For the past 13 years, I hosted thanksgiving at my then home. It was a lot of fun; the cooking, prepping, anticipation and then my beloved friends. -a little stressful too-This year was different. As I started my journey as an unmarried person, I could no longer host. I had many awesome invitations and felt really happy and honoured, but I chose to spend the evening with Drew, the pup, instead of joining my friends.Thanksgiving this year started out with a very heartwarming experience. My friends invited me along to volunteer at Meals-on-wheels. in San Francisco, to deliver extremely professional and coordinated meals throughout San Francisco for those who are “us” in the future: the elderly, but who have few means and most often live alone and cannot cook for themselves. Although this organization works year round, the efforts to bring them a bit of joy and a turkey meal on this so special Thanksgiving day in America, are quadrupled.
I was in awe seeing how many families and kids volunteered. Then, there was taking the meals to these people, which was humbling. I had mixed feelings of joy, sadness and extreme empathy, which made any problem I might be having, ridiculous. I was so grateful to be of service and be able to compare my life to theirs and think; this could be me, and it can. Take a wrong turn and you end up in dire straits. Luckily this organization is here for them and us.
So, I decided that I needed to stay home after the amazing volunteering experience. Not as alone as the disadvantaged elderly, because I chose it and they didn’t. I needed the time to reflect (and cuddle with Drew). A time to pause and be grateful without the noise. I hope I didn’t offend anyone for turning down their offers which were truly appreciated, but it’s good to pause and think about how good we have it.
And here I am, now, quietly putting my thoughts down, and being very grateful, again, for being so privileged and having so many good friends and family because I am not alone in reality.
Life is good to me.
12 thoughts on “Why I chose to spend Thanksgiving alone.”
Happy thanksgiving to you, dear Laura!
Laurita, un besazo. Eres grande!
A Well Styled Life
Happy Thanksgiving! Meals on wheels is a wonderful organization. My Mom needed their help for a short time and we were all so grateful to know they could help.
They are amazing!!! And a happy lot! If the person wasn’t there we had to report ASAP! They are truly organized and make sure nobody misses a meal or a gift!
I spent Thanksgiving alone, too. I didn’t have any invitations to turn down. The next day, someone said, “you should have said something. Someone always has an open seat.” and I felt a little guilty. My mom offered to fly me home, but it was so pricey and I had a lot of work to finish (I am a composer and have a piece premiering soon). Periodically, these waves of guilt come over me. Here’s the thing, yes, I could have volunteered: I have volunteered for many things in the past during the non-holiday season when they need volunteers most. I have donated lots of time and labor to many different charities. I lived with my parents for 2 years of my adult life and have gone home for Thanksgiving many times in the past. I will be with them for 2 months this winter. I am OK with it. It seems that others seem shocked or upset that I spent it alone. I have a good relationship with my family and see them a lot, I have wonderful friends and I love them all. Anyway, I thought I would share. I was looking for other people’s experiences with Thanksgiving alone (but not lonely) and came across your blog. Thank you!
Thank you for sharing! We are not alone or lonely!
I really love this post! Thank you for sharing your experience and perspective. Keep going and growing. La vida te da sorpresas!
Pingback: The end of hosting Thanksgiving dinner – On Life, Hope y todo lo demás…