I eavesdrop when I’m on airplanes. Not intentionally, I just can’t help but overhear things!
One recent conversation captured my attention …
It was a woman talking with her sister on a cell phone (pre-flight). They were planning this elaborate Thanksgiving meal and it sounded incredible. They must have gone on for 10 minutes discussing the perfect sweet potato recipe.
I couldn’t help but be envious. Surprisingly, not just for the menu, but for the time I perceived they had to prepare this meal.
I’m time poor. I know many of you are, too … we’re talking borderline burnout. This got me thinking: What if I had the time? Am I the type of person who would put effort into meal planning and setting a Pottery Barn-style table? I knew the answer to that one: Nope, not me. That’s not my thing.
If I was time rich, though, there’s one thing I’d do: put a little more emphasis on my relationships.
Thanksgiving, after all, can be the friends and family equivalent of the annual performance review – we haven’t really talked all year, but now’s the perfect time to discuss the thing you did 10 months ago that annoyed me, and now let’s explore how we’re going to spend our time together next year.
And, in true review style, it’s often that our Thanksgiving meal meets expectations … but sometimes our relationships are in “needs improvement” mode.
We know we’ve got a lot of work to do in our relationships when we’re surprised by new behaviors, and really aggravated by people being their consistent selves, like:
Wow … when did mom start drinking Old Fashions*?
OMG Uncle Fred – are you really still bragging about your real estate investments?
When did my brother become so progressive/moderate/conservative?
When we’re surprised by a relationship, it’s often because we let our relationship slide. We haven’t done our part to maintain it. If this sounds familiar, guess what? Here’s your chance to launch the holiday with the best intentions.
While you’re spending time putting your meal together, spend that time thinking of how you’re going to re-invest in your friendships and family relationships.
Here are five tips to keep in mind:
- Everyone’s doing their best. Everyone coming together is really trying hard. We might disagree, we might harbor some resentment over something that happened years ago. But what if you were to look around the table and say “You know what, this is everyone at their best?” you’d be a little more appreciative of the people you’re surrounded by … I know I’d be!
- There’s no competition. One-upmanship is an unfortunate aspect of human nature. We’re always trying to seek status over others, and they’re trying to seek status over us. Knowing this, don’t get hijacked if your sister pulls up in her minivan with her “my kids are better than yours” stickers on her window – she’s proud. Let her be. That’s her. Be proud for her. You do you. There’s no competition! Transform jealousy into admiration.
- Don’t win the argument … win the relationship. After we’ve talked about the weather, and “what’s new,” don’t let differences get in the way of the relationship – you likely agree with others on 80% of all issues. Find commonalities. Sometimes you’ve got to dig deep for these, but they’re there … I promise!!
- Learn to ask better questions. Don’t sit next to your brother-in-law and say “how’s work?” He’s off work … he doesn’t care about work. He cares about the Detroit Lions. He cares about the Michigan/Ohio State game. Ask him open-ended questions, like, “What do you think led to the Lions’ turnaround?” “What do you think really happened in Harbaugh’s situation?”
- Respect each other’s book of life. I heard this phrase lately from Dr. Joanna Massey – she’s going to be an upcoming podcast guest. Don’t forget that since the womb, each one of us has been authoring our own book of life. We’ve had unique, powerful experiences that have shaped our points of view. Our facts/figures/data/preferences don’t matter as much to the other person as their own wisdom acquired. So, respect them and be curious about their life’s chapters.
Here’s to an incredible Thanksgiving where relationships, not just the turkey, are the main course.
*Speaking of Old Fashions, my Great Grandpa was a Sheriff during prohibition. His image now graces the label of Iron Fish’s Old Fashion Whisky! Check it out!
I’m Giving Off a New Oura!!
Okay, I did it. I bought an Oura Ring. I love it. In fact, I’m obsessed. Since then I’ve bought a few other things, like a juicer. I literally pooled all my birthday money together and spent more money on an appliance than I’ve ever spent before. I even named it, Charlie, and sent a pic to my two boys to introduce them to their new brother.
Let me explain. I get quantity sleep, not quality sleep. I know this because my energy wanes during the day. What I’m learning is that there are subtle changes I can make in my diet that influence how I sleep, and there are several practices I can embrace to protect my mental and emotional wellbeing, which also leads to better sleep. Hence, juicing.
Having better energy gives me the capacity to be my best. If you’re ready to be energy obsessed, learn more about Oura by clicking here. I’ve got a code, too. Email me at info@angiewitkowski and it’s yours!
PS My favorite green juice recipe:
-One Granny Smith Apple
-A little bit of fresh ginger and parsley
-Half a cucumber
-Four handfuls of spinach
-Two celery stalks
You may have to hold your nose the first few times you drink it, but after that you’ll crave it – I promise!!
Finding Joy in Whatever Stage of Life You’re In
GUEST JEANETTE CAJIDE
November 16, 2023
Stop looking outward to make yourself happy. Tune inward and discover the secrets to joy, fulfillment, and your purpose. Jeannette Cajide reminds us that whatever we enjoyed doing as kids would probably bring us similar satisfaction today. Hear these bits of wisdom (among many) and be inspired by a real-world leader’s practical wisdom and guidance designed to help us reach our potential.
What I’m Thankful For
Each week I see how many of you open my emails, read what I have to offer, and email me your story. You have no idea how much that fills my heart. Thank you for your support and encouragement, as well as allowing me to have this platform to share my work. It’s overwhelming. I’m humbled and inspired by you and I can’t think of a better companion to have on this journey. What are you thankful for? LET ME KNOW!! Info@angiewitkowski.com