My favorite day of the year has come and gone. Friends’ Thanksgiving. We started this event after our roommate suggested we have folks over to celebrate the holidays with our ‘family of friends’. It began with about 15 people getting together, putting aside the to-do lists and committing a meal together. Seven years later, it has become our greatest blessing – a time when our friends stuff themselves into our 130-year-old farm house to laugh, listen to music, and catch up while imbibing and consuming some of the yummiest food our mishmash of professional and amateur chefs have to offer. It is an event filled with so much love, laughter and good people, I hardly keep myself from gushing when talking about it. Despite this, I will admit there were times this year when I found preparation daunting – sometimes lacking the grace and ambition necessary to consistently proceed with a giving heart. However, as always, it was so very worth it.
Some lessons I learned though spending one glorious day with 50 of the most amazing people I know.
1. Sometimes good enough is enough – We had homemade soups and fresh baked bread. We had beds made and fresh paint on a number of walls. Still, I found myself frantic under the weight of self-imposed “have-to-do” list. I was reminded by an old soul that this day was about seeing the faces of friends from near and far. No one was going to be staring at dust in a corner.
2. Take time to sit and listen – Ever heard the music that is a bunch of your friends laughing together? I’m not talking about a polite bunch of chuckles, but the kind of laughter that fills a room, a house, and reverberates off the walls? Definitely the sweetest sound of the night.
3. Enjoy the ride – A friend who came to spend the weekend commented he almost enjoyed the time before and after the party more than the actual event itself. While I relish the time our home is teaming with people, I have to agree. I have long loved the anticipation before an event and the time after. This weekend gave me a reminder to enjoy the space between the “big” things.
4. Ask for/be willing to accept help – I’ve been told I am not very good at accepting assistance from others. There was no chance of that this year. There were many, many instances where friends gave me tremendous support during this event. Rather than begrudgingly accepting with whatever feelings of guilt I might typically harbor, I was able to relish the assist and enjoy the time even more.
5. Give thanks – I love Thanksgiving and the reminder for gratitude. Despite the imperfection in this beautiful life (and the cliche) we truly have so many reasons to give thanks. I aim to carry this with me into the winter ahead.