I spent weeks preparing for the big feast-- the menu, the guest list, the diet survival strategies. I devoted four days to cooking and cleaning, which cost me 16 hours of earned time and an entire weekend, turned my hands into raw hamburger, and forced me to pay my 15-year-old daughter $5 to walk on my back. Before the Vivaldi CD was finished, the diners were. Thirty minutes of eating and three hours of dishes, it is all over. I have a fridge full of leftovers, four gallons of turkey stock on the stove, and a breakfast bar still lined with half empty liters of diet soda. Also there’s a squash gratin that never made it out of the oven on the front porch. And I am still googling low fat turkey rice casserole recipes.
Moving on is hard, not because I was that bad. It's hard to over eat when you host the holiday. I didn't even have a chair to sit on. I missed the first soup course because I was hauling an office chair up from the basement. It was pumpkin squash soup. There’s a void like I just graduated from college. It’s a bubble that seals you in. It is like I am still in a daze from the all night finals push when, all the sudden, I have to unplug my dorm fridge. What’s next? I planned my table linens and guest towels and candle scents, but not what to do after it was all over.
Thanksgiving was a great cover story. It was the reason for cleaning instead of exercising, for hitting the liquor store before the produce section, and for making sure my husband finished painting the shutters.
With it all behind me, what lies ahead? I’m hours away from a new program, which provides yet another fresh start. I am weeks away from a new year, which can put an end to multiple setbacks and obstacles. Work is coming to a new era as a result of recent turnover.
I know the answer to that “what’s next” feeling. Next it is time for me to create a healthier me by reducing stress, ending emotional eating, and making exercise my healthy escape. The time has come. My time has come. Wanna join me on this journey?