Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays.
You do not have to worry about gifts or gift wrapping, it's a holiday devoted to gratitude, amazing food and wine, bringing people together, and of course, a beautiful table setting. Some years spent with family, other years spent with friends, but always with loved ones.
For me, Thanksgiving conjures fond memories of family, people who have come in and out of our lives like the seasons, cooking in the kitchen with my aunt, and planning the perfect menu with my mother (who does not cook but is great at curating the best dishes from all of the places she can “pick up” in the state of Georgia). This year we will share our turkey(s) with 29 on Thanksgiving Day at my parent’s home in Gainesville, GA, five of them being children under the age of five. Thank goodness my father has an impressive wine collection and is willing to share!
In planning for “the meal”, I came across an article in this year’s Thanksgiving issue of Food & Wine Magazine (yes, I still get a few print versions of magazines) and I have not been able to stop thinking about it.
The article is called “A Place at the Table - Embrace Change During a Holiday that Celebrates Change.”
This year has brought about so much change for me, some great and some a bit more difficult. The year started with the loss of my grandfather, Robert Lee Fowler Sr. He was my biggest cheerleader and a constant source of support for me. He taught me all about the finer things in life, wearing a blazer to the dinner table, setting that table with your nicest china and crystal, drinking the oldest wine in your cellar, sharing an article or story with the dinner table that had a profound impact on you, and most importantly, always giving back to those less fortunate. He will be greatly missed at our table this year.
But there were also some amazing changes this year! Number one, I got married to my amazing husband, Anthony. The love we felt surrounded by 148 of our closest family and friends on our perfect April wedding weekend in Tennessee is a feeling I will carry with me forever. We have a new apartment in NYC, visited new countries we have never been to before, met our new nephew—so many great changes.
But lastly, the evolution of my role at CatalystCreativ has been especially exciting.
CatalystCreativ has grown over the past seven years and with that growth comes the need for more leadership. As we have been working on addressing this need over the past year, there have also been some changes in Amanda’s life that have had us preparing for her to go on maternity leave in early 2020.
As a co-founder reaching a point of readiness to grow into the next phase of my career, I realized it was time for me to step up and make some changes in my own life so I could become a better leader for our agency.
As I reflect back on Kat Kinsman’s Food & Wine article, I keep coming back to one quote in particular: “Thanksgiving nostalgia doesn’t make room for who’s at the table. But what if we used the holiday to mark who we’ve become—or who we’re becoming?”
My challenge to you this year is to think differently about this holiday. Take time to think about how you want to finish the last few weeks of 2019 and set your intentions for 2020. Perhaps even play the Thankful Alphabet (also from Kinsman’s article), a game where you go around the table and each person takes the next letter and says something they are thankful for that starts with that letter. Appreciate, love, and hug those around you a bit tighter this year and let them know how thankful you are for them.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours,