I’ve had this blog post saved in my folder of ‘drafts’ for months. As a follow up to my last post, ‘The Last Supper,’ I appropriately decided to name this one, ‘The Next Supper.’
But the more I began writing, the more I realized that it deserved to be named, ‘This Supper.’
I waited to share it with you all until Thanksgiving Day Eve because Thanksgiving is arguably one of the most memorable suppers of them all. So, dear readers, read on…
My grandfather was a tremendous cook. From pies to roast turkeys, a meal wasn’t complete unless there were floured handprints on the cherry cabinets and bowls littering the granite countertops.
It was a true spectacle watching him dart around the kitchen in his apron and clang together pots and pans that he would always complain were impossible to store. These pots and pans have since moved with me to three apartments in New York, and I can testify that they are, in fact, impossible to store.
Back in April, I packed up my second apartment — pots, pans, and all. I teased this next blog post with the expectation that ‘the next supper’ would be one of change.
And it has been.
Since moving in with my boyfriend, Pete, this spring, I said goodbye to my last set of grandparents; I lost my job; I had my former apartment lease fall through and paid two Manhattan rents simultaneously; and I witnessed the largest terrorist attack in the city since 9/11 (you can read my letter from lower Manhattan here); and so forth.
Not exactly a honeymoon.
If there ever was an opportune time for me to question what I was doing, the summer of 2017 — when I sat alone in our new apartment looking for a job — was it.
Sure, it made sense to feel defeated, but I put on a good face — not because I had to, but because it felt natural. I was now living with someone who came home from work each day and opened the door to our new apartment with a smile and a hug. I would make dinner and we’d talk about our day.
Slowly, as days passed, and pieces slowly began to fall back into place (I found a new job and I got out of my old apartment lease), it was a kind reminder to slow down. My New Year’s resolution of 2017 was to be more present, after all — joke was on me?
But yes, you heard me correctly: relish the mess and the chaos of it all. Like my grandfather’s floured handprints that I’d chase around with a wet dish towel, the mess of it all passed.
There were things this year that I could control — my inbox of cover letters; my running route on the Hudson; the dinners I cooked — and then there were things I couldn’t control — the crooked red tape of New York City’s rental market; my grandparents aging; terrorist attacks; and so forth.
Even though my world this year has felt more or less like my grandfather’s kitchen before Thanksgiving — a complete mess — I know it’s not permanent. The mess of it all will pass. And I knew I was in good company.
Remember, especially on Thanksgiving, the dishes will get done. The kitchen will be cleaned. And most importantly, remind yourself often that no one even remembers the mess of it all anyway. They will remember the carved turkey, the special bottle of wine, the stories told, and the company kept.
The point is simply this — since it’s Thanksgiving Day Eve — be grateful for this supper, not the last one, or the next one. Be present.
And set your table with the right people. I’m grateful that Pete has a seat at mine.