During Thanksgiving break, I had to work. This is not new to me because I’ve been working in retail for 6 years and these jobs require you to be available during the holidays. However, this did not stop me from feeling a little sad at the thought of not being able to spend quality time with my family during this special time of year. For the first time in my life, we went to another family member’s house for Thanksgiving. I had always wanted to be around more family for Thanksgiving and usually did not get the chance to because they were too far away or because everyone was spending the holiday differently. It was nice to go to someone else’s house and enjoy being with my family. Unfortunately, I had to leave less than an hour later to go to work.
I am a sentimental person who loves to create memories and be around my loved ones. It is already difficult to spend quality time with family when everyone is on a different schedule and has different responsibilities or lives too far away for you to stop by for a quick visit. It was bitter-sweet to have to leave almost right after I arrived just to be at work until the early hours of the morning. I realized that I took this time of year for granted when I was younger. It was always a given that I would be able to stay at home and even when I did, I went to my room to take a nap after overeating. I would read a book by myself or watch TV.
As the guests poured into the store, holding their maps and picking out Christmas gifts, I watched them with envy. I thought of how nice it must be to not have to work on Thanksgiving and be able to spend time with friends and family on the holidays. It made me think of how I rushed to be an adult when I was a child and did not realize what came with adulthood. I did not fully enjoy those moments that I cherish now and assumed they would always be there. I did not really think about having to sacrifice time with my family to fulfill responsibilities like work and school. This was something I had thought about, but I didn’t really feel it. It is strange to think that I did not have this realization until that moment when the store doors opened and I watched people walk in with smiles on their faces and heard the laughter and cheers around me. It was not until that moment that I felt a pang of sadness.
Thanksgiving is not the only time when I’ve had to work and miss out on time with my family. I constantly miss events on weekends or in the summer when I find out at the last minute or need to work and save money. As much as it really irritated me then, I felt that there would always be other events. Thanksgiving really reminded me that I need to make the most of the moments I have with friends and family and continue working hard toward a future when I can take time off during the holidays.