I just spent most of the last three days cleaning my apartment. Got everything sorted out, finally, before I sat down to write this post following my post-cleaning shower (I tend to break out pretty bad if I don’t shower right away after doing all the vacuuming and similar dust-disturbing chores). My apartment is clean, tomorrow is a holiday, and I have zero time-sensitive obligations. I’m on my own for Thanksgiving this year, but that’s fine. I’ve had practice the past few and this means I can eat whenever I want, don’t have to get out of my pajamas, and can mix up the mashed potatoes with a bunch of little extras just the way I liked it. It also means I’m going to have a boatload of turkey since I bought a turkey breast (bone-in) and then a frozen boneless turkey breast as a backup in case I mess up the bone-in one. I usually do ham because it’s easier and doesn’t require the delicate finagling that a whole turkey demands, but I figured I’d just do a more simple version of turkey this year.
I’m looking forward to waking up, brewing some coffee using my delightful Awesome Coffee beans, eating a couple donuts I bought just for the occasion while I cook up a larger breakfast, eating all that while watching Over The Garden Wall or something, and then moving on from there to the main attraction whenever I feel ready. I’m keeping things simple this year, a veggie, a veggie with bacon, mashed potatoes with fixings, and turkey. I enjoy gravy, but not enough to bother with making it when I’m cooking by myself. I’ve also got biscuits if I want them, pie for after, and pistachios for filling in the corners. A delightful, tasty spread. The only problem I foresee is running out of containers to keep it all in since I made stew last weekend and still have leftovers.
I feel inclined to say it’s difficult being alone over the holidays, but that’s really not true. I’ve never really enjoyed them, aside from the food aspect, and that was never really worth putting up with the more difficult members of my family. Only reason I ever went back to my parents’ house for the holidays after I left for college was because I was expected to. It would have become an immediate problem if I hadn’t visited. Even cutting my trips short became a problem, the years I couldn’t stand to be there as long as I had originally planned. I didn’t visit for Thanksgiving in my senior year of college, instead I opted to spend it with my friends and their housemates (a bunch of largely international students with a few US-born friends like myself invited along for the company), and my parents were upset about it in the way they got when I’d do something they didn’t like but couldn’t stop me from doing. Sour but silent.
Now I get to do whatever I want. I’d love to have a group of friends and found-family to mark the holiday with, but most people I know are on good terms with their family. And my siblings are far enough away that it’s an event to show up for the holidays, plus one of them lives with our parents still so they can’t exactly dip out on the family celebration without drawing the same attitude I used to get if I wasn’t enough for the holiday and a few days around it. It’s just difficult to schedule things around the holidays because almost everyone is busy with their family. At least everyone openly dreads the holidays at this time of the year. Much better to deal with difficult schedules for all my tabletop games than everything all over the internet telling me I’m a bad person for not loving my mother despite her flaws or taking whatever tiny emotional connection my father offers because he worked so hard to provide for us or whatever. I really hate that kind of stuff around Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Tomorrow, while things are baking or boiling or frying or whatever else, I’ll be playing some Pokémon or God of War. Maybe switching between the two depending on how much time and attention I’ve got to spare. I’ll probably text a few friends to let them know I’m thankful they’re a part of my life. Also gonna eat a lot of food and enjoy being cozy in my apartment because I’ve figured out the optimal mixture of oven, wall heater, and moveable space heater to keep my apartment super warm and toasty all day while I sip carbonated cider or grape juice (I don’t drink alcohol since it tends to make my depression worse for about three weeks afterwards) with the occasional mulled cider when I’m feeling cozy. It’s gonna be a good time. Maybe I’ll even get the turkey perfect on the first try and get to enjoy all my food at the same time rather than spaced out throughout the day because I didn’t do my preparations in the right order (last year was a learning experience).
Regardless, I’m looking forward to it. Feels nice to be anticipating a chance to relax and unwind rather than dreading whatever work I’ve got to do around my apartment or whatever projects I feel like I ought to be doing instead. Which, you know, was the point of exhausting myself a bit to get it all done in the first three days. Now the fun can begin!