Tag Archive | conversation

Fall Castings

The calendar reveals that the season has officially shifted to fall, and as I gazed out my window, I could not help but notice the flurry of leaves falling from some of the trees. Here in Pennsylvania the foliage is just beginning to turn. Although a few trees wear coats of red and gold, most continue to sport their green. Only a few trees are beginning to shed their foliage. As I thought about the trees casting their leaves in preparation for the winter, I wondered if the shedding related to life in general.

Actually, it caused me to reflect on a conversation I had with a former coworker now retired. Although her life has been riddled with hardship, she chooses to focus on what is good and positive rather than what is no longer possible. Her husband has traveled a rough and difficult road of health and though making progress, he’s unable to do some of the “chores” that usually would have been meaningful. Without use of his limbs, he could no longer mow the grass, tend flower beds or work on the car. It troubled him to have to pay someone to do these tasks. In years past, though bothersome, these jobs would have been a simple undertaking. My friend reminded her beloved spouse that it was OK to let some of these things go. The chores would get done but in another way. She encouraged him to let these jobs go and save his energy for those activities that were more important or pleasurable.

Sometimes in life, we are forced to let things go – a relationship, job, house or a myriad of other things which seem important to us. We can fight the loss and become depressed, OR we can let them go tumbling beneath us like the tree leaves in autumn. We can choose to focus our mind and energy in other directions and with higher priorities.  It seems fall’s castings may relate to life after all.

Who’s in your community?

Are you as amazed as I am about the people crossing your path each day? I’m not talking about the people who rain on your parade, but those whose actions make you feel like you’re the next best thing to sliced bread.

These are the people who build you up, encourage you and jump on your bandwagon to give you support. There are a lot of them out there, and yet we tend to recall those who mistreat us instead of those who treat us well.  Why is that? Perhaps if we focused our thoughts more on the warm and caring responses we receive, we’d have more good days than those on the opposite end of the continuum.

Most people live active and busy lives, yet a broad smile and hearty wave go a long way to let you know they notice you’re alive and care enough to greet you. Please note that the wave is hearty and not merely a raising of the hand. Fingers or wrist must move enthusiastically in order to qualify.

Oh, and there’s the store clerk who admires your purse and turns the time you spend in the grocery line into a real conversation – not one about the weather or the color of a starlet’s hair, but matters of importance even in that short time frame. And you can’t forget the huggers. These delightful people are so glad to see you they cannot wait to put their arms around you to say, “Hello.” Even if hugging is not your thing, you can appreciate their effort to let you know you are important to them.

I like “real” people, too. They’re the ones who are themselves regardless of the time or place. They know who they are and don’t put on airs. You can’t help but feel comfortable around them.

The one’s I like best are the listeners. They look you in the eye as they ask you questions – not to be nosey but to help you sort out a problem, figure out a solution or encourage you in your endeavors. They’re hearing what you say without being distracted by the formulation of their own responses or comments. They are not so engrossed in their own problems that they remember you and your situation from a day, month or year before and they ask you about how something turned out or how it’s going.

The world is filled with everyday people who demonstrate kindness, consideration and a helping hand. Perhaps if I focus more on their efforts, I’ll become like them.