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Doug Creamer: It’s been a busy week

My wife and I like to listen to Garrison Keillor on Saturday night if we are close to a radio. He is the author and storyteller who always begins his stories with, “It’s been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon.” Last week was anything but quiet and the week I am beginning looks to be even busier. I am not dreading the week, but I want to stay healthy for the holidays and I want to slow down and enjoy each of the activities. I want to make sure that I don’t rush through the week and miss the special time that I will get to spend with family and friends.

Our busy week started last weekend which included staying out late Saturday night doing some Christmas shopping. The Christmas shopping list always feels long and the search for just the right gift is always difficult, but I think we are doing pretty good this year. There is still much to be done in preparation for the holidays, but I don’t feel too snowed this year.

Last week my DECA students went to the district competition. Most of them had never competed before so they were unsure of what to expect. The students did well but they left room for improvement and now I hope they have a taste for the competition and will prepare for the State DECA Competition. The best part of the district competition is taking the students away from school and having an opportunity to connect with them. I had lunch with a few of the students and I enjoyed hearing their perspective on movies, music, and some current events.

It’s been hard to keep the students focused on learning as I find myself dreaming about the upcoming Christmas break. In spite of the excitement, the teachers are pushing the students forward in the material because the exams will be upon us when we return from the Christmas break. It’s hard to believe that we are that close to the end of the first semester. Time sure flies.

With all the demands of a busy schedule pushing and pulling me in every direction, it can be easy to wish life away. I can wish the busy week in front of me was over or I can choose to embrace the opportunities that are on my schedule as chances to connect with others. Life moves at a rapid pace and sometimes in the midst of the craziness we forget to connect with people. We forget that the cashier or waitress who is serving us might be feeling the crunch of life too. A simple word or smile from you and me could change their situation. Offering a word of thanks and encouragement might be just what they need.

The truth is that no matter what time of year we are in, we all lead very busy lives. Spring is busy getting the flower and vegetable gardens going and heading out to the garden centers. Summer is busy with more yard work and traveling. Fall is busy with cleaning up the yard and preparing things for the long winter ahead. Everybody stays on overdrive for the holiday season. Life is busy and crazy and we can choose to let it push us from place to place or we can choose to live and enjoy each moment and the people in our lives.

It’s our choice whether we let life run us or if we run our lives. We can choose to connect with our family and the waitress at our table. We can choose to embrace each opportunity that presents itself or we can waste it and allow the door to close. We can offer a kind and encouraging word or just let the opportunity slip through our fingers. The truth is there isn’t a person you meet today or tomorrow that couldn’t use a warm smile, a friendly greeting, a pat on the back, or an encouraging word. It will cost you to connect. The price is a few minutes of your time. The reward is knowing you made a difference in someone’s day.

I want to encourage you to embrace and connect with the people you have the opportunity to spend time with over this holiday season. Don’t go through the motions of attending parties and gatherings without connecting with those who are there. It’s not easy because they are feeling life pull on them too. But make the effort and engage your life and the people around you. Your life will be fuller and richer and you will be blessed and be a blessing.

Doug Creamer has a new book out at Amazon: Revenge at the Bluebird Café. Contact him at doug@dougcreamer.com

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