Friday, December 20, 2019

Buying Gifts, Being Present and Losing My Car in the Parking Lot

It happened. AGAIN.

Recently I rushed into a local store to grab one more gift, which I found quickly. “YES!” I thought as I ran out the door, ready to jump in my car and head to the office. Then it happened. Again.

I realized I had been so focused on maximizing my time and locating this last item, that I had completely forgotten where I parked! Yeah, it sounds funny. Come June I may be able to laugh about it, but as I aimlessly wandered the parking lot, it was a windy 25-degree day. Not. Fun.

Between my momentary panic and the chill, at least I was wide awake! (I figured that was a plus.)

Here’s what I learned, or I should say, remembered. As much as we all want to enjoy the holidays, we miss out when we’re not fully present. As I reached my car and started to drive away, I wondered who did I miss seeing because I was so preoccupied? Did I walk past an old friend or neighbor and miss my chance to offer a holiday hug? I know I missed fully connecting with the salesperson who cheerfully helped me. Then I began to wonder if, in my haste to check off one more thing from my “to do list,” did I even miss infusing real love, thought and meaning into the gift I purchased?

It was a lot to think about.

And a good reminder for me to be more present, even in the craziness of the holidays. When I do remember, I always enjoy a more meaningful celebration of family, friends and a happier experience of the season.

Now that really is a great present.