Day after Thanksgiving

It’s 6:24 am and the house is waking up. Yesterday was Thanksgiving, with all the required items – too much food, wonderful family time, much laughter and endless gratitude (even if we never went around the table and said what we were thankful for.)

Everyone’s leaving today. We started this, I suppose – when we travel to Vermont for Thanksgiving, along the overwhelmingly busy northern roads, we make a week of it, coming home the day after Thanksgiving.

Until I was the one being left, I didn’t realize how un-fun that is. The buildup to the holiday takes much time and energy, and it’s only when the food is all eaten and cleaned up can you really relax.

There is some angst in traveling, I know. I just wish my parents and my mother-in-law weren’t headed off today.

I’ll try to focus on being thankful that they were able to be here with us at all.

Happy Thanksgiving, badasses!



I wake up this morning, in a warm house, with family sleeping upstairs and in the guest room next to me. My coffee is fragrant and hot. The dogs have been out, come in for their biscuits, wagged tails, and curled up on the couch with grunts.

My son, 14, is still young enough to want to go all out decorating the house for Halloween; zombie heads and gravestones mingle with swinging grim reapers by the front door.

My routine this morning has been disrupted by our guest, whose sleeping quarters are too close to my usual workout space for me to feel comfortable getting up and sweaty at 5. At least that was my excuse, when I reset my alarm for 6:30 and rolled back over to sleep – “not fair to wake him up.”

In reality, though, what it gave me was time to be grateful. Grateful for the flexibility in my life that means my workout will still happen. Grateful for the love and warmth and relative ease with which we are able to go through our lives.

Life is good. Hope yours is too.


  • Shaun T inspires me to dig deeper, to count to ten on a leg lift instead of giving up at 5.
  • My children inspire me, sometimes to fits of absolute incredulity and more often to experience moments of clarity and joy.
  • A certain ingredient will inspire a recipe, or send me scurrying to a cookbook to find the best option for dinner that night.
  • A friend’s email or phone call or picture posted on social media can inspire laughter, or tears.
  • A rude driver can inspire me to sink to his/her level, fuming mad and shaking sometimes.


There’s an image floating around Facebook of a woman surrounded by her three kids. All are wearing Superman colors. She is clad in workout clothes (and full makeup), showing off her washboard abs; the kids are cute and smiling and wearing clean clothes (all are under the age of 4. If you have kids, you understand my point.) The caption is “WHAT IS YOUR EXCUSE?”

Her point, if you read the explanation behind it (she’s had such a vitriolic response, plus all the “Go get ‘em” comments, that she had to write an explanation), is that she manages to stay healthy and fit even with three kids – and that having kids is not an excuse to stop taking care of yourself.

Two people have sent this to me outside of Facebook, and countless others have sent me the link within Facebook. I’ve gotten into at least three different discussions about it, although you’d think I’d have learned to leave well enough alone.

I applaud her work. I think it’s great that she’s figured out how to have a body strong enough to parent well AND work out, that she’s managed to organize her time and her priorities to fit it all in. Heck, I know people with no kids who can’t do that.

I do not, however, find this inspiring.

What would be inspiring? What would motivate me to seek her out to ask her advice or want to work out or realize that my reaction to my life is well within my control?

Different words. Some kind of positive statement. Something more along the lines of “You can too!” or “Love them enough to love yourself” or something. “30 minutes a day.” Something other than a guilt trip.

Words and images can be very inspiring. This one makes me think long and hard about the combination of the two.