Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Reason to “Pause”

This week has brought us another moment to “pause” in the midst of our holiday preparations – in the midst of our lives. Life dealt a cold blow to our country and the families who lost their children this week in the mass shooting in Connecticut. With that cloud hanging over each of us, and my own heart very heavy, I ventured out trying to complete tasks that seemed so menial. I made my way to the mall (not my favorite place to go) very aware that I was behind in my preparations.  But I was different in my focus.  I found myself slowing down, standing aside for others and having more eye contact with those crossing my path. I found myself watching how I, and those around me, and how we were just going about our business just as so many others have been doing when their life was cut short due to a shooting rampage.  I realized we have to make each moment count as we never really know when it is our last.

As I purchased a gift card in one of the department stores, the clerk asked me how I was doing in my preparations.  I laughed as I said, “I left my long list of tasks I was to accomplish sitting at home on the table.  It was disorganized enough that even my husband couldn’t read it and understand it enough to give me the information over the phone.”  “But,” I said, “My children and grandchildren will be celebrating Christmas this year. Not all of them at our home (which is less of a disappointment in the grand scheme of this week), but they are living and being given the chance to continue to develop and live their best lives.” And so, the tasks didn’t matter.  What did matter is that I enjoyed my trip to the mall making my way through the crowds.  What did matter is that I befriended a few people with a smile and comment to lessen the stress in the air. What did matter is that I am gifted with the opportunity to have moments with my loved ones.  And it is up to me -- and to you -- to live these moments the very best we can  -- in loving reverence for what has happened this week.  We can’t be there physically to support those in Connecticut.  But we can remember that we have opportunity right here and right now to make a difference in someone’s life. May you bring joy to those frenzied moments gifting another with a smile and radiate the deep regard that we each deserve as human beings.  Let’s take this experience and find a way to make this 2012 season count in the way that really matters.

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