Thursday, December 4, 2014

Be Present

The holidays. Some consider this the most wonderful time of year. Others bring out their inner Grinch. Sometimes, I feel like I fluctuate between the two.

As I reflect on the simple traditions of my small family, I realize I enjoy the lack of present exchange among my family members. Less pressure, saves money and avoids holiday crowds. I place greater value in spending time with family and friends. 

Over the past several years working in a cancer center has brought a new perspective to my life. I have the pleasure of witnessing true strength, compassion and love of humans. Seeing the important "things" in life and learning that the best things aren't ever things - they're people. Relationships. Memories. Experiences. 

I choose to believe people are good. People want to help others. Help during the holidays doesn't always mean purchasing a meaningless gift off a desired list. Sometimes it can be as simple as a smile or a shoulder to cry on. Help ultimately depends on the person and that moment in time. 

Don't just give presents this season. Be present.

Try to be present in your day. Enjoy each precious moment. Regardless of religion, celebrate the spirit of life. Do not take life for granted. Be present in your relationships with others and the relationship with yourself. When you see your significant other, family member or best friend, spend time with each other. Whether you see this person nearly every minute of the day or rarely, put your technology away. I mean spend REAL time with each other. Talk. Listen. Look. Complain about life. Giggle at something silly and inappropriate. Be present. Engage in a meaningful relationship. Next time you're waiting in line at the store or train, stand there. Resist the temptation to check your email or look at the last social media post. Look around you. Perhaps say "hi" to the person next to you and wish them a "happy holiday." Think. Breathe. Be present. 

What do the holidays mean to you?

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