“If you are ever in the area, let me know! I’ve got a spare bedroom or a couch you can crash on.” This expression has been a sign of the times and deep down we know who really means it.
My current transition has afforded me some time, and in the last few weeks I have seen some couches and spare bedrooms. Spending time with those I hold close has meant the world. As many of my friends and family are not local to Chicago where I have spent most of the past year, phone calls, text messages, email conversations, and, yes even Facebook communication have been the de facto method for staying connected in each other’s lives.
I can tell you that it means something much more to be in person. Share a meal. Share in each other’s stories. Actually listen to what is being said. Laugh. Cry. Rejoice. In a sense, be intimately human.
I forewent a lot of these opportunities during my years in the Navy. While being stationed overseas makes being distant a bit easier on the conscience, I can tell you being busy while residing locally in the United States weighs on the self a little more. Not seeing someone or not putting time into the relationship is more a matter of choice than one of borders and boundaries.
The holiday season is one of the best times for reconnecting. As we take care of the day-to-day, the week-to-week, and the month-to-month, it is all too often that we lose touch. While unintentional, missing too many moments can leave us on the sidelines. Valuing and nurturing those relationships is something incredibly valuable, and we should not allow ourselves to take those connections for granted.
There is no shortage of work to be done, personal obligations, noise from the news, and social media updates to keep us busy. If you are ambitious and frequently work on hobbies, side projects, or a side business, time is something you know is precious.
We know all too well the importance of these bonds, but I fear that if you are anything like me you also need a strong reminder to put down the phone, stop thinking about that work email, and stop reading this blog post!
Do something now and spend time with your parents, children, significant other…your closest friends from throughout the years. There will be a 2016. There will be plenty of time to continue along with your most classic time occupiers.