THE EMPTY SEAT AT THE TABLE
This time of year can be a joyful time and it can also be a very painful time.
Especially this year. For many of us, it has been a year like no other. We are all trying to navigate through it the best way we can.
For some of us, we have the holiday to look forward to.
For others, it becomes an additional source of pain.
There is an empty seat at our table.
One that used to be filled with someone we loved dearly.
The emptiness is a constant reminder they won't be joining us.
We find it hard to fully engage and enjoy, even though we may still be surrounded by family and friends.
This year may be a different gathering for most of us, maybe on a smaller scale, or even spending it by ourselves.
Regardless, the empty seat will still be there.
However, is the seat really empty? Or is it filled with love, memories and laughter? Maybe even a heated discussion or two?
Even though they don't live on this earth as we knew it any longer, they live in our hearts and our memories. We keep them alive in that way.
How do you think they would prefer for us to spend this holiday? Would it be with love and appreciation for the time we had together, or sadness and false smiles?
We can honor that empty seat by always remembering what a gift we had by having them in our lives. No matter the amount of time.
Don't let that seat be empty this holiday. Fill that seat with loving memories and stories and the knowledge that you will someday be together again.
Believe in that with all of your heart. Let them see that you live your life in the best way you can. For them and for you.
You never know, they may be smiling right along with you.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Until next time,
A GENTLE REMINDER
I had a close friend tell me last weekend that she didn't think I took enough time to "smell the roses". She didn't intend to be mean, she thought it may be helpful for me to know. You know, friendship feedback.
We had taken a walk with my dog on a path where fall was evident by the red, orange and yellow leaves that had recently scattered and covered much of the path. A typical midwest fall afternoon.
She noticed a black cat sitting on a fallen branch a few feet away quietly staring at us. I didn't notice as I suppose my mind was busy someplace else. I joked that my dog didn't even notice so I wasn't the only one!
Further down I pointed out a home where I sometimes see a few horses. I love horses so I always see if I can catch a glimpse of them as I walk by. I pointed out the stalls and told her I hadn't seen the horses in quite a while. I wondered if they were still there. On our way back she spotted the cat again and one of the horses poking their head out of the stall quietly watching us and we walked by.
I somehow managed to miss them both
Consider how many times in a single day you may be doing the same thing. If you can't be in the moment even for the things you enjoy, then I have to ask what's the point?
I was reminded how important it is to take at the very least 15 minutes a day to be present and focused on something that I WANT to do. Not something I have to do but something I enjoy. It may be new for you to do this and you can expect your mind to wander and go back to thoughts about what you should be doing and why you shouldn't be doing what you are. Acknowledge them and tell them to take a break, it's not their time to occupy your head space.
Every. Single. Day. Counts. Take some time to enjoy something just for you.
Until next time,