Thanksgiving is a really important holiday for Americans. We might spend more time talking about the Macy's Day parade or which teams we'll be cheering on, but at it's core, Thanksgiving is about spending time with loved ones over a delicious meal. The meal is symbolic of the Pilgrims who founded our country and celebrated a bountiful harvest that would help them survive the coming New England winter in Plymouth, MA.
My thoughts around this holiday and what I should write about have jumped all over. Easiest would be to write about kitchens that make it easy and fun to prepare a Thanksgiving feast, or rearranging the forgotten dining room to accommodate a large number of dinner guests. I've already talked about Thanksgiving traditions to enjoy your family time at home versus running off to the stores that are now going to open on Thanksgiving day (Thanksgiving Celebrations Not Shopping).
In my heart, I am listening to the many women homeowners who are sharing with me what they love about their homes, and you're teaching me that what really turns a house into a home is what happens there! You might have a beautiful, magazine perfect house but if people aren't really present there and I mean more than sleep, bath and dress, then your house might be functioning more like a hotel?
What Thanksgiving Really Means To Me!
Each of us grew up in a unique family, in a town and house that our parents chose. These experiences make us different and so I share my list of things I'm grateful for. It takes a while to clear the clutter running around in your head but you'll find peace when you do it as the exercise helps you get really clear on what's important in your life so I encourage you to write your own list.
- My personal health so I can grow this community of women homeowners and help you live life more fully … and thanks to all the healthy people in my mastermind group, who've quietly shown me it's time to lose weight to stay healthy.
- My family's health that's so important to living fulfilling lives. My granddaughter Chloe who just turned 2, has so much energy I'm envious … to my father-in-law who at 98, still volunteers 15 hours a week at a rehab center.
- Great friends in New Hampshire and around the world, from my au pairs in Europe and Australia to the friends I made when living in Tokyo and working throughout Asia.
What I Love Most About My Home
Yes, it's true that I've owned 13 houses, moving frequently because in my former life I was a techie, working for a company sometimes known as I've Been Moved. So what do I love about my house?
- A warm, comfortable house so I can focus on the things most important to me, like building this business.
- My ability to take long hot showers which I know isn't very good for the environment, so I'm glad to have discovered a simple “shower saver” product that's going to help remind me when I'm wasting too much water.
- My microwave that cooks my old fashion oatmeal every morning, with walnuts, apples and sometimes cranberries.
- Never having to worry about having enough to eat, although I often run out the door to networking meetings at dinner time and forget to grab an apple or protein bar.
My trip to Africa last year, sponsored by Susanne Evans and organized by Sandy Salle at The Hills of Africa, brought me face-to-face with people who don't know what they'll eat tonight. Working with 60 women entrepreneurs at Victoria Falls, it was heart wrenching to learn they often have to sell products to feed their families. We bought them 10 kilos (22 lbs) of corn meal each and to this day, when I eat out I remember the same money could feed a family of 4 for 2 weeks (Is Your Kitchen Pantry Empty or Full?).
The Last Hunger Season by Roger Thurow, is a great book offering insight into the hunger that rules many lives in Africa. It's a wonderful story about a non-profit that's teaching people how to grow enough food to feed their families and provide a source of income.
Love the Freedom to Build My Business From Home
Like those in my boomer generation, we went to school, graduated and got jobs. When I started working it was assumed you'd work for the same company until you retired. In fact that's what we were promised but shit happens (I'm not ready to write more than that right now).
I left my technology career behind and started a handyman business. I saw the need to help women learn about their homes and so Home Tips for Women was born and I'm grateful for:
- My husband Ted who gives me the space and support to grow into the person I'm meant to be, learning and sharing and inspiring women to get more out of life with the support of their homes.
- The technology that is enabling me and thousands of people around the world to create businesses outside the corporate environment. When I ran my handyman business I loved telling people how I promoted myself from suits to sweatshirts, and now I can add to this story … because I'm sitting here writing this in my PJs!
Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and …
I'd love to hear what you're grateful for in a comment below.