Put the ‘live’ in the moment.

Are you the type of person who engages with those around you – or simply goes through the motions of life, shielding yourself from any potential interaction each day?

Would you recognize the coffee kid who serves you in the morning at your drive-thru of choice?  Would you acknowledge the waitress from your favorite haunt if passing by her on the street?  How about your friendly Lowe’s clerk from Aisle 16, the one who shares a friendly smile as you pretend to be reading a label until he walks on by? 

I know we are almost always in a rush and running errands can typically be a chore rather than a pleasure, but I invite you to engage – if only for a day.

There are so many wonderful people around us in this life, but we don’t make the time to notice. We go through the motions, usually too preoccupied with our busyness to even care.

Some laugh at me because I form semi-relationships with virtual strangers.  But those strangers have the potential to become acquaintances and friends, or merely good people who come to make a difference in our lives every time we see them.

I was reminded of this tonight when I had to make a run to my local drugstore.  My visits always bring a smile to my face and lighten the heaviest of days. I can only hope that I have the same effect on others.

The ladies who work there are simply delightful and our exchange of pleasantries has grown over the years to brief conversations about everything from the weather to our families and more. It’s more than an errand. It’s a mood lifter that warms the heart.  It’s a brief period of time spent with caring, kind individuals who just make this world a better place.

I also feel this way about the local gas station attendants, supermarket cashiers, waitresses, salon staff and even that guy at Lowe’s in Aisle 16. Would it really hurt you to say hello?

I realize not everyone wants to live in this way. Some truly hate engaging with others on any level. I get it and I’m not telling you to change.

But for those who are always wondering if there is more to life – there is. And it is often found in life’s mundane tasks, routine errands and ordinary days.

As I write this, a lovely memory comes to mind.

I recall a convention center security guard who I met in Seattle when I first entered the corporate world. Friendliness is natural for me and it doesn’t matter where I am or who I am with so needless to say, this senior gentleman and myself became bosom buddies and exceled in small talk when time permitted. I slipped him candy from our booth stash. We exchanged heartfelt nods, smiles and waves.

He resembled a gentle and loving grandfather disguised as a giant leprechaun, a twinkle in his eye and jolly laugh.

A colleague commented on him, something along the lines of a ‘lowly security guard.’ It brought me great pleasure to share that he was a retired tech executive who’s wife had passed and he took that gig because he wanted to get out of the house and engage with people. He’d made his fortune, now he was having fun.  He was a fixture in that convention center and a true gem.

Having been gifted with Irish diplomacy (the art of telling someone to go to hell in a way that they look forward to the trip), I could see that I’d put my colleague in her place.  The look of shock was priceless.

I’d asked for him on a recent return trip – well, pre-COVID recent and possibly ten years ago – but who is counting the years?

Never judge a book by it’s cover.  People may surprise you if you have a chance to get to know them. Everybody has a story.

Well, some don’t. But that’s ok, too.

We love to say ‘live in the moment’. But if you are honest with yourself, how many moments are you actually living?  If we truly pay attention, we can bring meaning to even the most casual of encounters.

How?

Observe.  Take notice of everything around you.

Watch, listen and learn.

Be aware, mindful and engaged.

Ask questions.

Wish someone well. Compliment a person sincerely.

Open the door for strangers.

Don’t wait for others to step up. Jump right in.

Stop caring about what other people think. They won’t be thinking about you for long.

And pay attention to the moments.  We never know how many we will be gifted with in this precious life.

 

 

 

Author: E.M. Murphy

A freelance writer, coach, eternal seeker and Renaissance soul who aims to open minds and hearts. Armed with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a NASM Certified Behavior Change Specialist, humanity and humor is at the heart of my writing, reminding us that the key to success will always start with a genuine concern for others while making sure to be true to our authentic selves.

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