I've been thinking a lot recently about first responders and what their lives might be like during the holiday seasons. I'd like to let them know that I appreciate their efforts and sacrifices, and that I've made my little bit of effort too - in trying not to drive under the influence of intoxicating substances or speeding.
But it's more than that - remembering to be respectful. So often, people forget how to speak nicely to each other during these times, and especially when involved in an accident. We forget how to pay attention to others on the road, and we forget how to speak to our fire, police, SES and ambulance personnel. We forget that the medical and allied health staff at the hospital are human and should be treated with dignity too.
So, New Year, New You (or me, as the case may be).
In this time of making promises and resolutions, let's include others in our plans.
Let's - you and me - commit to trying harder to be gentle in what we say and how we say it.
Let's pledge to trying harder to slow down to the speed limit when driving, and never under the influence of anything that can impair our judgement or response time (including mobile devices).
Let's limit our on-screen time to one minute less every day, so we can spend it with our loved ones, our neighbours, our pets, or the stranger on the bus who hasn't spoken a word to anyone in weeks.
Let's spend a dollar less every day on the things that we don't really need and start saving for something special (like a home) or better yet, commit those dollars to helping a charity (some cost less than my health insurance!).
Let's call someone elderly, just to say hello. Let's also say hello and smile to each person we see when we go for a walk or run, cycle or swim, when we're out shopping, getting fuel or putting the garbage out.
Let's consider fostering a child, and actually make the effort to be better informed about what it involves. (Family and Community Services - Benevolent - CatholicCare - LifeWithoutBarriers - Challenge - Barnardos; just a few ...).
Let's not just talk about the environment, but try harder to save it, at the start. I know a family of four who ride bicycles everywhere, and when the weather is too bad to do that, they catch the bus. It's their choice, and it's an awesome effort. But what about the packaging around your fruit and veggies? You don't need it, so why buy it? Shop where you get less packaging. Compost everything possible. Get a bee hive. Grow your own fruit and veggies, and encourage the bees to pollinate by growing flowers. Ferment your own yogurt. Do things "by hand". Make gifts and wrap them in something useful (like a tea-towel) or a re-usable gift bag.
Let's get some balance in our lives. Instead of working past home-time, let's train a co-worker to do something that helps us get home to our families and pets. Let's play. Sing. Dance. Dig. Plant. Nurture. Throw. Jump. Swim. Twirl. Laugh.
Let's make time. Time for fun. Time for frivolity. Time for tea. Time for board-games and cards, twister and Name that Tune. Let's go on Magical Mystery Tours and family holidays, road trips with siblings and friends.
And for those of us who are grown-ups, let's make time for love. Romance. Cherishing someone special. Tender Loving Care. Seduction! You might think I'm strange, but there is nothing quite as arousing as a man doing the dishes (ha, properly!!). Let's dive deeply into love, headlong, heady, emotional, passionate, uplifting, empowering, embracing, involving, evolving, love. Let's allow love to lift us up. Let's lift someone special up onto that pedestal and show them - in no uncertain terms - that they ARE the Centre of The Universe. And that we are glad and grateful to have discovered their light in the wide expanse of the skies.
It's time now. Let go of the past, move on, move forward, move up and allow love to fill our Universe!
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