Last night, my spouse called “Dinner’s ready,” and I just stayed in my work bubble, ignoring the immediate moment. I did not acknowledge her effort in the timely manner it required (before dinner gets cold)!
I was being busy, rather than being present with those I love. I was missing out.
If this simple reflection rings a “jingle bell” with you, the following story may provide rich acknowledgment about the importance of relationships at all times, and especially now in the “season of busy.”
Doug and Jeff began their relationship in our mentor program when we first began the program. Theirs is one of 38 relationships fully intact after 5+ years.
Doug and his mentee Jeff started their mentor relationship like many others - determine a common food goal and pursue it!
Doug and Jeff decided to bond over burgers. When Doug asked Jeff about his hobbies, Jeff said that he loved to read books by the author K'wan. As they approached Doug's car, they were pleased to find a bookstore nearby. Doug graciously purchased some books for Jeff, who was happy to have something new to read!
Jeff's foster experience was stormy over the next few years, as he was moving between group homes. When he turned eighteen, he signed himself out of the system, and moved into a homeless shelter, intending to stay there until he finished high school.
Fortunately, a friend's family invited Jeff to live with them. After graduation, Jeff joined the army, but he only stayed for a short time. He eventually accepted a job living with an elderly man as his 24/7 companion. Through this experience, Jeff realized he had found his passion for caring for people and decided to pursue nursing at Greenville Tech.
Eventually, the elderly man died, and Jeff moved into his own apartment. Doug called on his friends and family to help Jeff furnish the place. Ladies from a Sunday School class threw him a "pound party," where different people bring a pound of food staples to fill the pantry. Jeff was so happy! He said, "This is the first bed I have slept in that is my own."
Recently, one of Doug's sons was getting married. Jeff was invited to the wedding. This heartfelt experience symbolically sealed the mentor relationship further. Doug has already invited Jeff to his other son's wedding scheduled for next year!
Doug says that Jeff is “one of the family” now and is often present at holiday dinners. Jeff still has several years of school left, but he knows that Doug will help him over any hurdles, as they continue developing their long-term mentor relationship.
Being present during this season of busy reminds us that each moment counts. Doug and his mentee Jeff started their mentor relationship like many others – determine a common food goal and pursue it! They have stayed in it for the long haul, through ups and downs.