A friend of mine posted on Facebook earlier today that she was dreading having to deal with the work that she brought home with her for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. That’s a lousy feeling. I am feeling extremely thankful myself that I managed to jigger my schedule so that I will not have any work to do on Thanksgiving or the day after–and more importantly, I’ve also somehow managed to also arrange things so I shouldn’t have any guilty about not working either day. Woot! Not that I normally try to have work to do on holidays. But sometimes it happens. It’s not that big a deal, but it is nice to be able to anticipate a few work-free days.
That’s one of the nice things about being a freelance writer, too. You really can (usually) arrange your schedule so you don’t have to work on holidays or other special occasions. That’s not always the case when you’re a full-time staffer somewhere. For example, the first year I was a staff writer at The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, the managing editor basically told all the city desk reporters that we’d have to divvy up all the major holidays and work at least one, and maybe two. I agreed to work Thanksgiving so I could have Christmas off that year.
And you know what? It actually was a lot of fun, working on Thanksgiving. I had two stories partially reported in advance that I worked on that day. I visited several local soup kitchens so I could write about people volunteering their time to help the less fortunate, which was very uplifting. And then I spent some time with a family who was hosting a bunch of international students at the local college who had never had an American Thanksgiving turkey dinner before. The stories practically wrote themselves. Afterward, the paper hosted a full-metal turkey dinner for all of us working stiffs and our spouses. So David drove down to the office to join me, and we ate a big meal, complete with turkey, dressing and a selection of pies, with some of my colleagues.
(Side note: as a Thanksgiving purist, David also insisted that we also make our own turkey dinner at home later that weekend. So we cooked, yes, a whole turkey just for the two of us on the following Saturday because he wanted to make sure that he achieved some predetermined but non-negotiable optimal turkey satiation that could not occur with just a catered Thanksgiving meal.)
Anyway, even though I had to work, it actually turned out to be a rather nice memory. Not too shabby.
I’m still glad that all I have to do this year, however, is make some mashed potatoes and pass around a few trays of crudite before settling in for the big meal with my family. My work can definitely wait…at least until Monday.