I should have gotten up around 3 this morning. I had trouble sleeping and while I was laying there, I mentally wrote the perfect post. I tell you, it was great, it was hanky worthy and shmalzy, it would have brought you all to your knees and you would have praised me. Instead, I got up at 4, stumbled out of our room, stepped in to the dogs bowl, bumped into the door, and finally found the bathroom. As I was standing there taking care of this most urgent of needs, I sensed motion behind me, actually behind and above me. Laying in the clean towels on top of the rack was “Sherman” one of my wife’s cats. He watched me for a moment, yawned and went back to sleep, at least he didn’t laugh.
But that moment of greatness was gone, I headed back to our room, kicked the dog’s bowl and got back in to bed. Well getting back into bed was problematic. I moved the little rat dog out of my way so I could get my legs in, and then, I had to move “Webster” off of my pillow. I did go back to sleep for a little bit but there was no recovery of that great post. I finally got back up, had some coffee, figured out which shoe went on which foot and prepared myself for the day. I’m not sure that I managed to even complete that task, but I had to go with what I had.
My usual morning routine is to answer all of the messenger requests for information, then I go to LinkedIn and wish all of the ones on the list a Happy Birthday, then on to Facebook where I do the same, then I wander around, loose unchaperoned and look for something that I have that is in bloom that I can use as a picture to wish all of my friends a “Good Morning”. These are habits, almost tradition or at least tradition in the making.
Tonight, for the first time in months I actually had to fix dinner. I was abandoned by my kitchen staff. I sliced and I diced, I sprinkled and tasted and added some more. For a brief period, because I was alone and didn’t have LilyAnn in the kitchen, I actually had to argue with myself. No big deal there, I do it all the time anyway. But they were all gone. They went over to their cousins house. To deliver custom made, cupcakes. As they have done every year. Every year with a different theme and all handmade and decorated with love. All a part of a birthday celebration, a custom, a tradition that will be repeated several times, as the other cousins have their birthdays.
It’s a little thing, a brief moment, a simple gesture. For me, every morning, I touch a screen and wake up a few electrons and ask them to send some zeros and ones to someone, who I may or may not actually know. A few seconds of effort, not even worthy of registering as spent energy on my smartphone. But for those people, it’s a brief moment of happiness, a smile, an effort at inclusion in to a broad family of friends, the family of man. And I do this not for anything more than that, but when the note comes back and says “you and two others outside of my immediate family sent me birthday wishes, you’re a true friend”, it does make you choke up a little.
Traditions and habits, caring, sharing, taking a moment, spreading some cheer, sharing in a celebration, taking a moment to remind someone that they aren’t alone, taking that moment to remind someone that we celebrate them and their presence in our lives. Those are the easy ways to reach out, to matter and tell someone that they matter and that they are loved.