I was here

Communication: Season, Reason, Lifetime

Some people are in your life for a season.

Some people are in your life for a reason.

Some people are in your life for a lifetime.

While I have heard the above message before (probably in church), hearing it again today was a good reminder for me.  It’s something that I need to remember when I think about the relationships I have had with people in my life at this point.

During this time of year (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s), I sometimes get sentimental and start reminiscing about past holidays.  Then I start thinking about the family members who are no longer with us.   Even as I’m going through my address book to begin writing my Christmas cards this month, I start thinking about the people that I have lost touch with over the past years.

 

Seasons—for my family members that have passed away like my parents, my grandfather and my two uncles.  They were here for a certain amount of time in our lives and they are gone.  We are having to learn how to live on without them.  Loss is never easy for me to deal with, but when I think about that quote, it helps me get through it.

Reasons—people that have come in and out of my life when it was necessary for me to learn something, and/or for me to teach them something.  They are here for a certain time, and then they are no longer in my life.  There is no contact.  We each just go our own ways.  This one makes me sad because a lot of people I have lost touch with falls in this group.   I used to work at keeping in touch with people during the days of letter writing, sending real birthday cards, etc.  Now that everything is digital, it just isn’t the same.

Lifetime–for me that would be people whom I’ve been friends with from childhood, or with newer friends where we’ve seen each other through some things or have enough common interests that have probably made us friends for life.

However someone happens to come into my life, or I come into his or her life, I hope that we each get what we are destined to get from it, and that the season, reason or lifetime is fulfilled.

Where do all of the people in your life fit?  Are they here for a reason, a season or a lifetime?

Communication: Random Things I’m Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

51 Random Things I am Thankful For….

(just a quick, random list for fun)

  1. breath/life
  2. sanity
  3. family
  4. friends
  5. stories/wisdom/advice from the elder generation
  6. the renewed desire to reach people through my writing
  7. my photography hobby
  8. black and white photography
  9. aerial photography
  10. night time photography
  11. the very few photos from my childhood
  12. my baking hobby
  13. my writing hobby
  14. my traveling hobby
  15. cruise vacations
  16. time spent in Venice, Italy
  17. time spent in Barcelona, Spain
  18. time spent in London, England
  19. time spent in Toronto, Canada
  20. time spent in Waikiki, Hawaii
  21. my musical interests
  22. my headphones to escape in music
  23. roku when I stopped watching cable
  24. hulu plus when I stopped watching cable
  25. netflix when I stopped watch cable
  26. periscope for its authenicity and connections to people, globally
  27. any kind of potato…except au gratin/scalloped
  28. Talenti gelato….sea salt caramel, double chocoalte, or chocotale peanut butter
  29. cheddar bay biscuits at Red Lobsters
  30. salmon at Longhorn’s
  31. frozen lemonade at Chik Fil-a
  32. freedom and living in the USA
  33. a good upbringing
  34. having had a loving and encouraging Mom
  35. the men of the past
  36. my childfreedom
  37. my independence
  38. my self-sufficiency
  39. receiving unexpected checks in the mail
  40. hearing kids laugh and having fun
  41. watching kids discover, learn and master a subject/task
  42. photographing a child’s perfectly timed and sharply focused  smiling face
  43. Any plane that departs on time, with me and my passport on it, and it’s not a work trip
  44. 5:00-6:00pm every workday when I can leave the cube farm
  45. Fridays
  46. Saturdays
  47. Sundays
  48. holidays
  49. New Year’s Day
  50. free will to make life’s choices
  51. The things my Mom told me that prepared me for life

What random things are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

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Communication: Do you know The Person or The Position?

Fridays are supposed to be easy, light days at work, aren’t they?  We are down to the last eight hours of the work-week until we can start the weekend!

So, last Friday morning I log into my computer, check my email and read a message for which I was not prepared.

One of the cafe workers had died.

The shock I felt was unexpected because I didn’t know her personally.  But most mornings I went downstairs for my coffee (and sometimes, a bagel), she was there. The message said she died in a car accident but gave no other details.  She was always professional and provided great customer service to everyone.  Now, here it was four days later, and she was gone.

A few months ago, there was an incident at work where someone was killed and as disturbing as that was, it was a different feeling for me because when they showed his picture on the news, I didn’t recognize him.  Of course that didn’t make hearing the news any less disturbing.   In fact the entire story was beyond upsetting, but it was not quite the same feeling of familiarity with him specifically.  He didn’t work at the gate that I came in daily.  Instead, he worked at the main gate to our building, so I didn’t see him daily like I saw the café worker.  I still felt badly that this man lost his life doing his job where I worked.

When you see service/support staff throughout your place of employment, you might possibly get to know them a little over a long time but it’s hard to really get to know any of them because they are at their post, working hard dealing with all of us as efficiently as possible, and you may only see them occasionally when you are on your break.  There really is no time for socializing for them.   So they sort of become fixtures throughout your day.  I honestly don’t mean that in a bad way but let me explain.

Our lives are like scenes in a movie.  As we have different interactions with different people throughout our day, these scenes make up our days, weeks, months, years and lives.  We have work scenes, home scenes, church scenes, grocery store scenes, post office scenes, etc.   We each have different characters in our specific scenes, like the cashier at the cafe, the security guard at work,  the deli worker at the grocery store, the postal worker at the post office.   These characters become fixtures since they are always there.  They become familiar as you see them each time you visit a place, however frequently you visit.  So when the normal scenes happen at your job daily, you expect to see those characters daily.   In your work scene, you may have a brief interaction like “Hello, how’s your day going?” or “How was your weekend?” and the scene just naturally keeps moving because we all have to get back to work.

When an incident like this happens and they simply aren’t there anymore, it’s almost like someone abruptly stopped the movie, rewound the film and completely cut the character out of the scene.  Yet, we are not the director.

So when I went down to the cafe and the cafe worker wasn’t there, it felt odd not to see her in that scene.   I had no personal connection with her but she was part of one of my work scenes of “a trip to the cafe for a coffee and a bagel”.  Now that I knew the reason she was and would no longer be there, it bothered me to know the reason was death for someone so young.

On my walk back to my desk I found myself thinking about the people who are in my life’s scenes just at work, and realized how I haven’t taken the time to get to know them. I also realized that a part of me feels it is not appropriate to try to socialize with people when they’re trying to do their job.  I am not a fan of small talk  when I am at work, so I try not to bother people when they’re working. But when someone whom you see daily dies suddenly, it makes you think….”Well damn, I didn’t even really take the time to get to know that person”.   All I knew about her was she was the cashier at the cafe.  I knew only the position.  I did not know the person.  I felt really badly about that fact.

Then I realized something.

I also don’t know the name of the current security guard at the gate that I do come through every day. I don’t know the cook’s name in the cafeteria who remembers that I like my spicy grilled chicken sandwich with provolone cheese before I even have to say what I want. I don’t know the name of the person who empties my trash daily and dusts my desk and cabinets weekly.   I don’t know the names of the people at the security office when I need a new lanyard for the 3000th time.  They all are just there doing their jobs and while I am not ignoring them,  I just don’t know anything about them.  I know the position, but I do not know the person.

I feel a need to make an effort to correct that.   Life is too short to not know the people in the scenes of your life.  You may not get to have a solid personal relationship with them, but at least get to know them as a person and not just a position.

My question to you:

Do you know the person or the position of all the people who are regulars in your life’s daily scenes?