Another Thanksgiving week has begun in the USA.
On some interesting levels, it has become one of my favorite holidays. Not because of the food, which is what some folks would respond to accordingly. Or, the annual football games in Detroit and Arlington, Texas. Or, the futile attempt at getting over the river and through the woods to your family’s house for your annual gathering.
It might mean watching certain television shows or playing movies. "Soul Food" comes to mind. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from New York City, also.
It could include getting your spot in line for the early bird Black Friday specials. In which, you pitch a tent on private property, bring leftovers to eat, and hope that you survive the experience without having your face emblazoned on the early morning news.
The thing about Thanksgiving is getting there. Getting where you ask? That would be entirely up to you. You’re the one on the road or in the air trying to get to your Thanksgiving celebration. You're the one who has to make that appearance, for better or worse.
There will be days this week when you’re in a long TSA line at the airport that would make you think that "Plymouth Rock landed on us" (thank you, Denzel Washington!). There will be days when the weather report was incorrect and that snowstorm heading your way would divert to Churchill, Manitoba and stay there. There are days when you wished humanity would simply go away – or get out of your way.
The truth is that we cannot avoid one of the heaviest travel weeks in the USA. As much as we want to, it could cause more stress than your job can dish out.
Does that we mean we're trapped in a vacuum of travel stress on top of the stress of life, family, extended family, and everyone who tries to get in contact with you?
It does not have to be this way. Even if we have anxiety in our lives, we can find peace and serenity in the process of travel. At the airport, you cannot avoid the crowds. You can find a respite from them. It might not be at an airline's lounge, but perhaps through a set of headphones connected to your mobile device with enough music, television, and film to get into Calgon mode (as in, "Calgon, take me away!").
If you are with your family, conversation and play works. That means having a conversation with the adults and playing with your children. Of course, that means keeping everyone together – at the gate, in the car, on the train, and so forth.
It all sounds like common sense – because it is. There are some who say that common sense is lacking in today's society. Yes, I have seen it, too. But, I believe in the power of community to bring people together and work together to reinstate common sense as a course for all humanity.
Common sense is also a stress-reliever. It also guides you behind the wheel, on the plane, and so forth.
Plus, you have to have faith in humanity. It may be trying at times, but this is the week where your faith in humanity will be put to the test. Spoiler alert: There is a happy ending to all of this
In this week of Thanksgiving, I look forward to some time for peace, quiet, and relaxation. At least, that's the goal.
I hope you can do the same, even with the chaos that this week could yield. After all, life is full of turkeys. You get to sit down with one (real or vegetarian/vegan) this Thursday.
Photo by Randy Stern