Good bye TJs Pumpkin Spice coffee. This is always a sad day. Til next year.
On to the Gingerbread coffee.
I don't usually drink flavored coffee, but I love these two flavored ones. I do a lot of things I don't normally do during the holidays. Like willingly go to a vegan dinner. Friends of M's boyfriend and his wife. Long story. Nothing underhanded. Nice people who all get along.
M's going to meet me at D's to visit for an hour. Then, very important, we'll come back here to eat steak. Protein-loading. Then I'll take my roasted brussel sprouts and head to the carb-laden feast. The one thing I figured I could count on, turkey, no where in sight.
Still, I appreciate the invitation. I'll know a couple of people there, and meet new people. I really am looking forward to it.
I don't know if all these plans will pan out or not. I think so. But even if not, I can always go riding. There's always that. And invite myself to MF's for dinner.
The last, and first year, I was ever alone on Thankgiving was in 2013. That felt really lonely, because my ex and I were still doing Thanksgiving dinner together for the kids. His parents were in town. Rather than cook, we went out to eat.
Our reservation was quite early. Like 12:30. We were done by 2. Then I went home to see what felt like the entire rest of the world having happy Thanksgivings with friends and family. I vowed then, never again.
Although now, a solo Thanksgiving would be okay. I'm in a different place then I was then. But that one was rough.
It's just that I have many happy memories of Thanksgiving with my ex's extended family. So I anticipated a friendly dinner. After all, I'd seen them many times since we separated. But for whatever reason, his parents were so obviously uncomfortable at dinner, I could really feel that half of my family was suddenly just gone. I still felt affection for them, but they couldn't or didn't want to, return it. Awkward.
When I married, my ex's family became mine too. We were together for almost 20 years. That's a lot of family vacations and holidays and visits "just because" during which I built up a relationship. I expected it to always be that way. So when my ex left, he also took half of my family with him. That's a loss that most people don't think about.
I must say, my ex-MIL, is challenging to deal with. Even her kids think so. But the rest of the family is awesome. I'm still in touch with "my" nieces. My ex-SIL's daughters.
So anyway, on that particular Thanksgiving, I felt more alone than I normally would. If I had realized what dinner would be like, I would have made back-up plans. As it was, I did laundry and went on a two and a half hour long walk.
Here's the thing. When I mentioned it to people, they all said "Why didn't you call me? We would have loved to have you." And they meant it too. And I wondered why I hadn't. My ex didn't take my friends away! I didn't think about it because at that time in my life, I was still thinking about what wasn't going "well." My poor mopey self. My inner teen Emo. Good grief.
This year, the kids are with my ex and his family again. And I have plans with old and new friends. But most importantly, I have a new-found sense of belonging and security from within myself that tells me I'll have a great day, no matter what. Let's hope for no stories involving irony tomorrow!