'Tis the Season
'Tis the season to be jolly!
It's funny how the time of the year that is touted as being the most joyful can actually be the most painful for so many. For me Thanksgiving is a bittersweet holiday because four years ago my grandmother passed away in the early morning hours. That was a very interesting day for me as this was also the very first year I was going to be hosting the family dinner at my house and we were getting ready to host 15 family members. Then we got the news two days in advance that my immediate family would not be there as my grandmother had taken a turn for the worse. However, I still had 8 people who were counting on me for dinner and as I wasn't able to get a last minute flight I had resolved myself to soldiering through and cooking a great meal!
So as I'm starting to cook I hear the sound of dripping water. I look over to the sink thinking I didn't turn it all the way off, but it isn't running. I can still hear the sound. I started looking around to figure out where it is coming from and I quickly realize that today is going to be a little hectic. As I turn, I can see that there is water now pouring from our light fixture directly onto our brand new hardwood dining room table. I run to turn off the light and start yelling for my husband to come help figure out what is going on with this water. This is when the humor ensued. The response to my cry of "help, there is water coming from the light fixture!" was a very grumpy, "I KNOW!!!!!". Immediately I start scrambling around the kitchen looking for any available pots (that don't currently have food in them) and at this point my options were limited. After finding one to do the job I run and get some towels as my husband comes running down the stairs to go turn off the main water supply. In passing I ask "what happened" and was rewarded with "apparently I can't use the toilets in this house". To my dismay I realize, this was not just a simple burst pipe...this was in fact poo water raining down on the location where in just 5 short hours I would be hosting my very first Thanksgiving dinner. I could not stop laughing. Thankfully my husband was able to get the toilet unclogged and water was no longer pouring from my ceiling and we were both in an uncontrollable state of laughter because of how crazy the morning had been. In less than a few hours we went from a devastating phone call to poo water light fixture.
Once the laughter subsided, my husband went about cleaning up the table area, washing the table cloth, emptying water from the light fixture, and taping off the light switch. Meanwhile I went back to cooking to ensure we could eat on time. As the hours of the day ticked away, everyone started to arrive, the sun started to set, and then it was time for dinner. The problem was that we now had to eat by candle light. As the food was set and the candles were lit, the ambiance of the room was perfect. It was a little difficult to see everyone's face, but we were together and laughing about how the day in our home had unfolded. Despite the pain of the morning, there was still joy.
Looking back on that day is always bittersweet. I try to focus on the joyfully funny parts of the day and remember all of the fun and love I had with my grandma while I was growing. This year we did not host and since I wasn't cooking I decided to spend my morning giving back by volunteering at the CHA shelter. As my alarm went off that morning, I was seriously kicking myself for having signed up because that meant I did not get to sleep a bit longer. However, when my shift ended at 11am, I couldn't have been happier. The cats I spent the morning with were so sweet and just wanted to be loved...my problem that morning was that I wanted to take them all home. Spending my morning giving back, made me feel content in a way that is hard to describe. I felt like my small contribution was in some way helping on a larger scale. I felt like I was making a positive impact, even if it was a small one.
Consider giving to or following the shelter. CHA Animal Shelter is on Facebook and here is a link to their website CHA Animal Shelter.
Remember, this is the time of year to be a little better. Don't let that just be for the next few weeks, try and make one change now that you would like to carry throughout the next year. For me I'm making a commitment now to plan out and prepare my meals for the week on Saturday/Sunday so that I am more conscious of what I'm eating. We shall see how it goes!