Thankful for Times Together

Thankful for Times Together

Racing to the Finish

As we come into the last two months of the year, it is a time typically marked with family and friends, making memories, and celebrating together. Too often we race through our busy schedules and discover we haven't connected with others meaningfully, or worse we find out later that we have a friend that has felt isolated or alone.

Be a Gatherer

I am a gatherer. I gather people. When I see someone on the sidelines of a room I usually go up to them or pull them into the conversation. When I’m in a meeting or a group and someone is quiet, I’ll ask what they think of the subject at hand. I want others to feel included.

I am a gatherer especially at the holidays. Gathering family is a must, even though our immediate and extended family is pretty small. My husband and I don't have any aunts or uncles and no cousins to know. We each have only one sibling, but our kids do have a generation of cousins. Maybe that's why it's always been important to me - there just aren't many of us, so I don't take our times together for granted.

Wanting to Belong

We all have this innate sense of wanting to belong, either to be included or part of something bigger than ourselves. This  has been challenging over the past year or more, but we've got to try to check in with friends, co-workers, and family. We all need to know we aren’t alone. 

Meaningful Connections

I realize though, that this time of year not everyone has the connection of family and friends, or that connection is very painful. Sometimes the holidays only heighten that pain or loneliness. Knowing this, let's intentionally reach out to others and check in with them. Take a minute to send a text or email, or a few minutes to send a card or make a phone call. Let not only your friends and family know, but also neighbors, co-workers, and service workers you encounter each day know you appreciate them. Let's not let another month go by without meaningfully connecting with others!
Jennifer Smelker

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