Just One (Big) Gratitude: a Well-Balanced Life

Happy Thanksgiving! It’s my favorite holiday of all: a whole day to cook and chat with family and friends, capped off by a delicious meal—and followed up by an extra-long weekend. This year I’m responsible for cooking the turkey and making gravy, ably supervised by timeless mom-wisdom (she somehow knows just when the turkey will finally be ready, as well as just how much flour should be added to perfectly thicken the gravy). Other family members are busily creating many yummy side dishes. And best of all, somehow we each think that our particular job is the easiest one…

A Thursday blog means I’ve written several Thanksgiving-themed posts over the years; three of my favorites take me back to childhood singing in the car, 2017’s quite evergreen top 5 list of gratitude, and of course the imaginary (and completely COVID-free) Thanksgiving on Cooperation Island.

This year, I’ve tasked myself with choosing just one life-element to call out… and that has to be my work/life balance. Usually that term describes an imbalance; usually, too much work and not enough life. But for me, work has always been so closely intertwined with everything else I do that it’s hard to figure out where one ends and the other begins. And that’s just… wonderful. 

I don’t think I’d yet heard the term “work/life balance” in January of 2010 when I wrote Blurring the Lines Between Work and Play, but the post still rings quite true today. Especially: “I’m very lucky to have spliced together so many of my skills into a multi-faceted career that actually pays the bills.” And: “Taking time for what I consider important keeps me fired up to work harder when I get back to my desk.” 

So today, on this most universal of American holidays, I’m giving special thanks for a life that adjusts to wind, weather, and the seasons; a life that ebbs and flows around so many fun challenges. What about you: can you pick just one gratitude to share, either in the comments or in an email? I read every single one… though just this once, a response may have to wait until the turkey is done and the gravy is thickened.

6 Replies to “Just One (Big) Gratitude: a Well-Balanced Life”

  1. Thank you Carol-that was a wonderful post to read as I wake up this morning and enjoy a cup of coffee. It is wonderful to love one’s work and have it intertwine perfectly with one’s life so that there is barely a distinction between work and play. For that I am grateful-grateful to own a bookstore where I am surrounded by books and meet ppl who also love books and writing. Grateful to have ppl like you who I have met along this journey and inspire me. Grateful to read such a beautiful phrase that you shared in this post “special thanks for a life that adjusts to wind, weather, and the seasons; a life that ebbs and flows around so many…challenges.”
    Thank you & Happy Thanksgiving-looking fwd to hearing how the turkey and gravy turns out.

    Best, Liz

    1. Thanks Liz. And I’m also grateful for the lovely space you’ve created at Curiosity! Happy Thanksgiving to you as well and enjoy the long weekend.

  2. Hi Carol…..I can’t agree more with everything you wrote here. I’ll read the previous posted links later, as I’m heading down to CT to visit mom and will then be in Jamestown this afternoon & evening for Sue’s family gathering. (Twist my arm ,huh?)

    You may recall that I’m a more or less full-time musician whose “job” it is to entertain people at commercial spots and a lot of seniors facilities. And you’re correct, that doing something you love which brings pleasure to folks isn’t work. So, I’m grateful today & always that my mom gave me the love & appreciation of music (and my first guitar lessons) at an early age. She gave me the tools to follow my heart. I tell her this often, rather than wait for the eulogy, and double down on it today. We’ll pick a little and then I’ll be doing a family sing along at Sue’s, esp’y for her 4 grandchildren. Our shared meal will be a bonus to the real purpose of this holiday.

    So, thank you for your heartwarming post and I can tell you’re already having a gladenning day. I’m also thankful to know you. Btw, I’m further thankful to have just landed the gig playing guitar at the Shoreby Hill pageant this Christmas Eve!

    P/S: “Curiosity” is a terrific shop, Liz!

  3. As I have realized over the last year and a half, I see you are living the perpetual “retired” life, not sitting in a rocking chair on the porch but living a purposeful life doing what you love and following where it takes you over time. Congratulations on cracking that code so much earlier than most.

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