I hope you are having a lovely week! Did you have a good Valentine’s Day? Regardless of if you celebrate the day, enjoy the day, or hate the day, I hope you felt loved.
I had an interesting interaction on Valentine’s Day, while shopping for dinner at Safeway. I was in the chip aisle trying to find the best and cheapest bag of tortilla chips. Halfway down the aisle, I heard an older gentleman exclaim, “Darlin’, you must be an athlete!” I paused, looked around, saw no one behind me, looked at him, and said, “I don’t know about that!” He approached me, smiling, and asked me what I like to do in my free time. I told him I enjoyed running, mountain biking, and skiing. He then asked if I was from Bozeman, based on my activity choices. We began a decently lengthy conversation about Bozeman, how beautiful it is, how many great activities there are to do, why we live here, etc. etc. He used to be a soccer coach many years ago, told me about his kids, why he moved to Bozeman, and how it took him a very long time to figure out what he loved and wanted most in life. He soon asked me what I did here in Bozeman, finding out that I have three jobs that keep me busy and help pay the bills, while trying to make time to adventure. As we began to part ways he said, “I know that you will one day find a career that will not feel like a job. I think that time is closer than you think!”
Without the friendly gentleman even knowing, that final comment was exactly what I needed to hear. For the past few years, I have not known where my career path is going. I have tried out multiple jobs within my degree, never feeling completely at peace with my decision. Since feeling the push to move to Seattle, I have realized that my desire is to immerse myself back into the outdoor industry. Seattle is a mecca anything ski, bike, run, hike, and climb related! Hearing this gentleman tell me that my career is just around the corner was the biggest encouragement I have received in a while!
As I made the short trek home that night I began thinking about my interactions with individuals over the last few days. I interact with people every day; at work, the gym, the grocery store, and at coffee shops. It made me wonder if I am encouraging to others or brushing people off.
Most of us have an opportunity to interact with someone on a daily basis.
We all text and make phone calls. How are our interactions with those individuals? Do we make time to respond to them? Do we listen while we are on the phone?
We go to coffee shops and out for meals. How are our interactions with the baristas or servers? Are we taking an interest in how their day is going?
We go to the gym. Are we smiling at the lady at the counter when we walk in? Are we cognizant of people’s space while they are working out?
We all have jobs. Are we interacting with the employees and your bosses well? Are we listening to customers wishes and desires? Are we making them feel special?
An encouragement does not always have to be a conversation. It can be a smile. A smile is worth a million words. We all have bad days; waking up on the wrong side of the bed, not having enough time to make coffee, someone not picking up the dog poop outside your door, someone driving slow in front of you, every light turning into a red light, the list goes on. But when someone smiles or even gives you an encouraging nod, it can turn a day around. I know this sounds cheesy or completely obvious, but really consider if you are smiling when you walk into work or the grocery store or the gym.
The ultimate question I have asked myself is, “Do I care?” Do I care about the people that I interact with? I would like to say yes, all of the time! But it is hard. It seems exhausting and not worth my time. We all have schedules and would like to run on time, rather than a little late. Sometimes it is good to pause, and interact with a friendly gentleman at Safeway. People want to be heard, they want to talk, and who knows…you may share some encouraging words that someone needed to hear.
Have a great remainder of your week!