In less than two weeks my fourteen-month leave will be over and I return to work with its intense pace and schedule. These months away – a gift of time and space – gave me the opportunity to discern my inner rhythm, to listen and to “move at the pace of guidance.” Soon, I’ll be marching to the beat of a different drummer. This brings some trepidation because during these months, one of my biggest “a ha’s” has been experiencing the value of being kind along the way, and how from this, I create my community.
I’ve learned it takes time to be kind…to take more than a fleeting moment to really see, really hear, and really engage with another human being. During these months, especially when I’m walking my Peggy dog, I’ve taken the time to pause and:
- Enjoy with my neighbor his beautifully kept yard and newly poured concrete drive and patio.
- Discover that I live in the “historic heart” of my community, and admire the commemorative statues and plaques places along the boulevard, organized as the labour of love of a retired community member.
- Thank the woman who broke some rules to extend her flower garden into public space, adding a touch of beauty along the path for walkers and the seniors housed in an apartment complex with no gardens.
- Converse with people who have extended kind service.
Since my return from Europe, I’ve been even more aware of time and kindness, after having been blesssed with so much of both while travelling. And after a particularly delightful interaction with a young clerk at Staples who gave me exceptional service to complete a challenging print job, I had another big “a ha”: that perhaps there is no better use of one’s time than to be kind.
I know soon, with my return to work, that my evenings and weekends will be filled with homecare chores, errand running, and dog walking in the dark when people are indoors. Time will be at a premium. And so I need to remember the slogan I’ve posted over my desk: There is plenty of time and every moment counts. And to remember to take time to be kind.