Well, I made it through my first Thanksgiving without my mom â€” obviously not without a gazillion tears, but I made it.
What helped: a combination of old traditions + new. It would be foolish to pretend all is the same. I took care of my own soul, and I spent time with family.
I spent Wednesday night with friends seeing the Macyâ€™s parade balloons being blown up, with a stop in Columbus Circle on my way there to see one of my fave Christmas spots in the city. Iâ€™ve always loved the view from the second floor of the Time Warner Center, but especially around Christmas. Last year, it took on a new meaning as I found myself drawn there, as I made my way, feeling lost, back downtown to my apartment after my mom had a major surgery at Columbia. This view, these stars, bring me a certain amount of peace for reasons I canâ€™t explain.
Then, so long as I was in the city on Thanksgiving morning, I went to Orangetheory for an ass-kicking. Iâ€™d woken up sad and anxious, and to distract myself from that for an hour was priceless.
My BFF Meg wasnâ€™t going home for Thanksgiving, so she came to NJ with me for Thanksgiving, and I couldnâ€™t have scripted better how helpful it was to have a friend who feels like family with me on this first holiday. I certainly snuck away for a few cry breaks at dinner, and she knew exactly when to come find me and offer her shoulder to cry on. We did Thanksgiving at a different cousin than usual, and having Meg and being at a different place than usual made a tough day just slightly easier.
And also snuggles from my baby cousin, Lexi <3 (I was the â€œbabyâ€ until I was about 28 when she was bornâ€¦and I now understand how â€œthe babyâ€ is a phrase that sticks around for a long timeâ€¦)
Just when Iâ€™d pulled myself togetherâ€¦I heard the notes of a Christmas song came on, and it signaling the beginning of the Christmas season reduced me to sobbing again as the reality of facing my momâ€™s favorite season without her dawned on me.
I woke up this morning and came down to an empty family room, rather than her sitting there perusing Christmas catalogs and me snuggled up next to her with my coffee online shopping and writing this post. It was another heartbreaking moment during what will be an incredibly bittersweet holiday season.
Butâ€¦this season will go on whether Iâ€™m sad or not, so Iâ€™m trying my best to embrace as much as I can and give myself grace where I can, as well.
Thereâ€™s no way to transition gracefully from talking about grief to talking about Black Friday salesâ€¦so, um, hereâ€™s some sales Iâ€™ve seen? At the very end are some Beautycounter sales going on with the brand, and a special one Iâ€™m running myself.
Black Friday Sales
New Balance: 20% off + free shipping
Epson:Â Iâ€™m excited to be working with Epson for the next few months â€” so more to come on them! But the ProSense 307 watch of theirs is 30% off. Iâ€™m really excited that it has a heart rate monitor AND is multi-sport, so I can wear it swimming.
Athleta: 20% off with code BLISS
lululemon:Â no sale for Black Friday, but lots of great deals in their We Made Too Much
Macyâ€™s: 20% off with code HURRY
Nordstrom: an extra 20% off sale items
Amazon:Â some pretty awesome deals like this Instant Pot for ~40% off. (Speaking of: do you think Instant Pots are worth it?)
Kate Spade:Â 30% off everything with code GIVEJOY
Saks:Â up to 60% off
Zappos:Â up to 30% off certain styles
Beautycounter:Â I love working with this brand so much, and really believe in the mission of cleaner skin care. Today theyâ€™re offering a spa set of facial mask, mist and oil â€” an $88 value â€” for free with a $250 purchase. This Lash Power CoupleÂ of mascara + eye makeup remover for $20 is an awesome deal too!
AND! If you spend more than $75 (and fwd me your receipt at firstname.lastname@example.org), Iâ€™ll throw in one of these $24-value lip conditioners. Trust me, your lips need it this winter! (I just re-ordered more.)
So tell me â€” what do you have your eye on this Black Friday?