Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving and the Working Hostess

Last year at this time, I was waxing poetic about sharpening knives and cleaning ovens.  This year, well it's different.

This is my rambling getreadyforthanksgiving post.  As I read back over the links above to last year's posts I am thinking, "who is this crazy person?"

Having just returned from traveling five of the last six weeks, I am trying to reconnect with my life, my family and my home.  Add to that the mountain of work I am currently buried under (the result of all those site visits) and the fact that the Puget Sound area has basically shut down under the weight of snow and frigid temperatures and you get a pretty harried Thanksgiving hostess.

As I write this, I am taking a brief break from work.  The benefit of working from home is that Addy the cat is my faithful assistant, I can work in my sewing room, surrounded by things I love and with a view of the neighbor's snowy backyard and I don't have to get out of my pajamas.

I am T minus 44 hours until the big dinner and I am already behind.  I strategized my grocery shopping in hopes of completing it in only one trip.  I was fortunate enough to be able to pay someone else to clean my house (a luxury I only indulge in twice a year, Thanksgiving and a Spring cleaning in May).

...But I still haven't cleaned the ovens or sharpened the knives or set the table.  I haven't made my cranberry sauce or roasted the garlic for the mashed potatoes or cut up the bread for the dressing.

We just got the word that school is closed again tomorrow due to icy conditions.  Sigh. I will be in the house all day with the boys, behind on dinner preparations, feeling the weight of the work I need to complete bearing down on me and all I feel in anticipation of tomorrow is tired.  and it hasn't even happened yet. 

I could stay up late into the night and workwork or go do some holiday prep and get up v. early to get some more workwork done.  I havn't figured out how I'm going to get from here to dinner Thursday, but it will come whether I am ready or not.  At least this year I loosened up a bit about letting others contribute to the meal.  I gave up rolls, appetizers and dessert...and I've decided at the age of forty that no one is interested in salad with Thanksgiving dinner.  So there you have it.

A friend mentioned to me the other day on the topic of working motherhood that she wasn't sure how she was going to be able to "properly enjoy the holidays" (while a working mother).  This comment stuck with me on a number of levels...I find myself wondering if last year was the only time in the last several years that I have "properly enjoyed..."..what does it mean to "properly..."...should you expect to be able to "properly..." every year?  I don't have any good answers, but it sure got me thinking.  I hope this year, starting with Thanksgiving, that one of the ways I am "properly enjoying" the day is by letting go and letting it be what it will be; by trying to fnd the joy in the things that don't go as planned as well as the ones that do.

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