Random acts of connection

Connection can make a cold day warmer

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

As we slide into the calendar year’s jolliest season of stress, keeping our spirits bright can help offset the pressure cooker of holiday madness. There is nothing like some heartwarming stories of kindness and connection to bring us back to gladness and even inspire something from our own inner supply of goodwill to come forward. And so for the month of December I am collecting story donations from all of you.  Think of our collected stories as one of those gift baskets that sometimes delightfully appear in break rooms and such around the holidays.  When we hit that afternoon low, instead of rooting around through the assortment of miniature jam pots, logs of smoked sausage, packets of crackers, wheels of cheese, packages of cookies and random candies strewn about, just paw through the PDF stocked with stories of kindness and connection I’ll be sending around when I get a good supply and pick out a few delicious ones to nibble on to keep you going.
So…do you have a story of connection you can contribute to the gift basket?
Some exchange between you and someone else that linked you together in some unifying way? I think about a glass-topped patio table with a beautiful wrought iron frame, very filigreed, very French-seeming to me, which I found (along with 4 matching chairs) by the side of road with a free sign on top. I put in a very swift call for a pick-up truck. After loading up, I knocked on the door to say a million thanks but no one was home, so I left a very messy note scrawled on a scrap of paper with a pencil stub, the only writing supplies I could come up with. I think of that family every time I lay my eyes on their patio table now at home on my patio. It’s strange the weird sense of connection I feel for these people I’ve never met, but whom I think about with gratitude all the time.
Or do you have a story of unsolicited kindness that came from you or that you received?
Just this past weekend, bundled up from head to toe against the bitter cold and standing stock still on the side of road while waiting for a car to pass so I could continue on my walk, the car slowed down and then pulled to a stop. I knew what the driver was thinking: is she frozen to the ground? Sure enough, the window rolled down and a hand came into view. Thumbs up? I leaned down; Yep; thumbs up, all good here. Okay, just checking, he said. It’s so nice when people care. I felt warm all the way home thinking of that guy’s smiling face and thumbs up.     
Drop your story of connection or kindness in this survey “box.” (With or without your name.) I’ll compile the goodies and pass the list around a few times throughout December as it grows. In the meantime, because holidays can be hard on some of us for any number of reasons, I’ve resurrected a list of brilliant suggestions for getting through the holidays more peacefully contributed by participants in Total Health’s 2017 Q4 Holidays Can Be Hard program. When that list went out I heard back from so many people about how valuable these suggestions were to them for both the valuable ideas and because they felt cared about by co-workers who didn’t even know them.