Thanksgiving Shake Up?

by Gloria Feldt on November 23rd, 2011
in 9 Ways Blog, Carpe the Chaos, Inspiration, Leadership, No Excuses, Personal Relationships, Power Tools and tagged , , , , , , , ,

For the first year in over a decade, my husband Alex and I won’t be with our large blended and extended family in Arizona. We’ll miss them, sure. And we’ll miss family traditions, like debating whether Alex’s white bread stuffing or my cornbread dressing is better.  Then there’s my daughter’s insistence that we serve the green jello mold my mother used to make, the one that packs more calories and cholesterol into anything else you’ve ever called “salad.”

This just seemed like a good year to shake things up. Perhaps it’s the influence of unpredicted social changes like Tahrir Square and Occupy Wall Street that are shaking up the political world. (Read my recent post on what OWS has accomplished.) Or maybe it’s simply that we felt we were getting into a rut.

Shaking Up Isn’t So Hard to Do
Ready for Thanksgiving!

Change forces you to see things with fresh eyes, to appreciate people differently, to clear the cobwebs from the mind. That’s why friends over at She Negotiates suggest “Reframing the Fruitcake Frenzy.” And why Kathleen Turner says one of her life lessons is “Never repeat your successes.” So she hasn’t been typecast as an actress, whereas many others keep playing essentially the same role over and over. (BTW, if you’re in LA, you must go see her as Molly Ivins.)

Tradition is comforting to be sure. But it’s in the unfamiliar spaces that you grow; in the unknown territory that you get new energy and fresh thinking. In my book No Excuses, the Power Tool “Carpe the Chaos” fosters innovations that would never be considered in moments of stasis.

This Thanksgiving, we won’t have leftovers, usually my favorite part of the meal, because instead of cooking for a crowd, we’ll join friends at their home. We’ll feel nostalgic for the boisterous boys who roll their eyes when Grandmother asks them to share what they are thankful for, and for the warmth of chopping and cooking together in a kitchen scented with turkey and cinnamon.

We will appreciate anew all those joys when we break another tradition and spend Christmas, Chanukah, and the New Year in sunny Arizona instead of chilly New York.

There’s always a way to shake up an old tradition.

There are always new traditions waiting to be created in the wake of change.

For that I am very grateful. And I am grateful to you for shaking and enriching my world every day.  Happy Thanksgiving!


What are you shaking up in your life this Thanksgiving? Tell me and read what others say here.


Gloria Feldt

Gloria Feldt is the author of No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power. Buy the book here. Engage Gloria for a Speech or Workshop. Tweet @GloriaFeldt and connect on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ Gloria is the co-founder (with Amy Litzenberger) of Take the Lead, a new initiative to prepare and propel women to leadership parity by 2025. Find them @takeleadwomen and on Facebook.

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3 Responses to Thanksgiving Shake Up?

  1. Gloria Feldt says:

    Welcome to the blog, Joanne! Sounds like a great Thanksgiving plan to me. And as far as I’m concerned, chips and salsa go with everything :-)
    Enjoy the movies and friends tomorrow! xox to you.

  2. Gloria Feldt says:

    And happy Thanksgiving to you, too. We’re not shaking things up. We’re doing what we always do. But then we’re going south between the holidays and that is shaking things up, in a good way.
    Just wanted to share a few of the comments I got via e-mail–seems lots of people are shaking things up this year.

    From Susanna Opper:
    Thanks for your blog entry on what has OWS accomplished. Will and I went down to New York in early November to see for ourselves. We were quite intrigued and impressed. It was like a different world in a little space. And we also observed an organizing meeting and it wasn’t disorganized AT ALL.

    I remember someone from the Vietnam protest era saying to me years ago that nothing will happen in this country until people take to the streets. I wish I could remember who said it. But I did take it to heart.

    from Lynn Osborne: Thanks for your Shake up thoughts. This year we decided to tack some extra days onto my husband’s post Thanksgiving business trip so are spending the holiday with our rwo teenage daughters in Paris
    With the business travel perks and frequent flyer miles plus renting an apartment instead of an expensive hotel we were able to keep our expenses very manageable.

    from Lulu Flores:
    Scott and I are shaking things up and going to our friend’s home for her first Thanksgiving meal in her new Austin home rather than going to my hometown of Laredo – like you, I’m saving that for Xmas.

    I am thankful for you and other wonderful people in my life who have been, and continue to be, an inspiration.

  3. Gloria Feldt says:

    Thanks, Sandra, it was great to meet you in OH. The power of social media to create relationships is quite amazing, don’t you think?

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