My First “Real” Thanksgiving in Years

I have not celebrated Thanksgiving for years. Mainly because  I live in England and despite my American heritage, since I don’t live state side, I tend to forget about “turkey day.”

When I was growing up Thanksgiving meant great food and a double celebration. We would go and eat ourselves silly at one grandparents house and then go to the other grandparent‘s house and eat some more.

Each year our family got together with various aunts and uncles and cousins and ate, argued, laughed and lounged for a few hours. But I can honestly say, apart from when I was really young and impressionable, I was never really “thankful” for anything.

This year, though, is different. I have a lot to be thankful for. Even though I’m not living state side, I think I might just drag out some fake meat product and try my hand at making sweet potato pie.

I feel like I’ve been given a huge second chance. Not many people get one of those and I don’t want to waste mine. I just need to figure out how to make the most of it.

I won’t lie, it’s going to take me a while to figure this out. I am still in shock after receiving the news from my surgeon about just how close I really came to meeting the “Big Guy.” And that the resultant surgery that left a tear in my aortic arch is going to put me into a “disabled” category whether I like it or not.

Once I’m done reeling from this information, and the implications of a sudden high surge of blood pressure possibly killing me now or later, I’ll figure out why I was spared.

As you can no doubt tell from my above meanderings, I am still a little freaked out by the whole “tear in my aorta” thing and how my life has changed in the blink of an eye. I have gone from a guy who ran to answer alarm bells and struggled with lads fighting each other or attempting to assault a fellow member of staff to a guy who can barely walk to the Tesco Metro and back.

It is all a little overwhelming and despite all the wonderful folks who’ve been so supportive since this has happened I am still having a bit of a hard time adjusting. It will be worse when I actually start my “return to work” schedule in December. It will be incredibly difficult to watch my friends and colleagues come in and collect their work keys, keys that I can’t use and will probably never get to use again.

The idea of being re-rolled into a job that pays less (a lot less) has also got me freaked out. I won’t, to the best of my knowledge anyway, be eligible for medical retirement. It is notoriously hard to get and you are not allowed to work anywhere else if they decide you are eligible.

But.

Apart from all the “freaking out” and worry about my future employment and my possible financial heartache, I am thankful. Because if I wasn’t here, I would not be able to do or feel all the things that I am currently feeling.

Hell, I’m so thankful  that I might just opt for sacrificing a real bird for Thanksgiving instead of  munching on a meat substitute.

So I’ll close by wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving aka Turkey Day. Enjoy it and appreciate it, because you just never know what’s around that next corner. Be thankful that you don’t.

Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning
Spring cleaning (Photo credit: Bianca Nogrady)

Okay, I know that I’ve kind of missed the spring cleaning season. But not by a lot. Especially if you go by the weather. The calendar may say summer, but the weather says spring. That’s my excuse and I’m not changing it.

I’m not referring to the spring cleaning you do to your house. I talking about spring cleaning my ‘blog’ and it’s dusty contents.

I’ve made it pretty well known that I am a wordpress junkie. When I decided to make the switch from Blogger I moved all my old posts over with me. So there are quite a few that haven’t seen the light of day for a while. So I have been dragging them out and giving them a good old dusting off.

I have also been ‘tarting’ them up a bit. You know, adding a few pictures, putting in some links and giving them some tags and categories. In essence making them look prettier.

I’m sure I can hear some of you grumbling. A few of you muttering under your breath about ‘re-runs’ and serving up the same old crap again. I guess that my only excuse is that like a Thanksgiving turkey, you’ve got to keep serving it till it’s all gone.

If you don’t like that metaphor (or is it an allegory, I’ve always had a tendency to mix the two up) think of it like television. If I skip the idea that I am spring cleaning. I can always say that I’m giving folks another chance to see the original before moving into the fall season.

I guess if I am honest with myself, the reason I’m trotting out the ‘older’ posts, is a (perhaps misplaced) sense of pride. I like  my old posts. And I kind of want the folks who follow me, or just stop by for a quick visit, to see if they like em.

Almost like a proud parent dragging their child out to ‘perform’ for the visiting relatives. “Wow, Mike. that kid of yours can really sing!” (or dance, act, juggle, I’m sure you see where I’m coming from here). If you don’t like that image, replace with, oh I don’t know, a performing dog or cat.

I can also admit something else. Here, come in a little closer, I don’t want everyone to hear this. I’m sometimes a little bit lazy. Did you get that? I don’t want to have to repeat it. I don’t want it to get out too much.

So there you go. If you’re wondering why I’m shoving leftovers in front of you, now you know.

I’m a lazy proud papa who wants to show off his ‘babies.”