Editor’s note: This week, Steve Longan is going to sit in the blogger’s chair and give us a post heading into Thanksgiving. This will be the only post for the blog this week, so it’s a little longer. Hope you enjoy it. Okay! Take it away, Steve (Longan)!
Hi All! Glad to be with you in this run-up to the Thanksgiving holiday. I work at Rewire handling research and development for our programs as well as managing some of the logistics for events. Steve Scanlon isn’t around this week because he’s in rural Mexico with his family building houses for families that don’t have a shelter to live in. So, as we’re all going about our Thanksgiving meals, the Scanlons will be cutting boards and swinging hammers. I have to say that it feels really good to work with somebody who walks their talk. If you’ve spent much time with Steve, you know he’s big on investing in others (Lounge, anyone?), so I’ve got this time with you all while he’s away.
For those of you looking to break into the highly lucrative business of guest-blogging, I’d like to share with you the three basic things you must do in your initial stint as guest blogger: 1. Introduce yourself to your audience. (see above paragraph) 2. Praise/suck-up to the person who gave you the opportunity to post in the hope that they’ll invite you back. (again, see above paragraph) 3. Without rocking the boat too much, give your guest audience something insightful and useful to think on. (we’ll turn to this next)
In your mind, I want you to take a moment right now and imagine your gathering on Thanksgiving day. Put yourself in the space. Imagine the decorations. Imagine the smells. Imagine the people who’ll be there: some people you see everyday; some you haven’t seen in months or years. Parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, family friends... Just take a moment and settle into that scene….
Ok, let’s stop for a second. Some of you have the hint of a smile on your face right now as you think about your Thanksgiving gathering. Others of you are searching for the delete/unsubscribe button on your computer screen.* But I’d invite you to stick with me because, whether that little exercise I put you through was pleasant or panic-inducing, I’m going to give you 3 little awareness-based experiments to try that will change your time this Thanksgiving for the better. Consider this a little manifesto for positive change this Thanksgiving.
1. Pay attention to what’s Familiar. So much of what we do around Thanksgiving has to do with our traditions; with what’s familiar to us and our families. Even in gatherings where there are changes from year to year (babies born and recipes changed and different hosts, etc.), there are going to be things that stay the same (for better or for worse). Pay attention to these and ask a few simple questions: What does this tradition/event/dynamic do for this gathering and for the people here? For better or worse, what does it allow us to do or keep us from doing? Don’t feel obligated to make any radical changes for everyone at the gathering. Just being aware and asking yourself questions will do wonders for how you experience this holiday.
2. Actively look for what you can Enjoy. No matter who you’re with this Thanksgiving, my experience is that there are people and events for you to engage with that will enrich your life. Even (and perhaps especially) things that could be an irritant. For instance, your sister that is on yet-another weird dietary kick: What is there in this meal that you can enjoy with her? Maybe focus on the tastes in the recipe that she brought to the meal?
Or maybe your five-year-old nephew who thinks he’s amazing at everything and changes the rules of every game he makes up so that he eventually wins? What about him? Enjoy him. Pretty soon, the kids at school are going to make fun of him and he’s going have his confidence undermined. But you’ve got him right now. While he’s bulletproof. Enjoy that. It will not last and you’ll be happier if you engage with him right now where he’s at.
3. Forgive ahead of time, forgive in the moment, forgive after the fact. Your aunt Gertie is going to tell you about all her new ailments since the last time you saw her. And it’s going to take her a while. She can’t help it; it’s what’s important in her world. Since she can’t help it, and she so values your listening ear, you might just want to decide to forgive her right now. And also while she’s talking to you. You’re going to change for the better and be happier if you can forgive her and others at your Thanksgiving gathering.
Okay! That's it for me! Thanks to those of you who made it through this (admittedly) long post. I wish you a happy thanksgiving and look forward to seeing you around the blog! One thing I've gotta' mention before I go is that this is the last week to join The Lounge this month to support Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. We're going to write them a check at the end of the month and your taking a few minutes to join The Lounge will help make that check bigger.
*DON’T DO IT! I’LL NEVER GET ASKED TO POST AGAIN!!