December 1, 2021

Hello, December: 6 Things to Contemplate as we Wrap Up this Year.

Another month comes to an end, and as of 15 minutes ago on the East Coast, we welcomed a new one.

Hello, December, the final month of the year.

With just a little more than four weeks on the calendar, we can find ourselves with a lot to do. The holidays can be stressful, or peaceful—and usually, a blend of both.

Some are happy to see the year pass while others are grateful they survived another one.

Collectively, we have suffered greatly and celebrated largely. We have endured losses and sorrow along with many gains and much joy.

How was your year?

Time has always intrigued me, even more so with each passing year. What happened 20 years ago seems like yesterday and what happened this morning, I struggle to remember. It passes both quickly and slowly, yet time is universal. There will always be 24 hours in a day and 60 minutes in an hour.

For the things we enjoy doing, there’s not enough time in the day, and for the things we dread tackling, we can never find the time.

As I drove along this evening, it struck me that 2022 will be here in the blink of an eye.

Where has the time gone?

There is truth in that saying that the older you get, the faster it goes. It actually seems to speed up!

Yet one thing is for certain—each day, each moment is a gift. Life is filled with uncertainty, struggles, challenges, and pain, but that is synonymous with mystery, victories, opportunities, and happiness.

Life invites us to participate—then sit back, take notice, and decide what we will do with everything thrown at us.

Some do make lemonade out of lemons—and some grow sour.

Who are you?

Take a moment and reflect. The holiday season is upon us. It’s the season of giving and sharing, peace and cheer.

I spoke with two special people today who reminded me of countless, intangible things. How beautiful and wonderful life can be. I am grateful. They inspired me and brought back to the life, the mission, vision, and dreams I once clung tightly to—yet cast aside, buried deep within, or just simply got lazy about.

Most importantly, they touched my heart—and resurrected my desire for intimacy and connection on a deep level, something that has surely been lacking in my life. Not with myself, but with others. They tapped into my curiosity and passion, exploring ideas and fueling hope, opening my heart and reminding me that I am not alone—unless I want to be. What a wonderful feeling and what immense gratitude I have in my heart.

May I invite you to contemplate the following over these next weeks?

Compassion

We have no way of knowing what another person is going through.

Give grouchy people the benefit of the doubt—better yet, gently and kindly probe. Not into their business, but into their heart. Attempt to engage them in light banter and conversation. You may find out that they are not so bad and possibly quite terrific.

Never set out making it all about you or immediately judging another. Accept, explore, and be receptive to interactions with others. There within lies so many great lessons, experiences, and memories.

Tolerance

People suck. We know this—but not all people!

Right up there with compassion is tolerance.

Make an effort to step into someone else’s shoes, even if they might not fit.

Listen to their words, observe their actions, then seek to understand. I don’t like, respect, or believe in many things happening in today’s world—but I’m tolerant. It doesn’t mean that I don’t speak out or attempt to make a difference where and when I can.

But I also understand that others need to do what they need to do. Whether I agree—or not.

Educate when you can. Tolerate when you can’t. Make a difference in any way possible.

Don’t be part of the problem. Be part of the solution.

Inquisitiveness

When you live your life with curiosity, few things truly bother you.

Your introspection, reflection, thoughts, and action are built upon learning. You seek knowledge and understanding—not condemnation and hate.

Be curious. Be interested. Be engaged. Then reflect. This doesn’t mean that people or their beliefs won’t irritate you—but you may not feel the need to react but rather learn.

Learning

If you’re not learning, you’re not growing.

Each day, each interaction, and each experience—even observations—provide a source of education.

The key to learning is to be active in your day-to-day life, not passive.

What did you see, hear, and do? How about others around you? Are you mindful, or just passing through?

Pay attention. Read. Listen. No matter what it is, there is something to learn.

Gratitude

Be thankful.

Believe me, there are more reasons to be miserable than grateful. We all know that. It’s much easier to find those and dwell upon them.

Yet why? Because we want to be miserable? Unhappy? Angry? That’s rather cynical and sadomasochistic, don’t you think?

If you want to live with contentment and satisfaction—even when the chips are down and you can’t see any way up—look for the good.

There is good all around us if we pay attention.

For me, two close acquaintances today lit a fire in my soul that had long gone out. They reminded me that I have grown complacent—not content. They reminded me that there is so much life to live that I may have unconsciously given up on. Shame on me.

I am grateful.

Grateful that I awoke today. Grateful that I am employed. Grateful for my supportive family, friends, and colleagues. Just grateful.

Contribution

So we’ve accomplished everything above. Now, what will we contribute?

How will you give back to this world, or pay it forward?

Each day, make sure you wake up with a grateful heart, then seek ways that you can contribute to the world.

Maybe it’s holding the door for a stranger, helping a neighbor, or just going out of your way for someone when you’re not in the mood.

Do it. If you can’t afford the time to volunteer, simply make a difference each day in the world you live in. Live with kindness, compassion, and care—every day.

Have a great month!

~

 

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