• Ruth Esau

Anxiety - Friend or Foe

Today is like non other day we have ever lived. That is true of pretty well every day and yet we are living in a turbulent, confusing and anxiety inducing time.

Our anxiety is over what Covid-19- will do to us or to the world we live in or to our comforts. Funny, I had never thought of TP as being a comfort item and yet there are TP Companies who could build and market on that concept right now!

Rather than write about all the tough stuff we already know and are actually living , I want to offer a few words and actions that can lower our anxiety and give us a sense of well being.

Number One for me is Gratitude with a capital G. It moves beyond the words thank you to an outlook, a perspective and a way of being. As I went to Costco for regular pick ups on Friday, I was too late for the outside line ups and the TP stampedes. I was in time to watch the chaos of the consumerism and wonder what are the fears that are driving each person? I was in time to watch the incredible grace and patience of the staff. I was also in time to see certain staff doing jobs like returns and stocking shelves that I had not seen do that before. As I threaded my way through the chaos, the simple thought hit me," I wonder how many staff have heard or received gratitude today?"

Being an otter by nature and instinctively turning lifes hard spots into a game. I intentionally watched and then I approached a number of staff on my way through the masses. One woman who normally does food demos was restocking shelves. I stopped, gently touched the back of her shoulder and said," I know you are being paid to do your job but thank you for showing up and serving all the crazy today, this week. I really appreciate what you are doing." She turned to me , took a long look like I was some prehistoric creature and then said " You know Costco has been so good to me. I usually do Food Demos but last Friday before all the escalation, Costco shut down the Food Demos and offered me a job here!"

Shout out to Costco for proactive, people oriented service that didn't need any fanfare.

Funny when you hand out gratitude, you receive gratitude!

My second thank you was at the Return Counter and if you have ever stood in line there you know the kind of situations that arise. I spoke with a staff who has been there for years. I said something similar to what I had said to the first Staff person. This staffer put her hand on her heart, gulped and said, "you made my day, I haven't heard that for a while." So I approached a couple more staff. The responses were heartwarming.

In turn over this past week, we have reached out to neighbours to say, "hey we are here and will be checking in." The comments that came back were touching.

I didn't set out to feel better and yet by reaching out to encourage another I was overwhelmed by a sense of peace and I felt my brain shift from the overwhelming world situation to being optimistically realistic. What a great way to change the focus of my mind. We were made for relationships, we were made to reach out, we were made to walk the journey together.

SO this is one little story, let's change the news to the stories of our lives of encouraging one another. Bring a smile to a few faces that just might help to get us all though this challenging time.


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