Time to reflect and be grateful

Thanksgiving week is always a very special week for me. While I grew up in Switzerland, this is my favorite holiday – good food, good wine, family, and of course football. It is also a week of reflection – reflection about all the people and things I am grateful for; reflection about the New Year that is almost upon me; reflection about life in general. And reflection requires quiet time and stillness of mind and body. Time not doing, but time thinking. This special week, which technically according to the calendar starts today, for me really started this past Friday.

Indeed, last Friday something happened to me which hasn’t happened since the fall of 2004. I missed a meeting. Not any meeting, a work meeting. And not any work meeting, but a meeting with Mei Xu, of Chesapeake Bay Candle, a woman whom I admire, and whom I had contacted after we were featured in the Washington Post Magazine together. A woman who runs a multi-million dollar company, and who has no time to waste. I didn’t forget about the meeting… I went to the wrong Starbucks. And of course, of all mornings, that was the morning I left my phone on my desk.

Now, if you know me at all, you know that this is totally non-Ada behavior. I was rushing. I had too many things on my mind. I was reading my emails in diagonal instead of paying attention to what I was reading. The last two months have been so busy, I forgot to take the time to think, to reflect, instead of always running around to “do” things. My body was trying to tell me to slow down (I have been sick for almost a week), but I am of the opinion “mind over body.” So I don’t listen to my body. But I do listen to missing a meeting with a CEO. My personal pet peeve… that I inflicted on someone else.

Lesson learned. I spent the week-end reflecting, not “doing” much at all, but listening to everything that was going on in my head, making to-do lists and holiday gifts lists, calendaring, quietly organizing my apartment (as if I weren’t busy enough, I moved 20 days ago – and this was my first week-end at home!), and spending time thinking. The result: I am starting this holiday week feeling “zenified,” grateful, and organized. Nothing better than that (except having Mei Xu forgive me for Friday’s mis-hap of course…).

Happy Thanksgiving week to all.