I started out my Thanksgiving sending short texts to the people in my life who are most important to me. Happy Thanksgiving, I wrote to more than a dozen loved ones.
I was going to spend the day alone — kids were off to spend the holiday at their dad’s this year, and my Friendsgiving was canceled due to their sick toddler painting snot all over the furniture — so I knew I’d have to work harder to piece together the puzzle of the day.
The response texts started pouring back in — Happy Thanksgiving to you too! Miss you, wish you were here!
Then came a response text that I wasn’t expecting.
I am not going to go into the specifics, except to say it made the puzzle of the day jump from Hard/Expert difficulty to Harder than Hard/Unlockable Content, and if this had been my first rodeo of solo-ing the holiday and dealing with tumultuous conversations, I probably wouldn’t have had a chance at beating the level.
But as it happened, I got to the other side of the maze, due in no small part to the fact that I’ve been a gamer for awhile now. I’ve seen this challenge before — a lot — and I know which way the shit is blowing. Not to mention, I think it’s some psychic law of the universe that said shit is more likely to happen on a holiday, when expectation-stakes are high and our subconscious lizard brains overcome our better, calmer angels.
It’s a rough time for a lot of folks to navigate, here and there, now and then, due to this and that, yet we’re so fortunate to have that time, compared to the alternative.
So as I go through screenshots and memory reels of the remains of national gratitude day, I find myself being most thankful for life experience, love, patience, and understanding. Every day is a gift.