I love words. It’s part of the job description. So choosing “a” word to inspire me for the year wasn’t an easy task. I started thinking about it in December and seemed to change it on a daily basis. There are so many splendiferous words out there.
It seemed that every time I’d decide, “Yes! That’s the one!”, I’d hear or read about someone else’s word and think, “Oh, but that one is so good too…”
How would I choose? It was quite a conundrum. (See? So many lovely words!)
One morning, my husband and I had breakfast at a diner on our way back from traveling. I couldn’t help but notice (awareness is part of the job description too) the family sitting in the booth across from us. Admittedly, I’m making some assumptions about their actual positions/roles as I didn’t know them, but it appeared to be a mother with her two young children (perhaps 7 and 5?) and possibly the grandmother. The adults sat directly across from one another, each one with a child at their side.
There was a short burst of discussion over breakfast options. But as soon as the server took their order, the children’s laptops made their appearance. And the conversation ceased.
I thought perhaps the adults had “grownup things” to discuss and they needed something to entertain the children for a bit. Stuff happens. We’ve all been there.
But, sadly, that wasn’t the case. When I say the conversation ceased, I mean all of it. The two women ate in silence as the children breakfasted with Moana.
Larry and I looked at each other and sighed. Such a missed opportunity. Such a disconnect. Our hearts broke a little bit for them. (It’s almost been ten years since our little chicks flew the coop and we’re still in the throes of Empty Nest.)
But then, a mom and her son came in and sat in the booth behind this other family.
“It’s just you and me this morning," the woman said to the boy as they picked up their menus.
You could have read in the dead of night during a power outage by the light of that child’s smile.
And though their food may have gotten a bit cold as they talked, the warmth radiating off that table could not have been more delicious.
Nor more nutritious…for both.
“Turn around!” I wanted to shout at the other family. “Look, learn. See what you’re missing before it’s too late!”
And that’s when I decided on my word: CONNECT.
I wanted to write it in big syrupy letters on their pancakes…but that may have wound up as a different blog post.
Because life really is all about connecting.
This year, I want to be more proactive with talking to and connecting with my family and friends.
I want to reconnect on a deeper level with my inner child so that I may write stories from that voice of innocence. As honestly as I can.
I want to connect the dots in order to try and make sense of the world, and help others make sense of it too.
And I want to connect with those who feel they might not have a voice, and let them know someone is listening. That someone cares. And that the world needs to hear THEIR stories.
For me, the time to connect is NOW. How will you connect this year?