With the new year starting, I am sure a lot of you are preparing for the “new year, new me” social media blitz.
The posts that talk about finally losing that extra baby weight.
(I’m still trying and my son is 13.)
The posts that say they are going to start concisely saying no to things they do not want to do.
The posts that promise they will put themselves first, “for once”.
The posts that talk in code about the bad relationship they are in and how this new year will be about being healthy….and single.
It’s like clockwork.
The new year approaches and there are a bazillion people at their keyboards ready to tell the world, or at least their followers, that they are ready and willing to change.
No more chocolate!
No more Starbucks!
No more fast food!
Nope, this year will be different!
There are some that will promise big changes in their life at home.
Some will offer the changes they are going to make at work.
I won’t get so frustrated at my boss.
I will treat all the members the same, with kindness.
I will respect my coworkers and celebrate their differences.
I will learn that computer program and I will help others learn it too.
Yes, the new year promises are big.
I was guilty of doing this.
I would sit in front of my computer reflecting on the last year and all of the things I would do differently and then with a click of one key I would broadcast how I am going to change it all THIS year.
Now I am not saying there is anything wrong for the hope of a better year.
There is nothing wrong with even the hope of a better day.
However, what would actually happen if we didn’t say how we were going to change on all of our social channels and in turn just worked hard at making those internal and external changes?
Nobody would like the post because it wouldn’t be there.
Nobody would comment how you will kick the new years behind with your new mindset.
Nobody would give you the thumbs up emoji followed by a heart and a flexing arm.
Would this be the end of the world?
What if taking the time to actually make some of those positive changes was between you, you and also just you?
I find that I am not interested in how people want to change.
I am more interested in watching that gradual glimmer throughout the year.
This New Year, I am making an effort to look at people closer.
To recognize the changes they are making without being alerted on social media.
To say thank you before they announce what they have done.
To help someone simply before the SOS is sent out.
To listen to the conversations around me to become more aware of what people are dealing with.
To open doors for others.
To compliment strangers even when it feels weird.
To flip on the light when things get dark.
To help a coworker who is struggling in such a way that they don’t think you noticed the struggle.
To understand my superior better and respect them for what makes them a good leader.
I want to laugh with friends…and strangers.
I want to meet new people and hear their stories over coffee.
The list could go on and on and I am realizing that with each new year, I want the same things.
I want people around me to know they are seen, they matter, and they can count on someone.
In a way, I just alerted the media.
That irony is not lost on me.
I just truly wanted to make a point that if we keep depending so much on social media to announce the good, the bad, and even the ugly we are missing the organic opportunities to connect with each other.
I have met the best people on a park bench simply because I sat beside them even when there wasn’t much room.
I met a wonderful mom friend at the park because she was tired of pushing the swing and I was able.
My favorite thing to do is invite someone sitting alone at a restaurant to come sit with me or my family.
Some want to be alone and some want nothing more than conversation.
I have met the best coworkers by listening to their frustration and realizing the root of it has nothing to do with work at all.
We are closing out a decade and with today’s technology we have the chance to alert everyone from Earth to the moon.
Let’s log out occasionally this year and listen to one another.
Let’s talk about how grateful we are for those connections, in person.
Let’s start a new trend of human interaction and empathetic listening.
Let’s enjoy one another in this big massive world and let’s celebrate one another for the authentic people we are.
Let’s “Like” and “thumbs up” face to face.