What you appreciate appreciates.
We promote appreciation in our processes. We encourage it. We base a lot of our teaching and programs around it. So it’s importance is not a surprise to me. What is surprising to me is how much the concept of appreciation and gratitude has been on my mind and in such a personal way.
I recently attended an online event with talks from many successful leaders. Over and over again I heard advice about gratitude. One individual even suggested thinking about what you would have in your life today if you only had that what you appreciated yesterday. Hmmm. This was an interesting thought to me. Sometimes when recording my gratitude for the day I feel silly for being thankful for sunshine, warm weather and beautiful sunsets. But wouldn’t it be awful if these things disappeared because I didn’t appreciate them? I very often am thankful for my husband and my friends. People that I would be devastated to lose. Since this event and especially this thought, I’ve stepped up my gratitude. Maybe you too may think a little more about what and who you appreciate.
In thinking of gratitude and appreciation, I start to think about my relationships. I’m good at reaching out and scheduling visits. I believe in and promote intentional relationship building for your business. This extends into my personal life as well. I have regularly scheduled dinners and conversations with friends who have expressed interest in keeping contact and who know that life gets in the way. Thus we plan for it. For others, I try to reach out and schedule something regularly or have traditions and habits that keep us close. You see I know that what I appreciate appreciates. So when I appreciate my friendships and make the connections happen I know I’m investing and growing that relationship.
We are in some interesting times. As I write this, I can still go to a restaurant and in small gatherings visit my friends. I did social distancing/outdoor visits all through the summer. I have space outdoors. We have a big deck, outdoor kitchen and pool. It made it easy to entertain over the summer. I am thankful for each and every one of those visits. I’m thankful for the time I had with my friends over the summer. However, I’ve been struggling to try to figure out what this will look like through the winter months. I’m worried I will miss my friends. My house is a fair size but it’s not huge. Can we safely visit with another couple? Yes. Can we safely visit with a couple and their kids? I don’t know. I also have a 92-year-old woman living with us that I have to consider and take into account. Will, we shut down the restaurants again? Will we do what Quebec has done and basically denied any home to home visits?
My friend and I enjoy a day together at the One of a Kind Show every winter. We live in different cities with busy lives but each year we make time for this event. Just the two of us. This year it’s moved online. I get it. I understand it. However, I know have lost this day with my friend. I usually give gifts that involve time or experiences (Zoo, Ripleys, movie days at our house, etc.). These gifts can be just for the family I give them too or it can be a way for me to spend time with their kids and grow and deepen our relationships. I am struggling to figure out what to gift this year. 2019 Christmas gifts didn’t pan out so well (Legoland was done in my backyard and I still have a pool day, movie day and flying day that have yet to be delivered). The first time I’ve never delivered on all my gifts. The holiday season has historically meant a very full social calendar as I make my way to every friend to express my love for them. This year… I think it will be a quiet holiday season.
So the question that plagues me… how do I continue to show my appreciation to my friends for all that they mean to me? How do I ensure these relationships continue to appreciate?
Zoom? Works for some relationships… but I can’t sit and play lego or build furniture out of styrofoam or play operation with my friend’s kids via zoom. I can’t make and decorate cupcakes or bake ninja gingerbread men with them via zoom. I’m sure I will figure it out. But it goes back to building relationships intentionally. If I don’t make the intention to figure it out… it will not happen. And the things that I appreciate will start to fade.
My concerns are your concerns. Yet, if we don’t make the intention to make the relationships a priority during these coming months then what will be left after this is over? Will the sacrifices be worth it?
Think about the relationships you appreciate. Think about how you can show your appreciation and how you can nurture these relationships over the next while. A little can go a long way in showing your love and appreciation. Let’s each work together to help these friendships appreciate.
Sending each of you a virtual hug and an open invite for a virtual coffee/tea.
Oh! and if you have any gift ideas or holiday visit alternative ideas… please let me know.
“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”John F. Kennedy
“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”
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