While I understand that America’s food-centric November holiday has taken on more of an Attitude of Gratitude since those early celebrations of “helpful” natives, I am still unable to participate. It has been monetized and force fed to us in too much of a white-washed way (literally) for me to get on board.
For the same reasons that christians’ gala of December 25th has always felt distasteful and false in its modern guise, this Norman Rockwell pressure-fest is extremely uncomfortable. And not just for individuals with eating disorders.
I’ll be at work the next 5 days, behind my desk, paid by the hour. Parts of my family will gather and feast. I am entirely fine with this scenario. As are my loved ones. My shifts for the past two and a half years have been Thursday through Monday, so we roll with it.
When the kids were young, and their father’s schedule overlapped those forced holidays, we just made due, got together on other dates when the majority was available. It’s still how we manage.
What I have been made aware of, as I avoid the smothering onslaught of social media and marketing, is how so many people are having the same experience as I am. It was not a surprise to me when I understood that, no matter the season, the most important factor for our balanced wellbeing, is truly for us to treat ourselves with
We need to take care. Not of others, and not of what others are expecting. But of ourselves. We need to honour the feelings, honour our ancestors. The ones who came before us and who no longer have a voice. The ones who were here first, originally.
The world is continually bombarding us with shoulds. What we can do to avoid this, and the stress it causes, is to say no. We can set boundaries. We can stay home. We can choose to reject any event which does not resonate. We can go for walks. We can do whatever it takes for us to feel okay.
What better way to be give thanks, than by doing what is best? If joining others over a meal is a good fit for you, then bon appetit! But if it’s not, and you don’t gain pleasure from something like that, then don’t. Just so long as all activities (big or small) are performed respectfully. For you, for those who went before us, for the greater good, mindfully.
Also? Buy Nothing Day is Friday. Enjoy!