C and I generally spend Thanksgiving with my family. Most of these were in Beaufort or Port Royal, SC, but Mom and Dad moved to Durham, NC in 2018 to be near Sibling Sam. C generally took over the kitchen and we were all happy to have him do that.

Last year, November was about finding out that Mom had both esophageal and liver cancer, and had only months to live. Thanksgiving week was strange, to say the least. Poor Mom couldn’t really eat – she was living on Ensure and cheesecake and ice cream, pretty much. C showed Dad and Sam how to puree and make soups out of pretty much anything.

We went to a local hotel (in a historic old bank) with a fancy restaurant for their Thanksgiving buffet, which was excellent. We found some things for Mom to eat, and the waitress, without prompting, asked if we’d like her to have the kitchen puree something for her, which we did and they did. Afterward, we visited the basement, where they had the original lockboxes.

C took the picture, so this is one of the last pictures of my nuclear family. Nice to see Mom with a smile on her face.

So… I am grateful for my mom, and her extraordinary life. And that her end was relatively painless and she was sanguine about the whole thing.

And for my father and brother, who are now keeping an eye on each other and taking care of each other in these COVID times. And for C, who takes care of me so well.

C and I are doing Thanksgiving here, alone, as advised. Cornish game hens rather than turkeys. I took yesterday off and spent the morning doing the annual ‘polishing the piano’ (which, for some reason, my FB friends all assumed was a euphemism) and the entertainment center. I’d had the piano tuned on Monday, so we’re all set for Christmas music now. I also brought all the Xmas boxes up from storage, so C and I (mostly him) can start decorating on Friday. I think we’re ready for Christmas this year like runners at the start.

We’ll be watching Xmas movies, of course, our standards and all the Hallmarky ones I’ve got cued up. And I’ll load up the Iphone with Xmas music tomorrow.

Media roundup: we finished Season 4 of The Crown (which is excellent, but sad. Good lord, all those people are awful.) and the run of Life in Pieces. Those people are also all awful, but in a comedic way. I was looking forward to trying the Goes Wrong Show. We’d enjoyed the original play very much, and I love this sort of humor in general, which is probably funny to pretty much anyone, but is especially funny to theater people, who have seen pretty much all of the gags happen in real performances unintentionally. We did three episodes. C sat there stone-faced throughout, as I laughed my head off. Oh, well. We can’t all have a sense of humor, can we, dear?

So, I’ve been trying Noom, a weight-loss and wellness program you do through your phone, and I mostly like it. But I’m definitely running up against my own resistance. I don’t particularly want to change my behavior, although I’d be happier if I were less heavy and less creaky.

I think my 2021 project will be to actually pay more attention to myself (OMG, Eric, this blog is total solipsism, how can you be more self-obsessed? yeah, I know, I know). No, I think I tend to think, oh my knees are little achy, oh, I don’t like how fat I look, oh my scalp is itchy, but then I don’t pick that thought up and take it to the next place, which is ‘why’ and ‘what can do about it’? This goes for mental stuff, too. Gee, I’m really down today, gee, I’m really low-energy, gee, I’m really freaked out about this work project, gee, I’m still angry and re-litigating in my head something that happened when I was 14. Why? What can I do about it?

I love a good to-do list, so I think if I just start stopping and take a moment to think about what I’m feeling and what’s going on (is this what they call ‘mindfulness’? Oh, hey, helpful) and where it’s coming from and what I could do about it. And then note it. And every day I could do one little thing on the list. I think half the battle with me is the guilt I feel about not doing something – if I know that I’m doing something, moving forward even a little bit, that’s a lot of psychic energy freed up right there. We’ll see how that goes.

Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Fall, stay safe, everyone!

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