An Old Pro?

I realized for the first time this morning that Thanksgiving no longer overwhelms me.

When did that happen?

When we were first married, I remember being overwhelmed by something as small as getting a regular dinner on the table in a timely fashion. Cooking wasn’t the problem–I’ve always loved to cook, and I’m pretty good at it (if I do say so myself), so it wasn’t the actual preparation of the meals that I couldn’t do. It was the timing. I had no idea how to have the main course and side dishes ready at the same time. And if I was trying to cook two things that were supposed to be done at different temperatures? Forget about it!

Of course, that feeling of being overwhelmed went away. I’m not even sure when it happened, but I don’t think it could have taken more than a few months, because looking back, I certainly don’t remember feeling that way for long.

But holidays were different, particularly any holiday with a turkey based meal. I continued to feel overwhelmed putting that kind of dinner together, partly because there were so many more dishes to prepare, partly because the turkey takes up the whole oven for such a large portion of the day, and partly (or maybe even mostly) because there’s so much pressure to make holidays “perfect.”

Even last year, I remember worrying about how I’d get everything done. I’d write out schedules of when I needed to prepare things, when things needed to go in the oven, (and if anyone say Parenthood last night, yes, I totally sympathized with their “oven schedule!”), what all I needed to make, just to make sure I didn’t leave anything out.

But this year? No lists, (other than my gargantuan grocery list over the weekend), no schedules. I just seem to instinctively know what needs to be done when. By my count, of the ten Thanksgivings we’ve had together since we’ve been married, Ryan and I have hosted seven of them in our home, sometimes with guests, and even more often with just our immediate family. I guess there’s just something about that seventh year that makes everything fall into place.

That being said, I better be careful tomorrow, or I’ll end up ruining the turkey!

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