On Monday I tried to cram in a couple of holiday errands between appointments, stopping at The Mail Center to drop off some Christmas cards (no, I’m still not done) and mail two boxes of presents to the West coast. When I arrived, there was an older woman in line in front of me filling out a form. I exchanged pleasantries with the Owner, Mark, and asked if he thought I could get out of there in about 15 minutes. I hadn’t really given myself enough time before my next appointment, but Mark assured me he would do his best. Then the woman in front of me told him, “you can go ahead and help her first.”
As Mark took care of my boxes, I thanked the woman and we chatted; I found out that she has four grandchildren between 2 and 8 years old. We agreed those ages were great fun at the holidays. As we talked a bit more, she revealed that her husband had recently fallen and broken his hip and would spend Christmas in a rehab facility. It was obvious that would be hard on both of them.
If I hadn’t been forced to slow down for a few minutes and get present, she wouldn’t have shared that with me. Behind people’s joy (or automatic “I’m doing great”) there are often challenges and struggles. I hope that you’ll be gentle with yourself and the people around you during this busy season. When we are compassionate and give people the gift of our presence, sometimes they will talk about things that trouble them; it may lighten their load just a bit.
Wishing you and yours warm and merry holidays – and strength and support to deal with any challenges you face.
p.s. Your comments are most welcome on this post at https://www.facebook.com/jenfrankcoaching