As you head into the Thanksgiving holiday please remember to take care of yourself. We often set expectations for holidays that set us up for disappointment. Or we’re sad about who won’t be there. Or we tire ourselves striving for perfection making a meal that gets eaten in 30 minutes.
Thanksgiving is a time when we appreciate all that we already have and already are - a sweet kiss to a child that lives out of town, a laugh shared over a family memory, a favorite smell, the touch of a hand that says, “I’m here and I love you.”
Remember to see people as individuals and not part of a scene you’ve prescribed in your head. Don’t let the holiday go by where you’ve not been fully present for at least one individual precious moment with each and every loved one, including your pet. And sometimes just pause, take a deep breath and say to yourself, “I am grateful to feel good!”
All of our six children will be home and together with their families this Thanksgiving for the first time this year. The excitement has been building as I have been buying flowers for their rooms, stocking toiletries, decorating the house, buying their favorite foods, baking their requested treats, ordering matching dog scarves and washing towels. Last night we got word from the second oldest that the snow storm in Denver may mean that she, her husband and doggie can’t make it. Their first flight today was already canceled. We won’t know if their second flight is canceled until it is supposed to take off at 6:00 pm tonight. If it is, there are no available flights before Thanksgiving.
In the end if they can’t make it, yes, I will be sad that they’re not here. But, as I told her, no distance can take away the love we have for each other this Thanksgiving or any other day of the year. And she will be as much a part of what we celebrate as if she is physically present or not. The feeling doesn’t change because someone is missing. Just the situation. The relationship doesn’t change. Just the circumstance. My father passed away two years ago, and I feel the same way about him. I miss seeing and taking with him every day. I’m sure we’ll have a teary moment missing him and a good chuckle remembering him this weekend. We all knew him well enough to still feel his presence. And for that we are grateful.
Happy Thanksgiving! I’m grateful for you.
P.S. Feel free to forward this email to someone you care about. We are all walking down the same road in life looking for a hand to hold. Sometimes we must be the hand that reaches out.
Mary Lee Gannon, ACC, CAE is an executive coach and 19-year corporate CEO who helps leaders have more effective careers, happier lives and better relationships. www.MaryLeeGannon.com
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