Tomorrow is the first time I will be required to work on a major holiday. So far, my impression is that working on a major holiday mostly just means that you feel like that major holiday doesn’t really exist. Thanksgiving doesn’t feel like it’s here. Until about two hours ago, it just felt like another tomorrow was going to be another Thursday on The Unit.
We’re having a pot luck Thanksgiving dinner at work. I signed up to bring cornbread dressing. I signed up for that particular item because, every year, I very much look forward to eating my Mom’s cornbread dressing. She is the most awesome cornbread dressing maker of all time, and it’s a cryin’ shame that I only get to eat that deliciousness once a year. Because I have a mother who makes the best cornbread dressing of all time, I am very particular about other people’s dressings. I couldn’t risk letting someone else be responsible for that item, because they could have messed it up.Therefore, I had no choice but to sign up for the dressing, and hope that I would be able to, with my mother’s help, re-create her Thanksgiving Deliciousness.
So two hours ago, I was wrist deep in cornbread and I had to call my mom to see if I was really supposed to follow the recipe. It didn’t seem right to me — too soupy or something. She assured me that I was doing it right. I just had to do what the recipe said. I could tell she had me on speaker phone, which is not uncommon for my mother; my mom’s hands are never still. The woman is always making something. I asked her what she was doing and she told me that she was just finishing up her dressing, too.
As it turns out, she and my dad are going to spend tomorrow with my brother and his family. As soon as I found that out, it felt like Thanksgiving. And then it struck me. Tomorrow is REALLY Thanksgiving. She and dad are going to go eat turkey and hang out with their oldest son and a handful of grandkids. Tomorrow is a holiday.
I almost felt conflicted about this whole scenario, like I was going to turn all sad because I wasn’t going to be spending the day with my family. But I had a realization that helped me not feel conflicted at all. The fact that I’m working this Thursday means that I am finally working the job that I have known I’ve wanted for years. The job where I knew that I’d have to work some weekend and holiday shifts. The very fact that I’m not celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow with my family is, indeed, a part of the thing that I have to be thankful for this year. I’ve survived nursing school. I passed boards. I got the job that I wanted, and I love it. And as a bonus, I even like the people I work with.
I have so much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving.