Today I spent a little time with my Mema. You see, today is her birthday! She is 98! Well, she would be had she not passed away five years ago.
As I sit here trying hard to remember all the things I never want to forget, I cannot help but wonder what her and my PaPa would say to me if they could. Are they proud of my family? I most certainly think they would be. Are they pleased with the adult I am? I can only hope so!
I think more than anything they would tell me to breathe. I think they would tell me to slow down and relish all the amazing things around me. I think they would encourage me to be thankful for all my blessings. And finally, they would tell me how much they loved me!
So, as I sit here with tears flowing down my cheeks rivaling those dripping off the umbrella, I can see past the gravesite to memories of two remarkable lives. I am thankful for grandfathers in recliners chewing tobacco. I am thankful for grandmothers sitting along side him. I am thankful for the blessed assurance of sweet tea in the fridge, leftover butter beans on the table, half eaten pie on the counter and an open invitation to lunch at exactly 11:30 and supper at exactly 5:00. I am thankful for a house that was always happy to see me! I am thankful for fishing trips to farm ponds. I am thankful for barbecue chips in that old green chair after school. But most of all I am thankful for life's lessons shared with me through the years. Lessons that still guide me today.
This is a little off topic from my usual sales or leadership thoughts, but I hope it stirred in you something you needed. Reflection is a powerful tool to refuel our minds and prepare us for the hectic, chaotic world we all maneuver. Sometimes by looking back we are reminded of things we need to push forward.
Let us all treat others the way my grandparents, Basal and Ruth Rigsby, treated everyone.
In this holiday season may we all take a little time to see all the wonderful stuff around us! Let's chew our food a bit slower so as to taste it. Let's speak a little slower so as to be heard. Let's listen a bit more intently as to hear. Let's hug a little tighter to, well, just because. And above all else let's spread positive cheer!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from everyone at the Swagger Institute.
Written by Derron Steenbergen, President of the Swagger Institute.
The Swagger Institute is a full service business development company offering sales and leadership training, motivational speaking and organizational consulting.