-Wanted to share this old post again with Thanksgiving coming up. I hope you all have a lovely full plate! –
Sometimes I think about phrases that get thrown around a lot, like “I really have a lot on my plate right now”. I’m guilty of using this statement on a regular basis (often when I’m trying to get out of something). Granted, my plate is very full, but still, I do abuse the phrase.
The other day I started wondering why having a full plate was getting such a bad rap. The last time I had a very full plate was Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving dinner is my very favorite meal of the entire year. It’s not that I’m that big on turkey. And, sure, I can have mashed potatoes any day. But when you throw a slice of steaming turkey on my plate with all those side dishes of various shapes and colors and textures and drown the entire plate in gravy, well, you’ve just created my favorite meal.
Then, to top it off, I spend Thanksgiving day (the day of the full plate) surrounded by people who know me and love me and think I’m the best and will compliment my home made pie as if they had never tasted anything so exquisite before. So remind me again, how did the “full plate” become a bad thing?
I know that the holidays can be a difficult time to maneuver. We’re surrounded by smiling Santa’s and bell ringers and sappy commercials reminding us that it’s the hap hap happiest season of all. But not everyone feels the ability to join the joviality. The holidays can remind us of how lonely or overwhelmed or overworked or just generally down we feel. They can make loss or hardship feel intensified. I am wrestling with many of these things, trying to reconcile the fact that I love this time of year and yet feel sad and overwhelmed by it too.
So, this is where I hope to turn the “full plate” around. For myself, I want to view a full plate the way I do on Thanksgiving, as something amazing, wonderful, and comforting. I want to view my plate as being full of all the good things in my life. Rather than the difficulties. My plate is full with spectacular friends, parents who live close by and would do anything for me, kids who are kind and generous and make me laugh til my stomach hurts. My plate is full of people who make sure the oil in my car gets changed, that I have heat in my house, and that the cupboards are never empty.
We all have something to be grateful for. A great partner, a hobby we love, a job that provides, a friend that always knows the right thing to say. This is not to belittle, in any way, the difficulties or struggles you may be facing. Only a reminder that sometimes the only thing in life we have control over is our perspective.
And that can make a huge difference.
So, next time someone tells you how full their plate is, I hope you can smile and think to yourself how wonderfully full yours is too.