I should be washing dishes.
Let me correct that.
I could be washing dishes.
But this is important and I need to share it.
(and if you haven’t figured out the difference between should and could, let me introduce you to a good therapist!)
Today was not the Thanksgiving I expected.
Seven days ago, I signed divorce papers.
Even if those papers hadn’t been signed on that day, today would have been different than what I imagined this time last year – or for the 22 years before that.
And, you know what?
It was okay.
It was more than okay.
Tonight, with a sink full of dishes – many of them given at our wedding – I feel grateful for gifts I didn’t know I had… even a week ago.
When the table was cleared and our guests had hit the road and my sons had found friends to hang out with, I took my dogs for a gratitude walk by the river. (The puppy was a trooper today. So much temptation. So little attention from me. He gets an “A” – and as much of a walk as the fading light would allow.) I wanted my canine family members to know I appreciated their efforts to sit quietly under the table while we humans navigated too much food and challenging conversation.
And as I walked, I settled into the gratitude I had yet to name, the light I had yet to claim.
When the thing that was the center of the world to you is no longer the center of your world, there is a hole,
a negative space,
And there is grief that goes with the loss. That grief can at times be overwhelming.
But other times, there is for me the realization that the world holds so much more than I have been accustomed to seeing.
The universe offers an abundance I have ignored, rejected, and been blind to. It is mine if my hands will just uncurl and say “Yes!”
Today and for the past few months, those gifts have come crashing in on me like relentless waves of goodness and grace.
The waves look like
Bath salts left on the doorstep
The gift of a massage
A supper club
A loaf of bread
A baseball cap and a tea towel
A wine cup
The turning of a wrench
Baby ballet shoes
Tonight I am thankful that this new space in my soul is overflowing with a world of gifts waiting for me to notice, to give pause, to give thanks.
If your holidays are holding something you didn’t expect – or aren’t holding something or someone you miss, I pray for you the courage to honor what is gone and then the stillness to recognize the openness in the emptiness.
There is more to fill it than you can ever imagine.
Let it come.
Let it wash over you.
Let it settle you and amaze you and humble you.
Let it fill you with Love and Light.