I'm not all that fond of talking about how thankful I am for stuff, because so often it sounds like a bunch of mealy-mouthed platitudes. And yeah, I'm happy to have a job I love (IN THIS ECONOMY -- that's for New Kid), health, yada, yada, yada. But those are just sort of normal things, aren't they?
But here's a thing. I'm single and my family are all thousands of miles away. When LDW and I were together, he was a couple of thousand miles in the opposite direction. Holidays have always felt a bit iffy and worrisome. Not Christmas so much -- I'm actually a bit better at ignoring Christmas, which I really only like when there are kids and lots of family, and then I sort of hate the stress that can come about with lots of family :-)
No, really, I used to have to start my mornings with my best friend and her mom, with whom I lived for a time, then off to my grandparents for dad-family breakfast, then off to the maternal family (two at one point, as my grandparents were divorced), then to the dad house for dinner in the afternoon, then back to the friend house for dessert and carol-singing. That's a lot of running around. Christmas with my married family, or my mom and sisters, can also be a joy -- there is always a tantrum and always some sort of tension because someone will inevitably be late, or stressed at having to be the one who had to drive, or whatever.
So yeah, holidays alone are not the worst thing in the world.
One of the cool things about SLAC is that holidays alone don't necessarily exist. Part of it is that I do have family of sorts about three hours away. So I've had two Thanksgivings with them. And one in fabulous European Capital with LDW (I'm still sorry about that roast ...). And this year, I'm staying in town and eating with friends. Feeling a little guilty about not going to the family, especially because we need to see each other, but happy to hang out with some of my favorite colleagues. The best thing of all of this is that I don't feel like I'm included out of charity. That's a nice feeling.
This year, I can't get back to the left coast till New Year's. The fabulous European Capital option no longer exists. But I have bunches of friends who will be around for the holiday season, and I have tons of people to visit on all the days before and after Christmas itself. For the first time, I haven't had time to think about what to do during break besides working, because I know I have stuff to do. Same for Spring Break. I should stay home and work, but there may be a chance of a camping trip in an as-yet undecided locale.
Naturally, my life decides to have a social aspect exactly when I should be working harder and producing more. Life's funny that way. I expect there's an appropriate Terry Pratchett quote, but I can't be arsed to look it up. I've got baking, laundry, and marking to do tomorrow before I go and eat turkey.