I think every year after Christmas I am a little sad. It’s a let down that all the joy and preparation and excitement is just over. I think this New Year was harder than most. We can all agree that 2020 was a challenging year for a lot of people for many reasons and I think a lot of people hoped that in 2021 the magic wand would wave and there would be an end to this madness in sight.
While I’ll admit to not being one of those people, I guess the combination of coming off Christmas with all its fanfare and approaching a new year with the knowledge that masks and social distance and gatherings being problematic is NOT going away any time soon…has been too much for me.
I felt a little down, sluggish and defeated today when I dropped the kids off at school and headed to work.
But…a few things revitalized me. I got to have an uninterrupted conversation with my sister before heading into mass. That doesn’t happen often and it was lovely. Our mom is finally feeling better after two weeks in bed with Covid and I could not be more grateful for that as I realize everyone isn’t so lucky. And, finally, I got to spend my day talking about things like hope with people I truly respect and love in a place that I hold very dear.
Today was inservice/retreat day at St. James. I never know what to expect on these days or how I may feel leaving the school when we have these events. But I’m happy to say that today I went in a little down but I left feeling…dare I say…hopeful?
Many things struck me today and I took a lot of notes and did a bit of journaling but…the thing that stuck out to me was something that was said in adoration.
I usually pick a word for my year to be my focus to center me and I’ve been struggling to pick my word. I usually brainstorm, journal, narrow it down to 2 or 3 words then pray and hope the answer becomes clear to me. I was hoping today would bring me that clarity on my word. It didn’t…but that’s ok, because it brought me something else, something awesome.
When we were all in the chapel for adoration the man who was singing songs to us talked about how we should think about someone or multiple someone’s who are a light in our life.
Immediately some faces popped in my head. Then he encouraged us to go and tell them that they are a light in our life and also, to tell them why. He also talked about people that are a light in our life that aren’t the “big” or more obvious people like our spouses, parents or our children. Again…some faces popped up in my head.
Moments later I was handed letters from students who wrote to tell me how I was a light in their life. I couldn’t help but cry and feel very blessed that they took the time to write me a letter as I read their words. This past weekend a former player of ours wrote a similar letter to both Bryan and I about how important our influence in her life has been and just a few days ago I had another former player of ours reconnect as well. Then when I got home from school Fiona told me one of her classmates is writing their “Kindest Kansas Citian” essay about me…my heart about melted.
As a person who has the love language of words of affirmation…I can’t tell you what these letters, call, emails and conversations mean to me. I realize that telling someone how you feel is not easy for everyone. It comes very naturally to me and I especially love to write people letters about it…but when someone takes the time to tell me that I am important to them or that I have touched their life in some way…it somehow makes everything I do more meaningful.
So, today I am incredibly grateful for the reminder that I need to tell all the people (big…like my own family and not quite as big…like my coworkers) that they are a light in my life. I know I am thankful for all the people who did that for me this week…I needed it and it’s helped me tremendously face this new year and whatever challenges it may throw my way.
I am looking forward to my conversations/texts/letters with people who are my light and I would encourage all of you to tell those in your life as well.
Just imagine if we all walked around on a regular basis telling people that they were a light in our lives…I want to live in a world like that!