The Everyday Things

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This morning the routine I followed was the normal one.  I was logged into my computer and plugging away by 6:00am.  Knowing that I am the most productive in the morning, I try to make the most of my “prime” hours.  Phones, emails and IMs are usually pretty quiet until around 7:00am so I was surprised when at 6:26, I saw an IM blinking at the bottom of my screen.

Quickly, I opened it to scan the contents and smiled to see it was a nice guy from up north and the question he posed was relatively easy, so it shouldn’t take much time.  I hurriedly typed out my response, scanned for typos and hit “send”.  I was done and could now move on to another task.

He thanked me, and then he said something that would change my morning.  He said, “by the way, Lisa, how are you?  Sometimes I ask a lot of questions and forget to ask the really important one, of how one is doing.”

Suddenly it occurred to me that I’ve known this man for many years and had no idea how he was doing either.  As usual, I hadn’t taken the time to stop and ask.  Why are we often too busy to be polite?

This man had (probably unknowingly) just preached an entire message that went straight to my heart and exposed, once again, the selfishness and “much too busy” attitudes lodged there. 

So, I replied, “I understand what you are saying; we all get too busy to slow down and really care, don’t we?  How have YOU been?

He began to tell me that 2013 had been a tough year for him and he was glad to see it go.  He had lost his mother in law to cancer, and while he and his wife were cleaning up her estate, his wife of 37 years fell ill and was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer.   He lost her in August.

Wow!  I hadn’t known and my heart ached for the grief and pain that must still resonate within him.  With the tears that now filled my eyes making the screen almost too blurry to see, I did my best to convey my heartfelt sympathy and congratulated him on such a long-lasting marriage.  He advised me to cherish every moment of mine and I told him I would heed his advice and take it to heart and we said our goodbyes.

Only a few moments had passed, but I looked at the day ahead with a fresh perspective.  I wonder if he even had a clue how his words affected me today or how grateful to him I am.

Everyone is going through things and I want to know, I want to care and I want to bring comfort when I can. 

Look someone in the eyes and ask them how they are today or tomorrow, and then give them time to respond.  If and when someone asks you the same, give them the benefit of an honest answer.  You might give them the opportunity to comfort you.  We all are blessed when we give or receive.

And, always look for the lesson or the reminder in the everyday things.

Comments

  1. terrilewis6 says:

    What an awesome message!! We do get so caught up in a routine of work that we lose that caring spirit with one another! Thanks Lisa — once again a beautiful writing!!!

  2. Wow! Thank you so much for the reminder to truly connect with others even when we’re at our busiest– both as giver and receiver. Very touching encounter– thanks for sharing! God bless!

Trackbacks

  1. […] you read my post from a couple of days ago, The Everyday Things, you will know that earlier in the week I received a poignant reminder to slow down.  That […]

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