It’s Thanksgiving–Well, Almost
By: David Freund

David Freund, MACNY_2015Thursday will be Thanksgiving. For many of us in the manufacturing world, we will actually get a four-day weekend. How will you spend your time? Last week I wrote about gratitude so I am not going down that path today. Today I want us to think about how we will spend our Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The attempts to hijack our special weekend are all around us. The commercials for “Black Friday” started weeks ago and have only grown more intense. Chores that we haven’t completed, the list of “must see TV,” and we can’t forget the combination of the NFL, NCAA Football, and yes, NCAA and NBA Basketball. Will we be able to resist the temptation to hand over our precious moments with family and friends? You see, unless we are intentional about our days off we will find ourselves back at work Monday wondering what really happened. Now, please don’t get me wrong. I am not against Black Friday (I am against stores opening on Thanksgiving Day), catching up on chores, TV, and the enjoyment of watching athletic competition. What I am against is frittering away priceless moments with family and friends without thinking.

So what would intentionality look like over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend? Start by pulling out your daily calendar for your days off. Now I know the whole idea of days off is so you don’t need to look at your calendar, but that’s where you are wrong. Trust me, just give this a try and pull it out. Start adding the events that are already planned. For me this will start with a Thanksgiving service at my church at 10:30 in the morning. The next major event to plan around is our Thanksgiving dinner at 5:00 pm. Now I can build a few more details into my Thursday, like the start of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and yes, some football. Friday, well I do need to drop my car off for repairs but maybe my wife and I can work some shopping in. Saturday…. you get the idea. Trust me I am not trying to micro-manage my weekend, just trying to be intentional about what I hope to experience.

Did you notice the word that I chose, experience? We set our intentionality around the experiences of this wonderful long weekend. Experiences with Family, Friends, and Gratitude. But wait, we are only half way there. At the end of each day, take a few minutes to reflect on your experiences. How was the dinner with family and friends? What was the conversation like? How was the time spent with a loved one walking through the crowded stores? Not how were the stores, but how did it feel to spend time with your loved one? How did you feel when your favorite team won the game and you heard your kids cheer?

Go ahead and give this a try. It will be an amazing and blessed time away from work. And on Monday you will come back to work refreshed and full of wonderful memories.  Again, give this a try and let me know how it worked.