Rest Area Black Friday

I cried after Thanksgiving.  As a dutiful partner, I spent the day with his family instead of mine.  It was the first Thanksgiving I’d not spent with my family in over a decade.  I missed my family.  I missed our traditions.  I missed everything which made Thanksgiving Thanksgiving.  Spending that day with his family was foreign to me, and I had a really hard time with it.

Not only that, but I had to people for seven hours.  When I finally understood that I am an introvert, I also understood my limitations.  I have about a three hour limit when it comes to spending time with people – any people.  Even my best friends.  After the three hours are up, I turn into a whiney, irrational baby.  I had to pretend like I was a happy, normal person for more than twice my limit.  It was extremely taxing on me.

Mr. C forgot about my time limitations and thought that it had to do with his family.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  I adore his family.  I’m really glad that they’re my in-laws.  They’re loving, accepting people with open minds and open hearts.  I count myself very lucky to be included among their ranks.

Within my three-hour time frame.  I think it would have been a complete success had it not been such a very long day (6 hours of driving in addition to the 7 hours of peopling!)

The next day, I had scheduled time with my Mother to do some Black Friday shopping.  It’s a long drive to her, so I usually stop at the Rest Area to stretch and whatnot.  This pit stop drastically affected me.

As I pulled up and found a parking spot, I looked to either side of me.  Both cars had people inside – people who had slept in their cars through the night at the rest area.  Because that’s what they do.  They didn’t have homes to go to.  The colder parts of the car were crusted in frost.

I felt like such a jackass!  Here I was, literally crying because of my selfish woes.  Not only do I have my own home with a warm, comfy bed, but I have a man who loves me and does anything he can to make me as happy as he can.  In addition to that, I have not one but TWO families who love me and each want me to share Thanksgiving with them.  In warm homes.  With lots of love and support.

As I walked toward the restroom, I worked really hard to not cry for the people who had slept in the dozens of cars around me through the frigid night.  While I was washing my hands, an elderly woman stood at the sink beside me, washing her hands.  It was clear that she was fighting cancer.

So, whiney, jerky me is crying after an evening of love, warmth, comfort, and lots of good food – where my body is perfectly healthy – while others are sleeping in their cars in sub-freezing temperatures and others are fighting cancer.

It really put things into perspective for me.  No, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have my challenges and I don’t have every right to be sad or cry.  But, my rest area stop made me much more thankful for what I have.

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