I’m not a holiday person. In truth, I never was. Sadly, depression rather than joy begins to set in for me just after Halloween and doesn’t let up until after the new year. My fibromyalgia symptoms are most likely to flare when others begin making celebratory plans.
I attribute my Scrooge-like attitude to memories of past cancellations due to illness or perhaps the fear of more cancellations to come. Comparing my own set of circumstances to the Hallmark Christmases shown on television each year certainly doesn’t help, either.
With even basic psychological knowledge, it would appear that my negative attitude could be responsible for my routinely negative physical and mental condition. However, I don’t believe this to be the case. For too many years, I made holiday plans, cancelled them at the last minute due to illness, then felt really sad to be staying at home. In time, I discovered it was less disappointing and more realistic not to make those plans at all. Instead, I see my busy out-of-town family at less hectic times of the year. Not an ideal scenario, but better than the alternative.
Regardless of the cause, my holiday depression is always accompanied by fatigue. That means that even the slightest attempt to add a little festivity to my home seems like way too much effort. At another time of the year, that activity would be entirely doable. Perhaps I should decorate early — maybe the middle of June?
This year, even with depression and fatigue looming large, I’m determined to eat turkey and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Day. Perhaps I’m trying to spite COVID-19. And so, masked and at the least busy time of day, I set out to find an appropriately-sized turkey for two. Cooking an entire bird and its trimmings or baking a pie from scratch was out of the question, but I felt capable of putting a small turkey breast and a frozen pumpkin pie in the oven, especially as they happen to be among my favorite foods.
What I didn’t anticipate was the difficulty I’d encounter in locating anything smaller than a 16-pound bird. It seems our local markets missed the message about large gatherings being discouraged this year. Leftovers are wonderful, but 16 pounds of turkey would leave enough left over to last me, my husband, and our dog until Christmas!
Despite my fatigue, I would not be deterred. After visiting four local grocers, I finally located a reasonably-sized turkey breast, which is awaiting its fate in my freezer. (Note to reader: Frozen pumpkin pies are widely available.)
With two people and frozen food, our meal won’t be as tasty or as festive as our last few Thanksgiving dinners have been. As a substitute for being with family, we usually treat ourselves to a local hotel’s bountiful buffet. This year, the hotel wisely canceled its holiday event due to COVID-19.
So, we’ll eat our turkey and our pie and give thanks for all our blessings. This year we have much to be thankful for. We’re especially thankful that our families have been untouched by the pandemic that has affected so many others. We’re grateful that we live in an age when frozen food is available for those of us who don’t feel capable of preparing a meal. And, of course, we’ll be thankful we have each other. We might even light a few candles while we eat.
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