End of the school year events crowd people’s schedules, and children are restive and eager for the upcoming summer holidays.
Retailers remind us there are only so many shopping days until Christmas. The house still lacks decorations.
The 2020 goals list dares me to get just a few more tasks ticked off, and everyone wants things done and dusted in the next two weeks.
There’s hardly a moment to sleep, and the long summer days encourage us to stay up late and get up early to accomplish our ever-lengthening to-do list.
Add the stress of a year of chaos, disruption and fear, and everyone is suffering from seasonal exhaustion.
I sit down to compose a blog post, and am distracted by an incoming e-mail with an urgent request. I write the day’s to-do list, and promptly lose it in the shuffle of random items cluttering my desk. I have to set alarms on my phone so I don’t forget meetings. I try to do a little editing, and can hardly keep my eyes open.
I see fatigue in the eyes of coworkers and students, of friends and family. I hear it in e-mails from colleagues. We’re all suffering from seasonal exhaustion compounded by a dumpster-fire of a year.
We all need kindness and understanding right now.
Which is why I’ve decided to go on a pay-it-forward spree until Christmas. I’m sure that in the next few weeks at work, I’m going to visit the cafe next door more frequently than usual for a pick-me-up coffee. I’ve decided that every time I get a coffee for myself, I’ll buy one for the next person in line. Hopefully, it will make them smile. Maybe it will inspire them to do the same. Maybe a whole string of exhausted coffee-drinkers will get more than a caffeine hit, but a lift to their spirits as well, as they both receive a gift from the person before them and give one in return.
And with smiles on their faces, maybe they’ll say a kind word to someone, and that person will pass on the kindness to someone else, who will in turn pass it on to another person.
And maybe I’m being overly optimistic about the impact of giving a cup of coffee to a stranger.
But maybe I’m not.
I’m willing to take that risk and do my best to spread kindness. We could all use it right now.