Can you believe it’s almost Thanksgiving? I feel like there should be more of a chill in the air and I keep looking for a pile of leaves to jump in! We all know the odds of me finding a pile of leaves in the Valley of the Sun are about the same as me winning the lottery, but one can wish.
Truthfully, I love fall, but it also stresses me out. I love the smell of cinnamon and baking spices. I love that the days get a little shorter. I love the memories of childhood Thanksgiving gatherings when I spent all day running around with my cousins and then stuffed myself on turkey and ham. I love the closure of fall. It’s a time of slowing down as nature gets ready to rest for the winter.
And that's part of why fall stresses me out. I want to sit in front of a fireplace with some spiced tea, but my brain keeps telling me that time is running out. There is a constant loop of all the cooking, crafting, baking, shopping, decorating, wrapping, and activities that have to be done. And then there is the stress of not meeting all the goals I set for myself for the year. It freaks me out that I still have 172 “must get done in 2021” items on my list. And trying to do all these things at once adds additional stress until I feel so overwhelmed that I want to climb under a blanket and hide until February.
So, to combat these feelings, I decided to make Thanksgiving resolutions. Why wait until the new year when I need to straighten myself out right now? I have resolved that I am not going to sweat the small stuff. I don’t have to make a gourmet meal to please my loved ones. I can skip a holiday party or two if needed. It’s OK to send a card instead of a newsy letter. The world will not end if I buy a bow instead of tieing it myself. And finally, maybe that list of 172 items is not so important after all.
Because really, what does it hurt if I don’t have my new calendar set up before January 1? And will organizing my closet really make up for time spent away from loved ones? In the long run, these things are only important to me. So, this year I plan to focus on what is IMPORTANT. These are the things that affect the grand scheme of life.
You know, laughing with family. Stopping to pet your dog. Really listening when someone talks to you. Offering a hug to someone. Helping a neighbor in need. Connecting with others in a meaningful way. These are the ingredients for a satisfying life.
So, I am dropping the self-imposed deadlines and the baseboards can stay a little dusty. The list can wait. I am going to prop my feet up, relax, and enjoy this lovely time of the year.
Happy Thanksgiving and blessed be.