Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Telling the Truth Tuesday - How I really feel about the holidays

Eeeeeew. Holidays growing up weren't much fun. Neither of my parents cooked, so we always went to either my grandmother's house or my Aunt Charlotte, both of whom were phenomenal cooks. But our family didn't get along very well, so there were fights, great silences, and tension. Thankfully, my two cousins and I got along well and we learned to amuse ourselves playing dominoes, building houses with decks of cards, and playing in the park across the street.

I must have blocked out the holiday times during my first marriage, because I have no memory of either cooking them myself or going anywhere, even though we must have done something. After I lost custody of my son, though, holidays became a nightmare of missing him, feeling like an alien because other people got to be with their families, and being convinced everyone else on the planet was normal.

Friends became my salvation and I learned to create my own holiday experiences. During my time with my gay business partner, holidays became movie dates. Sometimes we'd go see two or three movies in a day, then eat dinner out someplace special.

As I learned to get more comfortable in the kitchen, I would host Thanksgiving for other strays--those who either didn't have family in town or who came from dysfunctional backgrounds like me.

Now, I have a mixture of those things. For the last few years that my Dad was alive and living in New Mexico, it was a family affair with another friend and her mom. Dad is gone, but we still spend the day with my friend. This year, my 36-year-old son is coming. I can't remember the last time we spent Thanskgiving together.

Rather than get caught up in holiday insanity and chaos, I am going to kick back and enjoy the moments and reflect on what the Thanksgiving holiday really means...to be thankful...which, believe me, I am.

I won't be posting Wednesday, Thursday,  or Friday, so

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you,


Cyndi said...

Good for you and great advice for all of us. Have a great time!

Joanne said...

Sounds like a very special holiday for you! I've found the very best holidays are the ones I keep simple, focused, and true. Happy Thanksgiving ... Enjoy!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

How exciting that you will be able to spend the holiday with your son. I've always enjoyed Thanksgiving - my family is good about splitting up the chores so we all have a chance to enjoy the day, the food and each other.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

I believe that simpler is happier. Also when everyone pitches in and the burden of preparations isn't on one person, makes it more enjoyable and relaxing.

Isn't it exciting and wonderful to be able to make new holiday traditions and memories?!

Helen Ginger said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you, too. With your son coming, I'd recommend you cook a little and cheat a little - order a turkey already cooked or buy some pre-made casseroles. Or get everyone involved in making salads, etc. Don't wear yourself out trying to make the perfect dinner in the perfectly clean house, and so on.

Have fun!

Straight From Hel

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thanksgiving is usually just my husband and I, although the past two years we've spent it with our friends & neighbors across the street. It sometimes feels weird to get around a big family!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Karen. I wish you warmth and contentment and joy.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Karen. Enjoy everything, you deserve it.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your son!

I like to pick up some delicious side orders from the Fresh Market. :) It's good to cheat a little and give myself more time to relax! Hope you enjoy your holiday.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Connie Arnold said...

Enjoying the moments and being thankful, that's truly what Thanksgiving is about. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Karen!

alexisgrant said...

Hey Karen,

I admire your honesty. I hope you and your son have a great holiday!

The Old Silly said...

Telling the truth is good for the soul. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, Karen!

Marvin D Wilson