For the first time in my adult life I will not be flying, driving or otherwise traveling for Thanksgiving. I also will not be hosting Thanksgiving dinner at my house. Instead, I am opting out and taking much needed “alone time.”
My friends’ and family’s reaction has been mixed and entertaining. My Mom, who I would normally spend the holiday with, “doesn’t blame anyone for not wanting to get on a disease infested airplane during the holidays” (my Mom lives in Southern California). My husband wanted me to come to Salem, Oregon with him and his daughters and is afraid I’ll get lonely by myself. One of my friends, who will be out-of-town, first said she thought that hanging out alone and doing what you want sounded fabulous, but yesterday reversed herself, saying “It’s so sad you’ll be alone on Thanksgiving.” Huh? My sister wants me to fly to Healdsburg and hang out with her (there are those planes again). Two of my friends invited me on their anniversary trip to Mexico. I have turned down every one of these invitations with thanks.
The bottom line is, that now that I’m back to working pretty much full-time in an office, instead of my home, my “alone time” has become non-existent. In the morning, I’m rushing to get to work. In the evening, my husband is – more often than not – home before I am and we fall into a making dinner, hanging out and going to sleep routine (not that that’s bad, but . . . ). I’m really looking forward to doing whatever the heck I want for two days and four nights, no guilt, no obligations.
My husband and his daughter took off for Portland last night to see his other daughter perform in a play at the University of Portland, so first up on my agenda: make Cooking Light’s Harvest Minestrone. A rich flavorful winter soup full of things my husband hates like butternut squash and cabbage. I accompanied my soup with homemade bread and Jeffrey Steingarten’s “The Man Who Ate Everything.” It was in a word, heavenly. Naturally, I had to follow-up a good meal with a long hot bath and more of the “The Man Who Ate Everything.” If you haven’t read this yet, get thee to a bookstore! Steingarten’s dry wit had me literally laughing out loud. How many writers can do that while discussing a quest to make the ultimate bread starter (the chef) or subsistence meals?
I have a project I have to finish for work today, but after, I have an hour-long pilates session (thank you Amanda for getting me motivated with the Holiday Booty Buster Challenge). After that? Who knows? I’m planning to act on whatever whim moves me.