A Holiday Redefined

Last year, I escaped Thanksgiving. I left Pennsylvania, flew halfway across the country, and didn't abide by the usual traditions. I didn't see my family, I didn't eat turkey, and I didn't have to sit at a table with an empty seat next to me that would have been for Rick.

Was I afraid of Thanksgiving? Not exactly. But I was definitely afraid of holidays alone. Thanksgiving signified the beginning of a new season...a new time of festivity...and it highlighted quite painfully that I was widowed and attempting to navigate through a bunch of "firsts." 

So at 6 months a widow, I needed an escape...a non-traditional Thanksgiving. I decided on a whim to go on an adventure alone. I leapt out of my comfort zone.

This year, I find myself thrilled to be anticipating the holidays...my heart is full, but it's a fullness that is light, never heavy. I am looking forward to so many things. A world has opened up to me and I feel as though I am constantly and consistently the recipient of everything I've dreamed about...even the things I dreamed about long before Rick died and left me a widow. My world is being filled with fun, laughter, joking, playing, meaningful conversation, appreciated downtime, rewarding busy-ness, love, excitement, wonder, and a million simple pleasures. 

A year or so ago, in my first year of grief, I remember writing my personal ad...a poem of sorts...

30 years young with playful blue eyes;
Single and hard-working;
Will take you by surprise.
Embracing the natural, hair's usually in curls;
Pretty much an open book;
Not like other girls.
Looking for adventure; looking to live -
Never into wasting time;
Always likes to give.
Needs to have coffee, needs touch and affection;
Friends are so important;
Needs laughter and connection.
Writer at heart, with an old soul;
Pretty damn relentless;
Happy with a goal.
One day at a time, will not be outdone;
30 years young with playful blue eyes
Seeking a life of fun.

I'm more thankful this Thanksgiving than any other Thanksgiving I've ever experienced. Life has a funny way of leading you to joy.


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