It’s more than easy to get caught up in all of the holiday hustle and bustle as it quickly approaches yet again. (Seriously, how is the month almost over?!) It happens literally every year, to every one, and we still act surprised when it does.
I recently finished a two-plus-week cleaning stint of my room (possibly one of the longest), and am still sorting through mountains of laundry, and–bam!–it’s Thanksgiving. There has been grocery shopping and new-recipe-finding and more grocery shopping. The fridges (yes, plural) are packed with pies and pre-prepared goods. The oven has been working overtime. I’ve been frenziedly planning visits to catch up with everyone who is home for the long weekend. And, to be quite honest, I’ve had the Christmas music on since October.
My sister arrived Tuesday evening and leaves early, early Thursday morning for a work trip, so we are having our holiday meal on Wednesday instead. We did the same thing once before, many years ago. Near the end of my soccer-playing-days, my team had qualified for a major national tournament with the best teams in the country. We flew to Texas on Thanksgiving that year, so we had eaten the day before. It didn’t feel that weird to celebrate early because I wasn’t home that Thursday, or the rest of the weekend anyway. This time, I’m excited to celebrate and eat a day early because we’ll have an extra day for leftovers and total relaxation. Plus, I’ll be able to watch the Macy’s parade and the dog show without any interruptions!
Even though my family’s holiday has been moved up by only one day, everything feels especially hectic, and a bit different. (This is my first vegetarian-Thanksgiving and I’m sure it will be both an adjustment for me and an inevitable topic of conversation around the table.) I spent the better part of this evening running up and down the stairs–making trips to the fridge in the garage and folding clothes from the dryer–constantly moving from one thing to the next. In fact, I don’t recall eating a legitimate meal after breakfast because I’ve been so busy.
At one point, I stepped outside, dogs in tow, and realized I needed a moment to relax. Just one moment to breathe.
As soon as I stepped outside, I was met with crisp autumn air that carried a hint of burning wood. I took a few deeps breaths and let the cold fill my lungs. When I looked into the sky, my eyes danced from the twinkling Orion constellation to the glowing full moon, and back again. I felt calm and quiet and perfectly peaceful.
I stayed there, looking into the night and breathing in every drop of autumn air I could manage, until it became too chilly for both me and the dogs. It wasn’t long, but I had just enough time to clear my mind before heading back inside to tackle the rest of my to-do list.
Today is Thanksgiving (for me, at least). Christmas will be right around the corner and, before we know it, we’ll be wondering how to say goodbye to 2015 all together. While you celebrate family, friends, good health, and life during this holiday season, don’t forget to step outside every now and then. The air and the stars will do you a world of good.