Thought-Full Considerations Over the Holidays

Dec 28, 2022 | Motivation

Do you have a special place you go to? Somewhere to really settle down and think about what is important?

There’s this place I go to every year, sometimes more than once if I am able. It’s a little rental I had the good fortune to find years ago, hosted by a lovely couple who are now in their eighties.

Inspirational stairsBy the time you review this, I will have just visited them. Something has been telling me to GO SEE THEM. SPEND TIME WITH THEM. In my life, I’ve learned to pay attention to that kind of tug. Perhaps it’s the time of my life and a greater appreciation for their change and advancing in years, plus the fact that I work in eldercare…. Whatever the reason, I am going to visit, and respond to some sort of internal tug.

Focus your attention upon the image of those stairs. Look at the messages on these hand-hewn steps. FAITH, HOPE, STRENGTH, PATIENCE, TRUST, COMPASSION, SPIRIT, UNDERSTANDING, and LOVE. All are positive attributes. All are lofty goals, wouldn’t you agree? All have a place in healthcare. 

The first time I saw those thought-full steps I said to myself, “I could engineer a little retreat for myself right here and could work on a different step’s message each day.”

That notion turned into an annual business retreat with myself. My business is set up as an LLC, and I am supposed to have an annual meeting; as a single-owner LLC, maybe not, but the idea of an annual sojourn to a modest cabin on 11 acres outside of a town that has a population of 400 sounds great. And achievable.

It also “sounds great” because when there, I am refreshed when I hear the water cascading nearby. Yes, there is a creek, and I can hear it when the windows are open (which is most of the time, for that reason, for that pleasure). Yes, the husband of the couple built a little bench by the brook for his wife’s enjoyment. I visit that bench as a ritual, listening for what I am supposed to hear, and asking for what I am to learn.

If the wifi is weak in the cabin, I can drive a short distance down to the Community Center, where they have free wifi emanating from within. I frequently witness folks stopping by to check their phones. Next to the Center, a refurbished school, there lies a picnic shelter, right next to the sweetest-smelling muscadine grapes growing wild inside the cascades of kudzu every late August. I, with my laptop, got some of the best training I ever had right there amongst the late summer’s best fragrance. And, if I am short on reading material, there is a Community Bulletin Board and an Honor Library. All this just down the road aways.

Don’t think that I haven’t indulged my fantasy of living there. For more than a time or two, I’ve found myself glancing at Zillow for available properties.

Here in this place, I can find what both holds and reminds me of what is important in this life, in MY life. Here is where I set my sights on business planning, and not just the goals and monetary stuff. I’m reflecting upon:

  • What kind of person do I want to be and be for the people I serve?
  • What kind of business model do I want to design that serves them and me?
  • How can I build that, enable that? 
  • Will my business, and just as importantly, will my work-life balance enable me to achieve or acquire some of these attributes? 
  • Looking at the stairsteps once again, I think about: How can I use what you see here to provide what you, my client, or my friend, may need?

The couple, now dear friends, will soon stop renting this magical place. They are getting on in years, and their abilities toward upkeep are changing. I dream of moving in and becoming their caretaker just next door.

This place, and now their friendship and their trust, are gifts. How can I, indeed, in my deeds to others, carrying these attributes?

There is much to consider. May there always be much to consider and work ahead to be the best person I can be. Somehow that seems like a wish and a promise to myself.

Many turn their thoughts to evaluation, preparation, and declaration in New Years and leading up to New Years! Whatever you do in observance, my wish for you all is a Happy New Year.

Nancy Ruffner Signature