No Stress, No Expectations, and One of the Best Thanksgiving Ever

Nov 23, 2021


A couple of years ago, when our family was a small family of four, circumstances forced us to forget about traveling to my parent's house and spending Thanksgiving with them, as we were used to doing it every year. As we were getting ready to have a small celebration at home, an unexpected invitation made us change our plans, and we ended up spending one of the most incredible holidays we can remember. 

In this short episode, I share this warm story hoping you feel inspired by it and appreciate the time you get to spend with your loved ones, let go of expectations, and remember to release the stress and enjoy anywhere you are at. 

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • How we decided to stay at home and have a Thanksgiving of four (1:26)
  • An unexpected phone call and a change of plans (2:51)
  • How comforting it was to feel so welcomed (3:53)
  • Going to the movies after centuries (5:04)
  • Enjoy where you are, no matter the circumstances (5:39)

Let's Connect!


Clint Hoopes: This is the flavor of leadership podcast I am your host, Clint Hoopes. Together we explore the unique blend of leadership wisdom that helps top leaders consistently achieve work goals, develop personally, and find fulfillment with family, let's get started.

This is episode number fifty six it is the week of thanksgiving and things are likely busy in your world just like they are in mine and maybe even a little chaotic at times preparing to have everything just right. You may be traveling for thanksgiving or maybe everybody's coming to you but you're probably planning on having a great time with the one you love.

Recently my wife Angie and I we're just remembering one of the best thanksgivings of our marriage and the funny thing is it was perhaps the most unexpectedly. So at the time we had two small children and I was going to school and I was doing my master's degree which is incredibly busy in and of itself but I was also working full time running a durable medical equipment operation as well which also kept me extremely busy there at the medical group operation we sold things like wheelchairs powered wheelchairs hospital beds C. pap machines and home oxygen.

So it was the week of thanksgiving years ago and I was on call over the holiday since all of my employees were traveling for thanksgiving which meant I couldn't go very far in case there was emergency don't tell me in that world in that industry there's almost always an emergency it doesn't matter if it's over a holiday or not because people get sick things happen equitment malfunctions and so we need to be there and be available so I couldn't go very far and so driving the six hours back home to our hometown was was out of the question so we were not going to be having thanksgiving with our families like we had always done our entire lives and entire marriage at that point our plan was to just have a small thanksgiving with our little family of four and and we were making the best of it it was going to be it was gonna be fine but something was missing. It didn't feel quite right but it was gonna be it was going to be okay.

However, I was speaking to my mom right before thanksgiving and she had just spoken to my aunt and she only lived just a short drive away from where we were living and so when she found out that we weren't going home she invited us at the last minute to come join their thanksgiving dinner and you know she she was amazing you know she ended up coming in just insisting that we come in and it was one of those things where it's you know what let's just do it let's go just a short drive away it's close enough that I can still be on call but it will still feel like we're we're going to do something special. So we decided let's let's do it, you know in our lives again said we've always done thanksgiving with with with all of our parents and siblings and also a lot of extended family as well but like I said we always had our parents and siblings in attendance with us as well and we had our own traditions and those little things that we always associate with making the holidays you know whether it's thanksgiving or Christmas whatever it is, just right and we always think of those little things is you have to have those things or if you don't have those then it does not do the holidays like its supposed to be right? We had some of those with thanksgiving that we were gonna be missing out on so this thanksgiving since it was going to be different with none of those people in attendance that we usually have yes my cousins in the house if any of them are listening right now they they may not even remember this random thanksgiving day but we sure do I'm telling you we felt so welcome and everything was so wonderful I can't even remember all of the little details necessarily, can't really pinpoint everything that made it so great but honestly I think it was kind of our mindset we came into the experience. We had just let go of any expectations of our normal traditions and decided just to enjoy where we were with the situation, and it was a wonderful situation in fact it was amazing how good it felt to just enjoy the company of my cousin's family with no stress no expectations like I said my aunt even volunteered to watch our kids so that we can go to a movie together it was something we hadn't done in a long time. I don’t remember what movie we saw it didn’t really matter but I do remember how grateful we were for my aunt and how this unexpected thanksgiving was exactly what we need at that time in our life.

So I share this story to remind us all to enjoy where we are and what ever our circumstances may be right now. It's okay to be happy where we are now, remember that things have a way of working out. Perhaps this thanksgiving or the rest of the holiday season aren't going to be quite how you planned or we're quite how you hoped it would be. Things do have a way of working out for the best, the challenge for this week is this, enjoy any time you get away from work during thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season and let go of perfection and strive for connection with those you love. This thanksgiving just might be your best one yet so I should note the episode today is shorter and that is by design I want you to spend as much time as possible with your loved ones this week so happy thanksgiving and I can't wait to be right back with you again next week.

Thanks for joining me on this week's episode of the flavor of leadership podcast if you enjoyed what you heard please share with a friend and if you haven't already subscribe, rate and review the show on your favorite podcast player if you have any questions comments or feedback for us you can reach me directly at Thanks for listening.