It's Thanksgiving week - I see you
It’s Thanksgiving week, and I want you to know I see you.
I see you already worrying about what you’ll do standing in front of those mashed potatoes that make you feel full and warm on the inside. I see you pre-judging yourself for choosing your Grandma’s handmade apple pie. I see you stressing over what outfit you’ll wear to make you look like anything but the girl who wants to go hog wild into the entire pumpkin-decorated feast.
I see you trying – trying so hard to choose “wisely,” to make all the “good choices,” to be there in all the “right” ways with the people you love most. You’re convinced that if you restrict yourself, if you hold back just enough, you’ll make it through this holiday season unscathed.
I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately – about me a lot lately – and here’s the word that keeps bubbling up for us: restriction.
In my mind, if I restrict myself from this food or that drink just often enough, I’ll make it through. My pants may still fit at the end of the week. If I restrict my habits, my celebrating, my attitude, my trips to the holiday table, my opinion, I’ll be safe.
But here’s the thing that gets me, friend …
the way we do one thing is the way we do everything.
This week my babies were sick, and in the exhaustion that is caring for two kids up all night coughing, my heart got really weak. Fear snuck into places I didn’t even know were open, and I saw all the ways I’m holding back on my kiddos. I saw the ways I restrict how I love them because I’m so afraid that loving them too much may eventually hurt. I’m so afraid that something may go terribly wrong, and if I’ve leaned in fully, it may just completely crush me. So I restrict myself to loving them just enough.
It led me to thinking about my marriage. You guys, harvest is. still. going.
Like, where the hell has this man who loves me gone and why is he so grumpy when he shows up? I love him just enough to keep him from breaking my heart right now. I buy him a new chapstick after the dryer eats his, and then I yell at him for leaving socks on the floor – just enough.
Then I made this huge mistake: I looked in the mirror on day 5 of this crazy sleepless week. I saw the weariness of this body. I saw the wrinkles, the extra bulges, the way my t-shirt pushed out more around the midsection than normal. My blood-shot eyes welled up with tears that leaked slowly into the dark pools beneath them as I wondered how this woman got here, and rather than leaning into her with a great big hug, I told her I was sorry and then quickly asked her to clean the disaster that was our bathroom.
Because just enough.
I got thinking about those mashed potatoes. About that pie. About living a life of restriction. What if all that restriction is keeping us from the very best parts of this crazy life? I’m not saying eating a crockpot full of mashed potatoes will make it all heaven, but would it really be so bad to actually eat them and enjoy them?
What if all the joy in the world is nestled into those babies and hugs and mashed potatoes and pie and the full tulle skirt that makes me feel like a princess on a hectic day?
What if it’s not about how little I can give myself and still survive, but rather about how much I’m willing to lean in to the fullness of life so I can thrive?
I got to thinking. Maybe everything I want out of this world is on the other side of just enough and maybe this is just the week to be thankful for the chance to try.
What are you willing to let yourself get full on this week? Let me know on the Facebook page – I’m hanging out there and sending you more than enough love to get it done!
is a writer, mama, farm wife and firm believer in chasing dreams from wherever you are.
Kate left her corporate career in the financial industry to pursue a masters degree in fashion journalism and a career in public relations. After freelancing in fashion PR and working with an east coast agency, she brought her focus back to the communities around her.
Currently navigating a corporate career, writing projects, motherhood and wifing, Kate is learning to grow in the corn fields where she is planted. You can follow her at @bykatejohnson.