It’s Thanksgiving week. If you’re a woman in business you’re either making your shopping list or making reservations. It’s a lot easier to dial dinner than it is to cook it. Yet, I’m making my shopping list. I’m even looking forward to all the shopping, chopping and stirring. My daughter is coming in from Boston to spend Thanksgiving with us. I’m so excited, as is she. As a business professional, Thanksgiving week is very special for me. Here’s why.
When I first started my business 11 years ago, I worked 7 days a week and mostly 12 plus hours a day. I’m not kidding, either. I used to think that there are 24 hours in a day and it’s my job to fill them with work. Working those extreme hours wore me out. I was exhausted. Even with help in the house, I was dragging. I finally realized that non-stop work is a bad thing. Too much work with too little rest is a nightmare. I lived the nightmare. I finally woke up and realized I was putting myself in the funk. That’s when I made the commitment to myself that I would never work 7 days a week. I don’t. I gave myself permission to rest and I do. That’s what Thanksgiving week means to me. It’s my rest. I’ll do all my business work before the week so I can really take a break, rest and enjoy my family.
I’ve also noticed that having to do work makes it an obligation and contributes to stress. Think about your deadlines. If they were truly open-ended and you could get to the tasks when you wanted to and didn’t “have to” do them, would you enjoy them more? I know I would. Yet, I choose work that requires deadlines and obligations. While I can choose something else, I won’t. I’ve recognized that some stress is necessary for me to appreciate the times that are stress free. Thanksgiving week will be all about no deadlines, no obligations and no have to dos. Being able to do all the cooking with plenty of time to spare is an enormous gift to me. That’s why I’m looking forward to the cooking. It’s something I really don’t do during the work week when having to cook along with meeting work deadlines places extra stress on my time and me.
Then there’s the matter of choice. This week I will be doing everything that I want to do. There’s no sense of obligation for me. Most weeks I have to shop. This week I get to shop. This week I also get to read and cook. I might even include some business reading if that’s what I want to do. I want to cook for my family. My daughter hates eating out. My husband likes what I cook. I love to hear my family rave about my cooking. So that’s why I’ll be cooking.
Thanksgiving is time when a lot of people think of how thankful they are. When you’re a woman in business, there is a lot for which you can be thankful. Then again, there is time to take a break. I truly am thankful for Thanksgiving for what it gives to me. What could it be giving to you?