You’ve probably already read hundreds of posts with lists of things people are thankful for. You’ve smiled, shook your head in agreement, and maybe even sighed.
Then you throw in all the foodie blogs and Pinterest pins. Of course, each one is displaying and encouraging ridiculously complicated recipes for your holiday meal. Certainly, these Thanksgiving delicacies are laid out on picturesque tables with cute decorations.
By this point, you are a little sick of all this sweetness.
Come on. Admit it.
Look, I like Thanksgiving. Love it actually. It’s my favorite American Holiday. I’ve written that post.
So this year, I’ve compiled five things that appear on no one else’s list of gratitude.
Tick, tick, tick. I am a slave to the clock. I call it productivity. I say I am proud and feel accomplished when I get things done. And I am. Yet, I am still a slave to the clock.
I’d like to blame my mother. No, I am not in therapy. But it is true, Dr. Freud. My mother is crazed about getting things done and says the same things about her sister and her mother. I would add my brothers to this list as well. So, I guess you could say it runs in my family. I was brought up on this concept.
I wish I could stop it. There are repercussions you know.
I check the clock 50 times a day. When I was younger, I used to stare at the clock. I decided some numbers were happy numbers and some were sad. For example, the five was happy because the bottom curl looked like a smile. Now, I think the five laughs at me as I curse it every morning when it makes me up. But that’s another story.
I walk fast enough to consider entering the speed walking competition in the Olympics. This is not a good date trait. My wife rarely holds my hand. She doesn’t like feeling pulled. She goes for the arm in arm. I think it’s to slow me down.
This Thanksgiving was different. No, I don’t mean the abundant food and houseguests.
I slowed down. And I liked it.
I was speaking to a friend of mine at 11:15 on Sunday morning. He excused himself. He had to get off the phone as he and his family were eating together.
“What are you eating? Breakfast?”
“We are taking it easy today. Everybody slept in.”
“Okay.” I hung up slightly confused.
Why can’t I be that at ease? I would feel guilty that the day is half over, and I have accomplished little.
Well, I thought I had been taking it easy over the weekend. However, my friend’s actions inspired me to slow down more.
It was a struggle. But a worthwhile struggle.
I go back to wondering. Why am I in such a rush? Yes, I know I said it is genetic thing, but there has to be more to it.
I am going to psychoanalyze myself for a moment here. You know that bumper sticker, the one who dies with the most toys wins? I disagree with that completely. I think it is stupid.
No. It’s as if I am trying to prove something. Often the hardest person to prove things to is oneself. If I keep busy, I will accomplish. If I accomplish, I will find fulfillment. Fulfillment – isn’t that what life is about?
I don’t have all the answers. I just know it felt good to slow down. It’s something I need to do more often. In fact, I may eat breakfast at 11:00 next weekend and then go for a stroll with my wife – hand in hand. Okay, we may have to run after the kids, but I am not going to be happy about it. For me, that’s an accomplishment.
My older brother NG, cousin HW, and my father were at the Fern Rock Station in the Olney Section of Philadelphia. It was New Years Day 197-. We were excited.
We had spent hours at the Mummers Parade. The parade is a Philadelphia tradition which began in 1901. The Mummers Parade is an all-day affair featuring different divisions: Comics, Fancies, String Bands, and Fancy Brigades (http://phillymummers.com/). We watched the different divisions shimmy up Broad Street. They wore garish feather costumes, danced wildly, and played outlandish music. I loved it. I loved being there with my family.
And now you know my roots. I am a parade person. I love parades. The Mummers set a high bar. So, I am not interested in just any parade.
BR first attended the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as a 7 month old in an infant carrier. We were living on Central Park West so my wife and I took our young son a few blocks south and watched some of the parade. I loved it. He was indifferent.
Tomorrow morning, BR and I (SJ is invited but seems uninterested in attending) will once again head to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It is our fourth straight year and has become a Thanksgiving tradition.
I love the parade. BR enjoys the trip – the bus, the journey through the tunnel, and the teeming streets of Manhattan – as much as he likes the parade. Yet, to see the excitement on his face as another giant float turns the corner and makes it identity known is priceless.
Add the parade tradition to my list of reasons for Thanksgiving being my favorite American Holiday. I hope one day BR will take his son to a parade and think back on our Thanksgiving trips into Manhattan. I have so much to be thankful for.