I See You

I was in my local coffee shop and just finished my order. I noticed the line behind me had 2 people when a group of 3 went straight to the register and ordered without noticing that there had been people waiting behind me. They never looked, just ordered.

The lady who was bumped in line was so kind and just let them go ahead of her. I decided to walk up to her and let her know that I SAW HER and that she was not invisible. She explained that she just felt like it was a fight she didn’t want to start. The barista also spoke up and said that he saw her too. She appreciated that we noticed her.

It may seem like a small thing but I started thinking about people who do not feel seen. It got me wondering about how such a simple moment can change someone’s day. It woke me up to the fact that sometimes I am not paying attention either, especially when I’m in a hurry. Why has kindness taken a back seat in our society? Is everyone just in our way and an annoyance? Do we even care to realize that every person matters?

I started thinking of all the situations that trigger frustration:

  • On the road while driving — especially in traffic
  • Pedestrians who have the right of way
  • Any elementary school playground
  • The waiting room of a doctor’s office
  • The airport
  • Trying to reach customer service by telephone

It’s okay to:

  • Let someone into your lane, even if they decide at the last minute — we all do that once in a while
  • Look for pedestrians — show them you see them
  • Help kids learn to work out their conflicts right there on the playground — make sure they each listen to the other’s feelings — then send them back to play
  • Create better systems in waiting rooms — update everyone who is going to be taken in late — everyone’s schedule matters
  • When flights are delayed, update every 15 minutes and be honest as to what the problem is —
  • Customer service is the first line item when running a business — if that is not pleasant for customers, everything else will fail behind it.

I decided to change my routine and while taking my normal walk around our reservoir, I looked up at everyone I passed. Everyone smiled — people took the time to say hello.

Taking a Walk

I stopped on a street near my house last week and noticed that the neighborhood goats were set up getting rid of our dry brush. This sight attracted so many people — they all got out of their cars to see this extraordinary service take place and everyone was amazed, smiling and taking pictures. Kids don’t see this sight every day.

Thank You Goats!

It doesn’t take much of our time to value people. It just needs to be a part of our day. Who knows, it could become a habit —- I SEE YOU!

Your Home is Your Biography

I counted the other day and I have lived in 13 homes in my life. I have lived in my present home for 36 years which is by far the longest time period of any of them. I think all biographies could begin and end with a chapter on each home you have lived in. They tell the stories of growth, adventure, frustration, joy, finances, clutter and stir memories like nothing else in your life (except maybe our cars that hold stories within their doors).

I’ve always had a feeling about home. Each one becomes a part of the history of you. Moving in is tiring and fun. Leaving is sad for all that is left behind. Every house I’ve been in tells my story. I can be funny. I am a positive curious girl who daydreams a lot or I am extremely responsible and organization overtakes my day. My first house was simple and small. It was a fun neighborhood and it was easy to just grow up with few worries. My second house was two story and held all my teenage decisions. I had my own room and learned to meet new people. I’ve lived in apartments, rented homes and condos I bought too fast. Every place held promise.

FAST FORWARD 45 YEARS ~~ I’ve been in my home for all these years and I wake up every morning wondering if I will regret selling it for a smaller home. Our kids were raised here and we created an art studio for Chris. It is a large 1/2 acre yard and we spent every weekend caring for it and the kids. Is it possible to wake up in a different home and start over?

I lack a sense of adventure. I want to change that. It is okay to let my guard down and try new things. Chris and I have the chance to create a home without worrying how it will affect anyone but ourselves. We have ideas we have never been able to create.

My friend, Monday, has sold her home and her whole family has taken off on a trek across the United States. Even though she is scared, she made it happen. Her stories are hilarious and honest. It is not easy but I can almost guarantee that her kids will thank her for this one day. Even with all the sibling fighting, bonds are being made. Will our kids have nightmares about the new family that will be living in their house?

So this is the first step. Saying out loud that this is going to happen. Making a promise to myself and Chris that we will stay on this path and see it through. Now how in the heck do we start downsizing our “stuff?”

The Start