newly separated friends went out for a Tandoori feast on Thanksgiving! Sounds good to me!