Time Management for Thanksgiving-Hosting Freelancers

Note: This is reposted from last year. I’m filled with ire this week, but none of it is editorial. And Thanksgiving looms. It is the only holiday I love. I’m assuming that a ton of turkey, cornbread dressing, and pie, not to mention, the maple whiskey will calm the ire temporarily. With little-to-no encouragement, I may post some of the Young Man’s favorite Thanksgiving recipes. (Listen, people, the Young Man just had a not-so-young birthday, and I need a new name for him.)

Here goes:

Ah, the week before Thanksgiving. How do you copyedit when you really should be cleaning the house for family who is arriving imminently? Your dog wants to go out. And yet, those deadlines keep piling up.

There is only one answer. Draw clear lines. Here are some sample statements, requests, and/or demands to help you draw those desperately needed boundaries:

1. Not now, honey, I have work to do.

I don’t care what your partner wants you to do, you have to finish your work first. First editing, then the revolution.

2. [Family Member], do you mind dusting the dining room/basting the turkey/walking the dog? I have some work to do.

Delegating is your friend. Your family should be willing to lift a hand or two to help you get everything accomplished. Send them out to buy more booze, if nothing else.

3. I’d be happy to do that at 1:00.

Map out your week and follow the schedule as if your sanity depends it, which it does. Schedule enough time to do your work, juggle family demands, and go shopping. Promise people concrete help at certain times, be there and help, and go back to work.

4. Would you like something to eat?

The first time I ever hosted Thanksgiving, I learned that almost any problem could be solved by offering cookies or booze; sometimes both. (If neither work, you might want to consider 911.) Have some easy food and booze on hand to placate the masses.

And as an extra bonus, because I love you with all my rusty, cranky heart, here is the best guide to cooking Thanksgiving I have ever read.

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4 responses to “Time Management for Thanksgiving-Hosting Freelancers

  1. This year it will be me and my 10-year-old for Thanksgiving. I told him I’ll roast a chicken with some butternut squash, and asked him what he’d like with it. His first reply was ravioli, followed by raspberry Jell-o. See what I’m dealing with?

  2. Today at the library, I’m supposed to swap my MIL’s secret carrot souffle recipe for information concerning another lady’s famed scalloped onions. Both ladies whispered to me as we discussed the timing of the exchange—this was serious business, only undertaken due to the grave sanctity of Thanksgiving and a high level of mutual trust.

    I’m surprised I wasn’t issued a briefcase and a set of handcuffs. And I’m really glad neither of them reads blogs . . .

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