giving thanks, here and there

I find myself in a grumpy, ungrateful mood this morning. I woke up elated that I didn’t have to travel on this busiest day of the year: that I don’t have to brave the snow-ice-sleet storm headed our way, that I don’t have to be scanned or patted down or put up with the protestors. I was quite content with our at-home holiday plans.

Except. After a frustrating morning wherein I kept losing my temper at the child every fifteen seconds or so, I did a quick inventory of mind-body-spirit. And it turns out I really did want to go home for Thanksgiving and I am quite cranky today as a result.

(Right now I can actually hear F reading this on his lunch break and rolling his eyes. No, love, I haven’t changed a bit.)

When I gather my wits about me, I realize that my first sentiments of the day are still quite true. I’m happy to be here with F and S; I’m happy to gather with my in-laws and give thanks; I’m happy to trek up to the family cabin (even if it’s buried in snow; even if it’s only for a day).

But holidays always find me torn between here and there. I also want to be with my family and friends, in my childhood house, eating my favorite holiday foods. I want my traditions and my plans to rule the day.

(Oh, marriage and parenting and all good gifts that God gives us to temper our selfishness and widen our hearts.)

In theology-speak, it’s a “both/and.” Very Catholic. I am both here and there, both content and longing. Already and not yet.

So today I am challenging myself to be grateful for things both here and there. The gift of love that draws us in many directions all at once is a Good Thing. I am grateful that I want to be in more than one place this Thanksgiving-tide. It means I belong more place than one.

I even belong to people who find it humorous to stage showdowns between figurines in the Thanksgiving centerpiece.

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