Loneliness… In all these years as a fire wife, this hasn’t come up often. Maybe I feel it now because I don’t have little people nipping at my heals from sun up til sun down. Maybe I didn’t have time to think about it before. Maybe I was too busy.  Whatever the reason, this has been a current struggle of mine. Between overtime, recertification classes, union stuff, the regular 24’s and then the part time jobs, I’m alone a lot. A few weeks ago as I was loading my people in my van heading to gymnastics for my oldest and he was getting into his truck, headed for an unexpected overtime, I kissed him and said, “2 ships passing in the night.”

On top of missing my firefighter, there is something about this time of the year that gets to me. I miss my mom terribly on Halloween-not because she made a big deal out of the day-but because every year when I dress them up, I think about how much she would have loved to see them. And then we set those clocks back and it gets cold like all of a sudden so I know I am missing out on some serious vitamin D and that fresh air. Blink- and everyone is getting ready for Thanksgiving. Now I’m not trying to be a downer today, but I have a hard time with Thanksgiving too. This is why I quit Hallmark

I was out walking with my bff the other day and I told her that I wasn’t feeling like myself. I’m tired, I’m lonely, I’m being pulled in every direction by every person in my house who has a need, and I’m not looking forward to Thanksgiving. Why? Because I have picture perfect, Norman Rockwell, Hallmark channel, expectations of what I think this day should be and it’s not. My parents didn’t make a big deal out of holidays. In fact, my dad worked nights so when I was in elementary school we celebrated Thanksgiving on Saturday instead of Thursday, and at a certain point when my parents marriage was headed down the tubes, Thanksgiving just disappeared. Now that I’m married and have these 3 little blessings, I’ve put all these unrealistic expectations on this day because, well, I guess Dr. Phil might say that I feel this way because I missed out on it in my own youth and want it to be “Hallmark” for my kids. It wasn’t until I said all of this out loud that I realized the problem is all in my head. My bff is great, like she is totally awesome. I ❤ U KW!! Who else would look at me and say, “I think you need to take a break from Hallmark movies for a while.” I laughed, but later realized, when I put on a Hallmark movie, that she was right. I’m idolizing these perfect scenes of love and perfection in these movies, these movies that are not real life. And as I’m watching these movies, I’m not craving the situations these people are in, because they all come from some kind of messy background; widowed, divorced, married to a career, afraid of commitment… The list goes on and on, but such is life. We all have our messy stuff that would make great Hallmark storylines, but what about the happily ever after?

So I quit Hallmark! Instead I watched reruns of Friends. I realized, my kids don’t need fancy centerpieces or place cards. They don’t need organized pinterest inspired games and crafts. They don’t even need the food for crying out loud, because they don’t eat it anyway. Every year they fill up on cheese, crackers, and pepperoni then they sit down and eat a roll. Oh well! This year I’m going to look at what my kids get, because they get exactly what they need, time with their family, and that is more than enough. In their minds they already have family traditions; spending time with their cousins, eating Nannies chocolate pudding pie with whipped cream(after their rolls of course), going to our town’s annual bon fire then coming home for string cheese and to watch Charlie Brown. Nothing about it is over the top, but this is what they know, and this is what they love. So this year, I’m going to embrace it with them. I’m going to be present and thankful for each person sitting around our table and I’m going to do my best to let them know that I’m thankful!