Friendsgivings seems to me like a uniquely 20-something experience, in which unmarried young adults with no children get together to eat, unsure if they're on the right track since they can't afford to fly home for the holiday.
It was a different time then -- no handheld devices, telephones brought to the table, no viral turkey videos and no uploading photos of pumpkin pie. Not that there's anything wrong with that last one, I thoroughly enjoy looking at pictures of pie.
There is the ultimate hope that turkey actually has that sleeping ingredient in it and it will magically make our kids Close. Their. Freaking. Eyes.
I love the idea of Thanksgiving -- a day to remind us to give thanks, and I wish it were celebrated right across the world. Our lives would be transformed if we got into the habit of giving thanks, not just on one day of the year, but every day.
As an adult, I am now able to understand and process a lot of which wasn't explained to me as a child. My mother makes me smile. She's the strongest woman I know.
My personal life is healthy and challenging. I am learning to embrace quality over quantity in all of my relationships. I recycle (most of the time). I will forever believe that Michael Keaton is the best Batman. My 25th birthday is in a few weeks. I am divorced.
Whether you forget to have a tiny screwdriver on hand or you forget to pick up the batteries at the store, make sure you have the miscellaneous odds and ends you need before this holiday gets started.
Life is precious, and it is also short. We need to overpower the noise of Black Friday door-buster ads with the sound of our own gratitude, towards things as little as owning a killer pair of pumps, to priceless treasures, like our children or parents.
Chances are, each of us has one or more friends or family members who was adopted or who has adopted. So it's important we all know how to talk about adoption in a respectful way, and avoid accidentally offending our friends and family.
As an immigrant, I appreciated the importance of the Thanksgiving holiday as a uniquely American tradition. Our extended family adapted to the fervor that came with preparations for this holiday.
For the last three years, I have completely forgotten about Gotcha Day -- I saw no need to bring it up, or to make anything out of it. I feel as if, everyday, my parents recognize Gotcha Day; so why celebrate it on just one particular day of the year?
As I sat waiting to be called in I thought about Thanksgiving, its origins and about how lucky I am. My life like most has challenges, yet I pride myself on virtually never complaining. Then I had an aha moment.
Thanksgiving. You can't avoid it. It's coming. Tomorrow. And whether you love it or hate it, whether it brings together people you love or people you loathe, there's one thing that rings true for all. It could possibly be the culmination of an entire year's worth of chaos at one dinner table.
Clink your glass often in praise of others. Toast the chefs and hosts, generously complimenting them, even if the turkey is a bit dry and the green beans are overcooked. You will enjoy the food and company more if you prime yourself for appreciative thoughts by voicing them loudly.
Sure, there is no shortage of people out there ready to critique our every move. But there are also many many bystanders who really do empathize when things get hard for us parents.
Stuttering was always considered a flaw. It was something that I had to live with for the rest of my life. Something that could be fixed -- maybe -- but would take years of effort. Everyone stutters at some point or another but for me it happened more often than I'd like and at times there was nothing I could do to fix it.