Coach’s Corner – Thanksgiving Simplified 

J.D. “Jim” Fox, Head Coach, Next Act Coaching

We tend to lead complicated lives. Many of the complications are unnecessary, and cause stress. Coaches often work with their clients to simplify life … allowing more room for creativity and growth.

How’s that for a set-up on having a simple and sane Thanksgiving this year?

Oh sure, you can go nuts and spend days in the kitchen, then welcome a hoard into your home to feast and watch football on TV.

Coach's Corner – Thanksgiving Simplified The one bit I always enjoyed was making Thanksgiving dressing (stuffing) with my Mom — a two-day process blending apples, onions, beef, pork, and bakery bread crumbs (none of that stuff that comes in a box). And to put it all together — a heavy hand grinder that Mom has had for decades. She laughs when grandchildren try to replicate her recipe with fast but food-pulverizing food processors, then wonder why it’s just not as good as hers.

But I won’t be with Mom this year. I’ve got a group of five (so far) in Manhattan. I’m not cooking; I did that once — all by myself — and it almost killed me.

And, a big “No” to the fancy restaurants with their overpriced and small-portioned Thanksgiving dinners. Who wants to leave the T-Day table hungry?

Instead, I’m lobbying for Diner Turkey. Before it’s too late.

Diners, long a fixture of big cities like New York, are starting to disappear — victims of impossible rents from greedy landlords who don’t care about their neighborhoods. There are still some diners left, especially in my city, and they make amazing Thanksgiving meals — tons of good food, every possible side dish, and guaranteed leftovers. Sort of like going home, minus the work, the angst, and the tedious TV viewing with relatives you don’t really know.

Instead, a relatively simple arrangement. We show up at the diner. We eat way too much. We laugh a lot. We don’t worry about doing dishes or making sure we compliment someone on his broccoli and tater tot soufflé. We drink. We wait while our leftovers are packaged. We get in taxis, and go home.

So, if you must, make your Thanksgiving complicated. This coach is telling you that at some level beyond absolute family obligation, the level of complication is your choice. While you’re exhausted and looking at a mountain of china you can’t put in the dishwasher, remember that there are ALWAYS simpler — and probably better — options to celebrate the holiday.