5 Ways Thanksgiving Might Just Save my Life

I almost ran away today. Literally, I was this close to grabbing my bag and booking. No turning back, no slowing down, just straight to Go. Not even collecting the $200 on my way out.

In the lead-up to this year’s Thanksgiving I find myself with a lot of thoughts about the shape my life has taken in the past five months. I suppose the timing is right. We’ve got six weeks left in the year, so I might as well get started with the resolution frenzy for 2013. I’m punctual, which is a good thing.

So, let’s get back to this “shape my life has taken” bit that I just mentioned. I’ve spent lots of time here talking about fear and the desire to take control of my life by going after my goals proactively and without reservations. I spoke affirmatively about the future and fought to choke that fear back to make decisions from a place of strength. I even bought red lipstick! (check that off the ol’ bucket list) But I’m still compelled to bolt. Just walk out the door of my lackluster adult life and cross the threshold into a better one.

This feeling has reached a fever pitch since the hurricane. It may sound trite (in fact, it is trite and that’s because it’s true) but the storm forced me to realize that life is just way too short to be spending it dreaming up an elaborate escape plan on a nearly daily basis. So what of it then? What do I do?

I wrote this down last night on my whiteboard:

Because to put it simply, these four words are the point. Don’t over-analyze here (although I’m desperate to do that because I always do that). Stop procrastinating and live the life you want to live.

In an effort to take my own advice, I’m applying this same logic to my Thanksgiving holiday. I stress. A lot. I’m very ‘type A’ and hyper organized to the point of obnoxious when it comes to projects, especially cooking. And I don’t like to share my space. If I’m cooking, stay out of the kitchen. My mom gets the only pass. Just saying.

That’s old Maribel. Here’s what I’m going to try and do to break free of this rigid (my root chakra!) persona and let loose this holiday for the sake of my sanity and my poor family’s sanity. Taking a page out of my blogger friend Ilene’s recent post “15 Things I’ve Learned about the Impossible” after her Philly marathon run, I’m going to list 5 things I must do this Thanksgiving:

  1. Let my family in the kitchen. It’s simple, but so huge. The whole point of the holiday is to share it with my loved ones so why not start with the hearth, and that’s the kitchen. You’re all welcome! Just don’t spill anything.
  2. Don’t freak out about the bread or the butter. Or the cake. Just because I’m trying to stay paleo doesn’t mean that everyone else is too. Or that I should either on Thanksgiving. Take a chill pill for just one day and get back to it on Friday.
  3. Openly share what I’m thankful for with my family. This may sound odd but we don’t actually go around the table and say what we’re thankful for after the prayer. I think this is tradition for most families, but we just sort of skip that part and go straight to eating. This year I want my family to hear from me how much I love and appreciate them because they don’t hear it enough and we don’t say it enough.
  4. Spend some time this weekend and the months ahead with others in need. I’ve made a commitment to help at a soup kitchen this Sunday and I’ll also be partaking in the wonderful bake sale auction this Saturday to help victims of Hurricane Sandy.  I like to end my posts by asking my readers to pay it forward. It’s time to step up and really practice what I preach. By the way, please click the link above if you’d like to take part in the auction yourself.
  5. Cut myself some slack. Not just in the kitchen but in general. It’s been a challenging year for different reasons, but the important thing to remember is that I’ve made some big positive changes to help me get here. And here is way better than where I was 6 months ago.

This feels like one solid step forward towards…well I really don’t know where, but the crucial thing is it’s forward. I have a lot of big decisions to make the next couple of months about the “where.” For now I have a lot to be thankful for right where I am. 🙂

8 Replies to “5 Ways Thanksgiving Might Just Save my Life”

  1. The hurricane has had a similar effect on me – I feel more open to taking some risks -which does not feel as scary aster watching people lose everything. I am sending you lots of good energy as you go forward – I can’t wait to see your journey unfold.
    And Yay! you’re in the auction! !!!!


  2. Excellent post! Take a step back and breathe!! Us over-doers have to do that sometimes : )
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!


    1. Thanks so much Judy! I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving. I made a chocolate pumpkin torte and it made me think of you. It was delicious! It just didn’t look as pretty as the stuff you put on your site, lol.


      1. It sounds delicious. I wish you would share the recipe. Taste is what is important. Not how it looks. I spend a lot of time on preparation, frosting and decorations. The recipes taste good and would taste the same either way. A delicious chocolate pumpkin torte sounds so great right now : )


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