The day before this Thanksgiving, I find myself being grateful for the same thing I most appreciated when working: time off. For three and a half days I have nothing scheduled — no appointments, no coffee or lunch dates, no looming piano lesson for which I haven’t practiced, and no obligations, except to provide an oven, table and place settings for Thanksgiving dinner.
While it sometimes seems like nothing has changed from my working days, in fact, there are small, but important differences. Today, a friend who also worked in school public relations, and I were reminiscing about how happy we were when the day-before-Thanksgiving announcement arrived in our email inboxes letting us know we could leave an hour earlier than usual. Our pleasure did not come from getting permission to leave work early, but from having time after everyone else had gone home to work alone without the distractions of email or the telephone. Today, I have no problem leaving whatever I’m doing at three thirty.
Another important difference between my pre-holiday behavior in the past and the present is that I used to create enormous and impossible to accomplish things-to-do-lists for my time off work. For this “vacation,” I plan to write several scenes for my novel-in- progress, create a photo album of our Spanish and Moroccan adventures, pot a few plants for my porch, and read. Sound good? Maybe not for the “Energizer Bunnies” among you, but it sounds like heaven to me.
Whether you’re working or not, allowed to leave work early or staying late, on the road or at home, may your Thanksgiving be peaceful and your things-to-do list short.