A 4 am wake up call is a call for coffee...and kindness

Over the weekend most of us were told to "fall back." To take a moment before we turned in (and tuned out) for the night to turn the hands of time back one hour so we could grab another glorious hour of slumber and help us adjust to the changing of the seasons. Unfortunately, no one told my new pets that the clock was telling all of us it was 4 am yesterday and this morning. Their bio-clocks hadn't readjusted and they were extremely vocal in letting me know. Normally I wouldn't be really complaining about this, I like getting up early, sitting in solitude, enjoy a sip or two of coffee and watching the dawn slowly stretch it's arms to signify the start of another day. But I as I also suffer from occasional bouts of insomnia, this wake up call was unappreciated and overrated. 

However, sometimes you just do what must be done, and bundle up and take the dog for a walk. In the cold. In the dark. In the silence. 

Which actually gives you time to let your mind wander and percolate, just like the coffee is that you know will be waiting for you when you walk back into your house. And, as Dr. Seuss said, "Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!":

Here's one thought: as so many of my friends are posting daily status updates of all the things they are thankful for, I am appreciative of their dedication to this endeavor and enjoy sharing in a small glimpse into their gratitude. And it's not that I am not infinitely thankful for my friends and family, for my home, for the coffee that I drink, for the books I am currently reading, for the conversations that I am able to have, for the opportunity to advocate, for...well, a whole slew of blessings, I just know that I would forget someone, or something, or even forget to post, so it's not something I do. I believe that if you care about someone you tell them, you don't need a special holiday or occasion to do so. If I have learned anything from this year of grieving (and watching others navigate grief) it is that we are only given today. 

We do not have "all the time in the world."

We have now. We have one particular moment in time to be kind, respectful, polite, and caring. No one is given a handbook for how to live their best life. We all just wing it and hope for the best turn out. We all tell people in our lives that we'll follow up with them, and then never do. We say we will call, and we don't. We say we will write a reply to an email, and don't. We say we will meet for coffee, and never make the plans to do so. We get so caught up in the details of our day that we fail to notice our day has drifted by. We fail to notice:
  • the sound that leaves make when they are covered in frost and you walk across them,
  • the smell of coffee as it brews, or tea as it steeps,
  • the taste of honey and butter on your toasted bagel,
  • the feel of a fleece blanket as you bundle up under it, and
  • the look of the sky as it changes from night to day.
We don't say "please" or "thank you" or even "you're welcome" enough. We rush, we hustle, we P90x our way through our day. We don't say hello, or when someone says hello to us (either in person, in a text, in an email, on social media, or whatever the medium) we mumble, we ignore, we simply think that "they will understand that I'm too busy to acknowledge their acknowledgment of me." We think we have time. 

And as I walked my dog, I kept thinking "Look around, Leaves are brown, And the sky is a hazy shade of winter." (Sadly, because of my age, I hear the Bangles version in my head and not the Simon & Garfunkel version, but which ever version you hear, go give it a listen) And my thought from this was that before we start getting caught up in the "reason for the season" and hibernate ourselves away for the winter, we need to make sure that we:
  • tell the people we care about that we care about them, 
  • that if we believe it is time to say a goodbye, we do so in the way that we would want someone to say goodbye to us, 
  • that when someone says hello, say hello back, even if that's all you say because that's all the time you have, and 
  • that we savor the small things because the big things will still be there tomorrow
Most of all, remember that you frame your day, whether it starts at 4 am (what the what?) or is just starting now. You are the artist, the author, the designer, the architect. Think of how you want to be treated today and act accordingly. 

We only get five seconds to make a first impression. And very, very rarely, do we ever get a second-chance (or a do-over) to set things right if they have gone wrong. So if we have flubbed our moment, apologize and acknowledge that even in the apology you may not be given grace. Sometimes the saddest part of our day is knowing that no matter how important someone is to us, we don't carry the same value in their lives. Regardless of that fact, we still need to be the very best of who we are and be thankful for the brief moment of intersection that caused paths to cross. 

Twenty-four hours in a day are all we are ever promised, and if we get that, we are rich indeed. So enjoy that cup of coffee, no matter what time you take that first sip, savor it.

Because as Dr. Seuss reminds us:  "Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You."  Go be the best "You" ever. There is no time like the present to grace someone with your presence.

Just know: You matter. You make a difference. You count. 

To me. 

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