Thanksgiving is not only my favorite holiday – a holiday devoted solely to food and family and watching football in sweatpants – but also my favorite holiday break

While so much of winter break gets consumed by various obligations and the pressure to see all the people and buy all the things and go all the places, Thanksgiving break is usually pretty chill. 

You get the Wednesday before to cook, which is fun; the Thursday to cook more and then binge-eat, which is fun; and then the Friday to do nothing (unless you’re a crazy person who goes to Walmart at 5 a.m.), and doing nothing is the most fun of all. Then you still get a whole weekend after that!

This year, though, it’s slightly different for me. My older daughter has four 8-hour days of driver’s ed, so I’m up early to get her to those, and my dad was recently discharged from his nursing rehab facility, so I’m up late to make sure he gets his evening dose of medication and is tucked in for the night. I’m also interviewing various care-giving services and ensuring his fridge is stocked and taking his frantic phone calls where he accuses me of throwing away his phone charger, even though I left it plugged in next to his bed. 

This stage of life, as I’ve said before, is full of pressures from both sides. I have two daughters who, although they are 10 and 15, still depend on me for a million different things – clean clothes, packed lunches, rides all over town (the angst I feel about my older one learning to drive is offset by the freedom I imagine when I no longer have to be the one driving). And I have an 84-year-old father who, fairly suddenly, is also depending on me for a million different things – prescription refills, groceries, rides all over town. 

Somewhere in there, I need to try to be a supportive wife, a competent employee, a caring friend. And I need to remember to take care of myself, too, which isn’t always easy to do. 

It’s a lot. It’s definitely a lot.

But, even though this break is maybe not as restful as ones I’ve enjoyed previously, I know I will feel exactly the same way on Thanksgiving as I do every year. 

Grateful. Incredibly, immeasurably, overwhelmingly grateful. 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!