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9 Things Only Thanksgiving Dinner Planners Understand

9 Things Only Thanksgiving Dinner Planners Understand

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I am very appreciative of my life and the people in it, and I am proud to live in a country that has set aside a day to be thankful. Thanksgiving allows us to focus on the people in our lives–the people sitting around our table. Here are 9 things only Thanksgiving dinner planners would understand.

1. The appropriate time to have a drink is whenever the cooking starts.

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    Many people use the saying that “it’s happy hour somewhere”. On Thanksgiving happy hour can be at 7 in the morning, because you always cook better with a little wine in your system. Food tastes better with a little wine or booze in it too. Bourbon sweet potatoes, anyone? A cup of white wine inside the turkey keeps it moist. I subscribe to the “one cup of alcohol for the recipe, and one one cup of alcohol for me” technique. This technique is a far cry from being trained in a French cooking school, but it is a lot more fun.

    2. You can never have too many folding chairs.

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      Most tables seat six or eight people. Folding chairs are small and fit in the corners nicely. You can also pair them with the folding table in your garage (it’s out there, probably behind the Christmas decorations). The best people to put into folding chairs are children or guests you may feel impartial about. If you are a guest in a folding chair, you may not be as close to the host as you thought. The folding chair occupant should probably have a plan B location for next year because chances are good you may not be invited back to this house.

      3.  You can never have too many side dishes.

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        Let’s face it.  The turkey is the centerpiece, but turkey does not exactly have the same taste as baby back ribs. Oh sure, I make it more interesting by filling it with white wine, but I am eyeing the sweet potato casserole or creamed corn long before I make it to the turkey. Turkey is the only meat triathletes eat. How satisfying could it possibly be?

        4. If you live somewhere where you can, eat outside.

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          If you live somewhere where you cannot even imagine eating Thanksgiving outside because of weather, maybe you should consider moving. Believe it or not there are states in this country where the weather will be 75 degrees and sunny on Thanksgiving. Eating outside really brings home the giving thanks idea. Thanksgiving is about the first settlers giving thanks for their first bountiful harvest. It is about celebrating our reliance on the land and the land taking care of us. You can really appreciate the land more when you are outside.

          5. If you are eating outside, hang small white lights in the trees.

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            I am talking about the small Christmas lights. They are festive all year long. They really can make an outside space feel warm and inviting.

            6. When all your guests cannot walk around each other’s chairs to get seconds, that’s okay.

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              Our houses were not built to serve a a 12-person dinner. The table will all of a sudden no longer fit in the room where it has fit all year long. People won’t be able to get past the other chairs to bring their plate to the kitchen or to get seconds. Don’t worry about it. In fact if you use my one cup for the food and one cup for me concept you’ll be too buzzed to care. Which leads me to my next point…

              7.  Getting too buzzed to care is the best way to prepare for Thanksgiving.

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                I am not advocating you cook drunk. We use too many sharp knives, hot pans and ovens to be drunk. What I am saying is enjoy the day. Enjoy the cooking, setting the table and even cleaning up. Thanksgiving is about spending time with friends and family, not about everything going perfect. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If the place cards are sloppy or a pie is under cooked, nobody cares.

                8. Food tastes better when you cook with the Macy’s Day Parade on the television in the background.

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                  I don’t know why this is the case. It just is. Maybe the parade creates some sort of mystical occurrence in the kitchen.

                  9. Food tastes better when it is cooked with love.

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                    People can tell when you cook with love. Cooking for and feeding someone is the ultimate sign of love. Without nourishment, people die. When you feed others, you are taking care of them on a very fundamental level. I love to cook. However, I love to cook for my wife and kids more. It is my way of taking care of them and showing that I love them.

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                    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

                    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

                    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

                    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

                    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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                    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

                    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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                    Review Your Past Flow

                    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

                    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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                    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

                    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

                    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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                    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

                    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

                    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

                    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

                      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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