Firstly, I haven’t forgotten about Resolutions 2-6. Just needed to jump ahead here.
Secondly, the actual resolution needs a little explaining. But first…a story.
Over the years I have gotten to known a few homeless people. Ruth in Hartford affectionately called me Liz or Elizabeth…when she was off her meds. She’d ask for insights about her life. When I moved to Florida in 1991 the regulars at my coffee shop took up looking after her; she gained weight, had more lucid moments, was dressed for the cold. When I met my all-time-favorite he said “My name is Lee Roy, but you can call me Pop”. So I did. And I still do, a good decade later. He works and now serves others as part of my church’s homeless ministry. And Norman…then there’s Norm.
I hadn’t seen Norm in a while, so when I had some extra food a couple of weeks ago I went looking for him. When he wasn’t in his normal evening spot, I looked again a couple of days later. Still no Norm. I got the news on Sunday: Norm passed away in December of a heart attack. I was away. There was a memorial service for him in January. If I wasn’t away, I sure wasn’t paying attention.
I know why I missed the news; I was off taking care of myself. I’m glad I took the “me time”. That said, Norm’s death brought this New Year’s Resolution to the front of my mind.
My resolution is to spend more time WITH people. Not the quick hellos, not the “How are you?” thrown out there without the hopes of a real answer. I’m working on the QUALITY of time, quality of encounters.
Did I used to be better at this? I’m not sure. I do know, however, that I used to know more about the people in my immediate surroundings.
And that felt good. Funny how making a change in someone else’s day can lift your spirits. But then again, that’s balance.