I recently watched a video of a three-year-old in line for her first dance recital. First, you can see that she's searching for her family and the worry on her face that they may not be there. Then, suddenly, her face lights up with a big smile as she starts to wave at her parents and other relatives who come to watch her perform. Finally, she's filled with so much emotion that she's wiping her eyes with happy tears. It was a sweet reminder of the importance of showing up for each other and how much our presence means to others. Inside of us is a small child that wants to feel loved, appreciated, and valued. We never outgrow it.
We all have plans to support our friends at their grand opening, improv group debut, or their music gig at a new venue, and something else comes up, and we're a no-show. Of course, we don't think our attendance will be missed, but the truth is, we are. It's disappointing when our tribe doesn't make an effort to attend an event we've worked hard on. Most of us are guilty of that, including me. I've had the best intentions to show up and support, but I've had a long day. I tell myself I'm tired, and the thought of getting dressed up and going through traffic is too much work. I convince myself my friend won't even notice I'm not there. They'll be too busy with everyone else. The reality is I've let my friend down, and I don't have a good excuse for it. The funny thing is, if I simply got myself out, I would've had a great time, my friend would be happy that I cared enough to come, and I'd have a wonderful memory.
One of the best feelings in the world is to see someone's face light up when we greet them. It gives us a sense of warmth and connectedness that is so important in our lives. Therefore, keeping and maintaining relationships is the type of work we should be investing in on a regular basis. I know life can get in the way of the best of plans, but we still need to try, reschedule and find the time to get together. Yesterday, I spoke to a woman who said she was finally going to see her dear friend after fifteen years. I said that was terrific. "Where does your friend live?" She replied, "Oh, she lives in Manhattan." After I gave her a 'What are you talking about?' look, she quickly explained that because of work and family, plans were constantly being canceled. She said, "We talk daily, but tomorrow, we're definitely meeting for lunch." I'm still amazed that these two women, who live just a borough apart, had so much trouble meeting up in person. But I give them credit for not giving up and staying in touch regularly.
It's not always easy or convenient to go the extra mile to see our friends or family in their art show or meet up for brunch when we know we should be doing a million other things. But, if we take a moment and understand how important our support is to them, we realize how much we want them to be part of our lives and celebrate our wins with them.
The holiday season is here, and I hope this gives everyone a chance to reach out to the people they love and share their appreciation for each other. I want to take this moment and Thank You for taking the time to read my articles and tell you how much your support means to me.