It’s normal to be disappointed and anxious during uncertain times, but the good news is that there are things we can do to help our emotional state as we live through our current reality. One of those things is to help someone else.
While initiating a discussion about boundaries can be scary, awkward or vulnerable, the conversation may be more welcomed than you imagine, and either way, the end result is worth it.
We make hundreds of yes or no decisions daily, even if just to ourselves — no, I won’t stay in bed even though I kind of want to; yes, I’ll invite a new neighbor over for coffee — and good reasons for both our yeses and our nos can lead to wholeness and holiness. But looking back on my life, I see that a few yeses, which, like Mary’s, came in the face of uncertainty and even bafflement, have led to a life that I love.
Door-slamming isn’t a practice that I’d recommend, but I learned some valuable lessons from one surprising outburst. I’m taking those lessons with me as I tread more gently across my threshold.
It’s easy to let days, weeks and months slip by without stepping outside my usual routine. Making lists of what I want to do helps me to focus my time and energy on the things that I value and love.
Intergenerational friendships, which allow us to learn from people who have experienced more of life than us, and others who are seeing the world with fresh eyes, make life richer for all parties involved. Taking time to engage in activities, practices and conversations that promote the sharing of wisdom across ages benefits our individual lives, our communities and our world.
The holidays present us with an array of festive opportunities for social interaction. Make the most of these moments by asking good questions, listening closely, and seeking moments of connection.
Not all houseguests are created equal. The guests whom I strive to emulate when the tables turn and I’m the one camping out on a friend’s pullout couch share these characteristics.
Good hospitality, rather than being an end in itself, is a vehicle for connection and a tool we can use to show family, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers love and respect. There certainly isn’t a formula for it, but there are concrete actions we can take that make those abstract ideas of openness, warmth and attention a reality.