Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

We all have holidays we enjoy more than others.  I have to confess that Thanksgiving is one of my three favorites in the calendar year.  (The other two are Christmas Eve and Easter). You can't beat a holiday that is about sharing a good meal, expressing gratitude and doesn't involve gifts. What, as they say in Brooklyn, could be bad?

The big challenge for the inexperienced cook seems to be getting a big meal on the table at one time.  I remember a Thanksgiving where the hostess had several dishes and each came to the table at a different temperature.  She offered to nuke our plates if we needed a boost in temperature. She was embarrassed and it was a wee bit awkward.  But it doesn't have to be this way!

When I wrote One Year to an Organized Life I worked with a professional chef to give you all the tips and tricks you'd need to master what I lovingly call 'The Mother of all Dinner Parties.' Once you master this meal, all the others are easy.  If you have a Kindle, why not download One Year and make a plan to enjoy the day yourself! Too often the host and hostess wind up in an exhausted puddle on the floor.  If friends and family offer to help, have assignments ready for them.  You don't have to do it all.  Slavery was outlawed.  Besides people like to contribute and feel more a part of this day.  If you have children, unless they are under five, I think they too need an assignment.  The best way to learn how to be a great host is to start learning the ropes early in life.

If circumstances find you alone this holiday, try and make the best of it.  Sometimes being alone is just what the doctor ordered.  My sweet old male golden retriever was not long for this world two years ago.  I just knew in my heart that would be his last Thanksgiving with me. I asked my host to forgive me and decided at the very last minute I needed to be home with him.  It isn't the food on this day, it's the fellowship.  And my 'little old man' and I had a wonderful holiday together.  He passed away the following February and I was so glad I listened to my heart.

Not alone by choice this year? Why not call around and see if a mission or some other charity needs a volunteer? Being of service fills us up in a way that can't be described.  Perhaps you have a neighbor who is thinking of staying home because he or she couldn't get a dog sitter.  Maybe you and Fido could celebrate together?  Be open to doing something fun, outside the norm and if possible of service.  Don't sit home and feel sorry for yourself. Whether alone or with a large number of people, take time to count your blessings. We humans tend to focus on what we don't have rather than what we do have in our hands and our hearts.  Make that the first order of business this Thanksgiving. 

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June 2009, in China

June 2009, in China
At the Summer Palace outside Beijing

About Me

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I will always be grateful I grew up in Brooklyn, New York.  It was a rich atmosphere that introduced me to different races, creeds and professions.  It seemed that anything was possible if you were willing to work hard to achieve your goals.

I'm a yogi which means that my spiritual path is that of yoga principles that have been handed down for over 5000 years. Yoga is an ancient philosophy based on the Gita, the sutras of Patanjali and yes, the Bible. The postures are a key element as is meditation. We honor all paths.

I got my first dog when I was 6 years old after a full year of begging.  She was a collie and her name was Queenie.  As an adult I've had 2 golden retrievers.  A female named Miss Katie who came into my life when she was 3 months old and an ancient male golden who came to me when he was 15.  I'd like to have a Great Dane next but we'll see what the universe has in store.

I've been organizing clients for over 24 years and writing about it for over ten.