Thanksgiving squash scene

Sometimes life is all about timing. On Thanksgiving, this becomes painfully obvious. When you’re hosting a family dinner and want the turkey carved before the mashed potatoes turn cold, you have to time things to the minute. If all goes according to plan, the kitchen bustle resembles a well-coordinated dance.

Or not.

Let’s face it, on Thanksgiving all bets are off. The best laid plans, and so forth. But what if you approached the situation a little differently this year? Organization and preparation can’t be completely thrown out the window, of course, but perhaps you don’t have to hold on quite as tightly to how things should be.

Imagine how much more fun you’d have if you let go of your expectations of how everything must be “just so.”

Letting go of “just so” is very freeing. It’s at the heart of delegation—in business and in life. Once you’ve committed to it, a whole new world opens up. It might look something like this:

The burden of carrying all the responsibility turns into a shared experience. Lightening your load gives others a chance to participate. Helping out makes people feel good and infuses more meaning into the job at hand.

Worry about getting things right turns into anticipation. You can now look forward to seeing how someone else approaches a particular task. Turning over the reins gives more autonomy to all concerned and increases commitment to the experience.

Parceling out trust to others turns into a new and different package—one you never realized could look quite so creative. Allowing others to show off their own mastery gives them a stronger sense of belonging.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Maybe Aunt Zelda’s sweet potato casserole isn’t topped with perfectly browned marshmallows or Uncle Frank’s cranberry sauce has more citrus in it . . . and you just have to grin and bear it.

What’s the best that could happen?

You have more time to actually enjoy yourself and more energy to devote to your loved ones; they have more pride and fewer hurt feelings; and everyone is more invested in the process of truly giving thanks.

This year maybe it’s worth trying to change your “just so” story. Instead of cramming your Thanksgiving holiday full of chores that must be done a certain way (by you), maybe you can turn “just so” into “just right.”

photo of Michelle Kelly

Michelle Kelly, CEO (Chief Enjoyment Officer)

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