this thanksgiving, excuse yourself. (five minute friday)

Holaaaaa. It’s FMF time! I actually chatted this week. Victory!!

This week’s word:

Hmm. Interesting!

Excuse yourself this Thanksgiving.

Excuse as in this definition of the word:

release (someone) from a duty or requirement.

(I always forget about this definition of the word).

Excuse yourself. Release yourself from the burden of having a perfect, picturesque Thanksgiving.

Release yourself from trying so hard.

Excuse yourself from doing so much for this holiday that you forget to enjoy it. Things will get done, and if they don’t, that’s okay too.

Excuse yourself this Thanksgiving, if you don’t enjoy the family time or it’s too much for you.

Excuse yourself this Thanksgiving if it’s not what you expect it to be, or what you want.


I dread Thanksgiving and other family-gathering holidays. They stress me out so bad. I feel like I have to perform– put on my fake “everything is fine and dandy” face and make small talk about my life (yes, i am 25 years old and live at home while pursuing a writing career, nope still not driving, thanks for asking family!). I have to hear comments about how much food I’m eating or what I’m eating. I have to sit through the ignorant political talk that hurts my brain and breaks my heart. I get bored playing on my phone while my family yells at football on the TV instead of actually being a family.

I’m used to it. Doesn’t mean I like it all that much.

Last year I sat at the table and ate by myself. Not by choice– because I got picked up late and everyone else had already eaten by the time I got there. Family had already left. Dad was too consumed in a football game to take me home, so I sat and played on my phone. It was absolutely miserable.

And this year, my dad won’t even be there.

I hope every year is different. I hope it gets better– and last year, i even tried to make things better with some ideas from my counselor. They failed.

After last year’s Thanksgiving, I’ve learned to release my dreams for this holiday. I’ve also released the trying so hard. Because I can’t change them. And I excuse myself this year from trying.

This year, I’m excusing myself. Excusing myself from the guilt of not enjoying this holiday. Excusing myself from trying to act perfect for my family. Excusing myself from not feeling the feelings of disappointment I know I’ll face when things are the same old next week.

It’s time to excuse yourself this Thanksgiving. If you enjoy this holiday and all that’s in it, awesome. i wish I could say the same. If you don’t: take heart. Give yourself grace. Excuse yourself from the table when it becomes too much. And excuse yourself from the expectations and hopes placed on this day, especially if you know they won’t happen. It’s okay. At least I’m preaching it to myself this year.

(this took longer than 5, whoops)

 

I’m a very thankful person for a lot of things this year, and as always, this community lands at the top. So grateful.

Audrey’s latest. Love the Celtic feel!

 

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9 thoughts on “this thanksgiving, excuse yourself. (five minute friday)

  1. Tara

    We are grateful for you too. I pray that you give yourself grace my friend. Expectations of others often fall short. I pray you have a holiday that doesn’t stress you out but gives you peace. I’m in the 7 spot this week.

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  2. This isn’t the definition I think of either but I’m glad it’s the one you’ve focused on here. This time of year is the perfect time to excuse ourselves from expectations and the other things you’ve listed. Thanks for sharing this side of the prompt, Jordan.

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  3. Jordan, I’m sorry. I wish your family dynamics were different. You are wise to excuse yourself from a situation like what you’ve described. I wish you lived close enough that I could invite you to my place for the holiday.

    Sending you a hug, friend.

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  4. boucherpye

    I love all the feelings you recount here – and how you haven’t given up on your family. Praying for a few shafts of light to shine this year! FMF #23

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  5. Very much applies to something I went through awhile back. Even in our pain or disappointments, it sometimes helps to see that we don’t walk this life alone. Hoping that you see past this disappointment and see the hope of the season instead.

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  6. great post jordan! sad, but true. excusing ourselves from a perfect thanksgiving (or christmas)? great idea! i found your post to be a great challenge. i remember the year my dad died. it was around thanksgiving…very suddenly. we went back home after the funeral and the reality of it all hit me right after christmas! wow! it was miserable.
    it takes time to grieve. but now it is over 40 years since i lost my dad and i must say, i still miss him. the loss isn’t as acute as it was in the early years, but it is still present..

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  7. So many of us struggle with this. We think that the holidays are going to be magical times when all the hurts melt away and everyone gets along so well. We know better, but the thought remains. There’s something truly freeing in accepting what is.

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  8. Pingback: all the things (11.26) – Writeable moments

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