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Reblogged:This Year, Thank Yourself and Learn

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As I am sure many Objectivists -- probably including myself -- have done and will do, I will commemorate Thanksgiving by reflecting on what Ayn Rand had to say about the holiday:

Thanksgiving is a typically American holiday. In spite of its religious form (giving thanks to God for a good harvest), its essential, secular meaning is a celebration of successful production. It is a producers' holiday. The lavish meal is a symbol of the fact that abundant consumption is the result and reward of production. Abundance is (or was and ought to be) America's pride -- just as it is the pride of American parents that their children need never know starvation.
A_is_Ace.jpeg
This strangely appropriate image came from a search for report card on Pexels.
One can say a hearty (and simultaneously humorous) Amen! to the above, but events this year led me to better appreciate the significance of celebration of successful production.

It can be easy to forget that one is being productive when in the midst of a routine daily grind or a seemingly endless putting-out of fires, and this holiday is a great chance to pause and remember that fact.

In my case, I am preparing to start what, for lack of a better term, I will call a "wrong job". Part of my preparations has been an effort -- which I have been tracking -- to improve how I plan and use my time. Facing the move and having had mixed success, I decided I'd give myself a break from grading myself on each week. "I'll have basically no control of my time, and it has nothing directly to do with my plans, anyway," I somewhat erroneously thought. The week after was a blur, starting with the realization that -- on top of all the other things I had to track or schedule -- I'd forgotten to schedule a cleaning for the old place. Then I learned I was required to have our fireplace inspected -- something I'd never even heard of until I asked the property manager about a completely different matter. And, at the end of the week, I faced an inspection with our landlord, who did not take our moving out well, and I was convinced would be looking for any excuse to bill us for repairs on move-out. The culmination of all of this was when I got a call from my cleaner, attempting to back out the day before my inspection: I talked her into coming anyway, and she did a great job. The inspection went well and I managed to get back on friendly terms with my landlord during the walk-through.

This was lots of phone work -- which I hate; lots of creative planning -- which I have been working on; a little bit of management -- which I don't regard as my strong suit; and all me pursuing a goal. On reviewing that week in my planner, came across that note I made about not grading until the move was over, and wrote, "You deserve a[n effing] A for that week." In the grand scheme of things, this wasn't a huge deal, and probably most people could have found their way through a mess like this, but thinking about why I did so well helped me realize that I am quite effective when (1) I have a clear goal, and (2) I know what the steps are towards achieving that goal. I can use that knowledge to improve my approach to the "wrong job" by clarifying my purpose and breaking the job down into tasks I can hold better in my mind.

Being thankful should not be an empty ritual directed towards an imaginary being: It can be a moment of contentment with profits and the happy realization that even better things can be around the corner, along with why that is the case.

Happy Thanksgiving.

-- CAV

P.S. As I noted Monday, there is not yet internet service in the new Van Horn domicile, and won't be until Friday. So this post is it until the beginning of next week.

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