Ten days ago today cc had an accident at work. I was preparing to take my family to the airport when I got the call from her that she was in the emergency room. Not surprisingly, she tried to make light of it, so as not to worry me. I finally made my way to the hospital and found my love in a pile of emotional mush and with a gnarly looking hand.
After loving on her a bit and trying to understand what happened, I first gave thanks. You always hear the cliche line, “it could have been worse.” But the truth is, it could have. We own a manufacturing business and we know too many stories where machines have severely injured and even killed machinists. It could have been worse and I was thankful it was only her hand. Even if she lost her hand, we weren’t going to lose her. (Time for her to stay put at her desk!)
I’m telling you all this because I feel like it was a wake up call, and we are all in need of a wake up call right now.
Who are you taking for granted?
I know that I’m spending too much time worrying about the state of my house, the endless list of tasks that never seem to get done, worrying about my son, fretting over the election and the state of the people, and obsessing over my health. What I haven’t been doing is working on my relationships. The very connections that make my existence real, especially with cc.
When I saw her in that hospital bed I knew I needed to make a change. I wanted to connect, and that’s what I’m really focusing on as we move through the season. Here are a few ideas to reconnect if you are in the same boat as me.
Rules for Reconnect
- Make Time - Schedule it in advance if you have to. Making time should be at the top of your priority list.
- Limit distractions - According to a recent technology survey, Americans can’t go more than an hour without looking at their phones. Put the phone away, turn off the tv and just spend time together playing, talking, walking, etc. Be in the moment.
- Just listen - This funny video sums up what I mean. Sometimes it’s not about the nail. I find all too often I’m listening to fix a problem instead of making space for the other person to share their worries and woes (or joys). Staying connected means making emotional connections and that requires just listening.
- Quick Connections - Use technology for good. A quick text to let the other person know you are thinking about them is a great way to stay connected. Other ways to quickly connect are leave a note, send a video, or kiss goodbye every morning. Even when we are rushed, we have time for a quick connect.
- Give gratitude - How often do you tell your friends and loved ones why you love them or appreciate them? Don’t wait. Spend a few minutes explaining how you feel about the other person. Any format is great, but looking them in the eye creates the best connection.
It shouldn’t take an accident or other event to remind me to do this, but I’m grateful to remember to make my time more about quality. Life is too short and the people in it are far too important to pass over. Who do you need to reconnect with?