Maybe working up a good sweat by cleaning will also help flush this crud out of me - I can hope. Right now, I'm just praying to all things Holy that I have my tastebuds back in working order tomorrow. My nose is so stopped up that I haven't been able to taste anything in more than 24 hours. It's going to really bite the big one if I spend all day preparing a cooking a great meal - only to not be able to taste it. I'm having butter rum pecan pie!!! I'm pretty sure it's a crime against Thanksgiving to not be able to taste such a wonderful treat.
This year, Thanksgiving in my house is going to be much smaller than it used to be. Four years ago, while 8 1/2 months pregnant with Jelly, I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for my parents, my grandparents, my pseudo mother-in-law, my real in-laws, my brother and sister, and my kids. Then slowly over the years, that number has dwindled down. Now I'm down to just having my parents, my brother and my sister.
Some people might take it personal. I can't. I have been so consumed with school the past couple of years - it's all my fault that my extended family isn't going to be here with me.
For the past three years, I only really saw my grandparents on special occasions: birthdays, summer parties, Christmas. This year, I haven't seen them since Christmas. How horrible is that? Now, they just don't want to make the 1 1/2 hour drive here anymore. I can't fault them for that. It's a long drive - and they're getting older. They'd much rather stay in the comfort and warmth of their own home.
Up until this semester, I saw my in-laws almost every day. My mother-in-law would babysit Jelly while I was in school. Then, once I began my internship, it was too much trouble to drive Jelly all the way to their house...I can't say it was too much trouble, it wasn't feasible...there that sounds better. Anywho, since I don't take Jelly over there anymore, I have seen my in-laws about three times since June and today. Again, very embarrassing on my part.
My pseudo mother-in-law is like another mother to me. It's a long story as to why I call her my "pseudo mother-in-law" but that's just what she is. Again, before this semester began, we spent a lot of time together. I haven't seen her once since the fall semester began...not once in three months. SHAMEFUL!!
Reading back over what I've typed, I can't help but swallow a lump that is building in my throat. I know that my family loves me and supports me, and I'm sure they understand why they haven't seen me...but it hurts a lot to know that school has consumed me so much that I haven't even had any contact with the ones I love the most. The time of year when I should be embracing my family. Instead I hold my head down in shame knowing that they won't be here with me because I was too damn busy to contact them and invite them. I was too damn busy to stay in contact, and just make a quick call every now and then to let them know that I haven't abandoned them...but no, I didn't even do that.
All I can do now is learn a valuable lesson from all of this. I have just six months left until I graduate. Six months until the hard work, sleepless nights, and the "I'm too busy right now" attitude is gone. I could just say I'll wait for the time to go buy, and then work on repairing all of the wrong that I've done in regards to my family - but I can't. I have to do something now. I love my family very much. This gives me a new long-term goal to add to my list: I will spend the next year making up to my family for abandoning them. My goal is that this time next year, I will have a house full of the people that mean the most to me - even if I have to drive all the way to them and drag them here kicking and screaming. Next year, I will have a huge Thanksgiving...and I will be truly happy again.
Alright, I guess it's time to get to work cleaning my house.
"Sometimes life takes over, and before you know it - time has passed. There's no way to get back the time that has been lost, but there is time to make up for it now."
Till next time. ;)