Let me start with a warning….I’m not in a good mood today. But I’m going to own it by writing about it in hopes that I can let whatever “it” is go.
For whatever reason I’ve been thinking a lot about people’s actions lately. No, wait…it’s not for whatever reason…it’s because I’ve been paying attention to what people say and how they act. And I’ve started to notice some discrepancies between the two that frankly has left me pissed….and disappointed.
I’ve always been an “action” gal. It’s never really mattered to me what you say. A lot of times, I’ll take your words with a grain of salt because they are just that….words. I know words don’t come easy to everyone. I know there are some people that are incredibly mindful and purposeful with the words they choose and I’ve noticed those people are usually just as mindful and purposeful with their actions. It’s the people that know the “right” things to say…the things they know you want to hear…or at least the things that you might be ok hearing…yet their actions don’t line up with their words.
I get hung up when people I know — whether best friends or acquaintances — say something to me that doesn’t jive with a given situation. Because when that happens, I tend to look at the person’s actions to determine what I should really think…or feel…about the circumstances. And I’m pretty sure they aren’t being any more mindful with their actions then they are with their words…which just leaves me confused…guessing…pissed…disappointed.
This hit home for me today when I was walking back from yoga class and Starbucks Steve drove past me on his motorcycle. For the past…oh I don’t know…three or four years, I’ve chatted with him every morning while waiting for my morning decaf americana before heading into the office. He was just part of my morning ritual…and I was a part of his. When I stopped working, my morning ritual changed so I haven’t seen Steve in about 47 days. Honestly, it’s been on my list of things to do…to make a morning appearance to check in on everyone but I hadn’t done it yet. (I know…I’m judging myself right now too…)
He didn’t have to honk and turn his bike around but he did. He pulled up to me and the first thing he asked was “How’s your mom?” I don’t remember telling Steve about my mom, but I guess I did. Doesn’t really matter if I remember it or not, the point is, he did and he cared enough to go a little out of his way to ask. He said he’d been worried about me and was glad to hear she was doing ok. We made some small talk, wished each other well as he put his helmet back on, and we both continued along with our day.
Now I don’t know Starbucks Steve that well….and he doesn’t know me all that well either but for 10-15 minutes each morning for quite a while, we were a small part of each other’s lives. I didn’t take it for granted…and today, that small gesture of turning his bike around meant so much to me. It meant he cared.
As I walked away with a smile on my heart, I felt emotions begin to well up. I was reminded of all the people in my life that haven’t taken a brief moment to turn their bike around and ask how my mom is doing…or how I was doing…or to simply say hi. I was reminded of people that say life is valuable yet spend most of their time arguing about petty shit instead of just accepting each other as is…and enjoying the fact that they are still around to enjoy. I was remind of people that I thought were friends but may have actually just been co-workers after all. People that said we’d stay in touch but haven’t. I was reminded of friends that spend money on expensive “things” — things they don’t need — and then complain about spending money to go on vacation with you.
It’s actions not words, people. There is only so much time in a day…in a lifetime…and we don’t know when either are ending. But everyday we decide what’s most important by our actions…by what we choose to spend our time doing…and where we choose to spend our energy. I’m by no means perfect but I’m trying to be thoughtful and purposeful about what I do AND say to the people in my life. I’m working to make the two align. I don’t want you to question my intention or how important you are to me.
I know there are times when situations change and relationships have to naturally end. But if it’s not one of those times, reach out to the people that are important to you. Just say hi…been thinking about you…miss you. And if you can’t say it, then send good energy their way…they’ll feel it. Hell, do something really simple…like a Facebook post or an Instagram photo….or their blog that you read. Just do something because doing nothing might leave them feeling that they aren’t really that important to you after all. And feeling the silence can really suck sometimes.