Grateful for lessons.
My house is especially quiet on this day after Thanksgiving. This morning all my guests left — 6 people ranging in age from 81 years to 6 months.
I’m not a huge holiday fan. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I dislike the holidays. It’s just that, how do I sum it up? It’s mostly a lot of work and a lot of time spent in one place with a lot of people. Now, I don’t mind work, but anyone who knows me knows that cooking isn’t my favorite thing to do. I’m an obsessive recipe follower. As in, I must follow each measurement and direction precisely. And, I love my family, but I also like being alone. A lot.
I’d made some plans to assure as relaxing a get-together as I could. I planned to order my Thanksgiving dinner via my local market — all cooked and ready to-go. I picked the appropriate size turkey, and a few side dishes last week, then went to place my order. Come to find out I’m not the only one who gets entire holiday meals to-go. They were sold out. (No, I’m not kidding). I had no Plan B (unless you count swearing a lot a plan). But I did have plenty of time to buy the makings myself.
So I got out all my Thanksgiving recipes, made meticulous lists of what I needed to buy and my husband and I tackled the shopping together last weekend. And shop we did. We came home with his car so full that we would not have been able to fit one more thing into it and I assure you that’s not an exaggeration. I’d like to say the car was so full that I intuitively knew that had I bought the parsley and ground sage that was on my list (and let’s face it, kind of both important seasonings for a turkey-day meal) we just wouldn’t have been able to fit them in the car. But we all know that’s not true. Truth is, I just forgot to buy them. I had the list and they were on it. But without a pen to carefully cross off everything in my basket, I had to rely on skimming and re-skimming the list and I apparently skimmed too quickly over those things. I didn’t realize until Thursday morning that I hadn’t bought those two items, and my family can (and will gladly) tell you that in the past that would have sent me into a tizzy.
But this year, I decided, would be different. I wouldn’t stress about the stuff I can’t control. (Technically I could’ve controlled having all the ingredients, but I digress). I was just going to go into the holiday with the intention of enjoying myself and enjoying the process and not sweating the small stuff.
And guess what? I did my best at enjoying the process and in turn, enjoying myself and my family. Was everything perfect? Nope. But it was fun, and it was a whole lot less stressful than I had let it be in the past. Perhaps another lesson I am finally getting the hang of.