I usually write a blog post on Thanksgiving as I take stock of my life and the things, big and small, for which I’m grateful. These things are almost always the same: the laughter and antics of my daughters; Donny and our marriage; our families; our health; our friends; a warm and cozy home; this blog and you, my readers; jobs that we like and that pay the bills.
This Thanksgiving, I took time to reflect and give thanks, as always, but instead of doing so as I sat around a dinner table laden with turkey and gravy, I sat on a balcony overlooking the Caribbean, where Stella and Zoë swam and laughed with their cousin and Donny and my brother-in-law, who threw them up in the air again and again.
My older sister and her husband had generously rented a lodge for our whole family for a week on Isla Carnero, Bocas del Toro, Panama. It was a lovely week full of swimming and snorkeling, piña coladas, and lots of laughter. And even though the weather did not cooperate—the dark clouds and rain muted the turquoise water, made boat rides to neighboring islands wet and chilly, and filled our shoes with mud—it was still a wonderful vacation. A real vacation. I did not take my computer. I did not write a blog post. I did not edit or teach or think about the next book. I read. I played in the water. We saw dolphins surfacing in the aptly named Dolphin Bay, and we floated on the choppy water in Crawl Cay, faces to the water, mesmerized by the brilliance of fluorescent fish.
It was a lovely vacation, and like always, I am happy to be home. This morning I caught up on emails, did load after load of laundry, picked up Aguita, who was being taken car of by our wonderful neighbors. Then I went for a long walk with the dog. The freezing Minnesota air and the sun in my face made me feel alive and ready to dive back into my work, but not in that frantic way I was working before our trip. I know that I need to build more self-care into my days—walking, running, swimming. The work will get done, as it always does, even if I slow down.
So today I am grateful for my time away, and I am grateful to be back, more relaxed than I have been in a long time.
I hope you all had a lovely holiday. I would love to hear about the things for which you are grateful.