No matter how often it happens, when another person gives me the benefit of the doubt or places high expectations on me with the intention of having me rise to the occasion, it would seem I always do. Or at least have the desire to.
I’m not sure why this is the case. Human nature, I guess. It seems to be most surprising to me when coming from an absolute stranger. In these cases, my desire to rise up and exceed their expectations is even greater.
For me, it’s a moment where I can show them I can handle the fragility of trust they’re giving me and reciprocate with an act of unselfishness as well.
That certainly gives me a shot of dopamine and more. I’ll take that any day. Especially by getting it from connecting with others and not from social media.
The older I get on in age it seems the more I value relationships with people I enjoy. There are always several qualities in people that I’m attracted to such as: humility, kindness, people who are soft-spoken, humor – they have to be funny or they’re gone! Respectful, creative, honest, trust-worthy, unselfish, open-minded and very good listeners. It also helps if they’re outdoorsy and athletic, but I don’t want to be too judgmental.
The thing is, when I find these people, I don’t let them go and I certainly let them know how wonderful they are. I don’t hold back on how much our relationship means to me and why I value them. I find myself going above and beyond with my kindness and sometimes gifts in order to show my appreciation. that feels really good to me.
I’ve also done this with my wife and children – not nearly enough – and am so grateful I have and continue to do. These ‘gushes’ may come in the form of notes, cards, letters or texts letting them know how much I appreciate, Love and value them and why. As difficult as it is to summon the energy to put those words onto paper – telling myself, “you don’t have to do this. They know.” I never regret doing it. In fact, it only solidifies our Love for one another even more. Every single time.
That will never get old for me.
I find the holidays to be a wonderful time, with excitement, anticipation and the desire to be ‘happier’ than other times in the year.
I’m not sure where this came from. Maybe it’s a bit of residual Christmas magic from when I was a child. Then again, maybe it’s just plain ole’ ‘unrealistic expectations’ and another opportunity to be tempted to fall into the infinite pursuit for happiness by looking to the outside world to provide it for me.
This is where I believe we’re mistaken. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen for that old carnival trick. Only to wake up the day after Christmas a bit depressed – bloated and gassy – and wondering why I chose to go down that tempting road of illusion once again.
Here’s my conclusion (and I have to tell myself this in order to be prepared for the days to come); There is nothing Christmas – or any other holiday for that matter – can provide us other than the opportunity to be with loved ones, that any ‘regular’ day cannot. No matter how much eggnog I drink, cinnamon rolls I stuff down my throat or alcohol one can consume, it comes down to remaining in the present moment and connecting with others.
And maybe, just maybe it’s an opportunity to give just a little bit more away to others than we usually do.
Now that sounds merry and bright.
I’m not sure how to compare myself to others, but I feel like, as an average Joe – or Jim, I’ve been around death a bit more than the average bear.
Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles – some closer than others. In fact some very close. And even close friends. A few of those I was there with them bedside within hours of their transition.
For whatever reason, I’m okay with this. In fact, part of me feels like I belong there with them. Almost like I’m the right person for the job. I’m not frightened of what I should or shouldn’t say. It’s not awkward for me in any way and I think the people I’m with feel that. It’s actually very peaceful.
There’s no place to run or hide and from what I can tell, their ego has long since left the party. It’s never more evident to me during these moments what is important to these people; connection with others. It’s about LOVE.
It’s always about Love. Maybe that’s why I’m so comfortable with those moments. Because after we strip it all down and there is nothing left, all we have is Love. I can live with that. And die with it.
It can be challenging for the best of us to always be on target with our choices and never give ourselves a break. We’re human beings not machines.
Even the most disciplined take time to throw caution to the wind and fall off the wagon once in while. But, that’s not excuse to unhitch the horses, light the wagon on fire and send it down the hill into the ravine to be destroyed in a fiery blaze of glory.
We must chose to limit our choices of being “less than” in order to avoid spiraling out of control only to wake up 12 hours later on a couch from a self-induced sugar coma feeling as swollen as the Michelin Man.
Here is where moderation can be a useful tool for us. So, let’s use it.