Monday, October 12, 2009

Contemplating Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving...a weekend that is usually a favourite of mine in the course of the year's activities. I love most things about it: fall and the harvest theme of Thanksgiving; the family get together stuff at someone’s house; the annual turkey dinner at my parents' church; thinking and often journaling about the things that I'm thankful for; enjoying the smells associated with making (and eating!) a turkey dinner; enjoying a church service that's usually a bit different for Thanksgiving Sunday.... It's all round a weekend that I generally enjoy.

The only problem with the picture this year Quite the contrary to feeling thankful today, I've grumpy, in a bad mood; I have been for a few days now. I feel ungrateful even mentioning that I'm in a bad mood because it feels so trite and so, well, un-thankful.

Certainly the most trivial things on my list of things to grouse about is that my house is a mess. Despite having washed my floors this morning and walked around tidying for upwards of an hour, it still looks and feels a bit like a disaster zone around here. It’s a bit depressing. The recent addition of homeschooling has only added to the issue of having a messy and disorganized house in need of a cleaning. And I become increasingly anxious when I think about how I am ever going to manage if/when we bring two more children into the mix. Really, how will I manage with three??

Another aspect of my gloominess has to do with Matthew, I think. He’s been pretty challenging for the past few weeks – in a rather rebellious state and not his usual cheery self. It’s been almost three years since we’ve had to deal with temper tantrums but just this week I had to pull him off the floor at Chapters, where he lay screaming after having just hurled his shoes across the floor. It felt a bit surreal to, once again, be walking tight-lipped through a store on route to the car, with a screaming child tucked under my arm like a football…and it’s harder than it used to be because he’s a 44-pound football now. Poor thing feels so remorseful and sorry after these kinds of hard moments and oh-so-wanting to be forgiven and hugged. It’s been a real struggle of late, and I need a new manual on how to raise this ‘new’ child I’ve been presented with.

I’ve also been struggling a lot lately with feeling overwhelmed…with life in general. It's been a long and hard year in many respects: my brother and his wife separating after over 22 years of marriage started the year off; my sister's cancer diagnosis came close on the heels of that news; then the whole fiasco with Imagine Adoption; and, most recently, we learned that Geoff's employer is merging with another company and moving to Toronto, which means he'll be out of a job on January 31. It's a lot to process in one year and I think it has possibly dampened some feelings of thankfulness; I don't mean to say that I don't have a lot to be thankful for (I do!) but it feels rather tempered by the hard stuff.

At any rate, none of these things justify a spirit that is anything less than thankful. In my head, I know there are so many things to be thankful for…I’m just hoping that my heart catches up and is also touched today by the depth of gratitude that should accompany today’s contemplation.

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