Some of the most important things you can do don’t cost a cent.
Here we are at the end of 2021.
I won’t share anything in particular about 2021 because it’s not important enough for you to read.
To be fair, I’m writing this for myself. I need to remind myself of these things going forward. It’s part of me becoming a better human being. If there’s something in here that helps you to become a better human being, great.
Here are a few priceless things that don’t cost anything but a bit of time.
1. Telling your loved ones that you love them
Sometimes it seems like you have all the time in the world to call or visit a relative.
The last 20 months or so really put a damper on those kinds of things.
Lots of people waiting to go see people. Lots of people waiting “until things get better.”
Time can get short really quickly. Older relatives can go from just fine to late-stage cancer diagnosis in a week.
The focus and tone of Christmas plans can turn nearly 180 degrees.
They may barely understand what you’re saying, or you may not be sure that they hear you.
Don’t miss opportunities to tell your loved ones that you love them.
2. Lifting someone up rather than tearing them down
For a number of years, I managed to stay out of social media mud-slinging events.
I couldn’t completely distance myself from the mask debate, though.
When I voiced my opinion in opposition to someone else’s, it didn’t go well. People rallied to the other person’s defense, and I slinked away with my tail between my legs.
When I sympathized with someone who shared my opinion on the exact same issue, though, it went a lot better. They appreciated the support nearly instantly.
No raised blood pressures, no ill will.
I don’t even really like to argue. Why did I even try?
Support people rather than oppose them.
3. Letting go of grudges
I have people in my cell phone contacts that I hadn’t talked to in quite a while.
No matter. I texted each one of them on Christmas and wished them a merry.
Some of them replied and asked, “Merry Christmas! Who’s this?”
Yeah, it had been that long.
Grudges really only hurt the person holding the grudge, over and over and over again.
Get rid of the grudges already.
4. Giving grace to others — and to yourself
The past couple of years has been hard for most people. It’s been hard individually, and collectively.
People normally on top of things drop the ball, let things slide, have short tempers.
They have challenges that no one else knows about.
Things are wearing on people and they’re sometimes not their best selves.
The saddest part of this is that we’re hardest on ourselves.
How much easier would it be if we overlooked the rough edges and gave them grace?
How much better would we feel if we did the same for ourselves and told ourselves not to worry about messing up?
Give grace to others when they slip. Give grace to yourself when you slip.
Be a better human in the coming year.
I won’t ask anything of you that I’m not demanding of myself.
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