Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving

I’ve always kept busy. I like schedules, plans, lists; I enjoy regimenting out my day, even when I complain of being tired and stressing. Staying busy is my way of attempting to control life, I think. It’s my way of keeping the power. I control the calendar, you see — not the other way around. I make all the decisions. I dictate life.

That’s not true, of course. Life has a way of doing what it will and taking you down its own path, regardless of what you thought would happen or planned to happen. And on days like Thanksgiving — days filled with pies, green bean casserole, my extended family and awesome boyfriend — I’m reminded of how fortunate, and thankful, I am for the many things in my life. And that I need to slow down and stop structuring everything. That I can, in fact, relax. (. . . Sometimes!)

On Thanksgiving 2009, I was preparing for my first column to debut in our local newspapers and traipsing over to my grandparents’ home for Turkey Day. This year, we’ll be welcoming everyone to my family’s house for the first time ever. Spencer and his parents, in town from New York, will be joining us, too — and I’m so excited everyone will be together! I’ll be baking today and tomorrow with Ciara, my darling cousin, and my little sister, Kate; we’ll be watching the Thanksgiving Day parade while writing out Christmas cards (want one?), an annual tradition.

When Spencer gets here, I’ll be making goo-goo eyes at him and thinking about how lucky I am to have met someone so wonderful at a time when I wasn’t sure that would be possible. When I was smarting from rejection and hopeful, but wondering if that was foolish. It wasn’t. I am grateful.

I will be with my mom and dad, grandma and grandpa — my aunts, uncles and cousin. We’ll be talking and sharing, and I’ll be taking photos. Exhaustion will probably set in by 6 p.m., but I’ll keep moving — and soaking up every awesome minute.

For my friends in the U.S., here’s hoping this finds you all happy, well and enjoying the holiday with those closest to you! I’ll soon be noshing on pumpkin pie and Southern Maryland stuffed ham (the greatest!), and I hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving.