Whenever I take a break for more than a dozen minutes or so, my computer screen saver starts a slide show of some of my favorite photographs. There are about 25 pictures, most taken within the last year. Some are of places, such as our snow-covered pier on an icy day, or a wind-swept beach at Hilton Head, or a glorious sunrise over the water. But most are of people that I love. There is my younger sister and my older son, blowing out the candles on a five-layer (store-bought) chocolate birthday cake they shared. There is my beau, beaming as he holds his slightly listing, homemade coconut birthday cake. My younger son hugs me, sporting his occasional beard and his perennial smile. Other family shots include me with all my beautiful nieces in Texas, and my funny brother and his family at Thanksgiving, and my elegant older sister and me in a rustic restaurant in Jackson Hole. Photos of dear friends also take me back to the wonderful times we have shared over the years.
Often when the slideshow launches into action, I deliberately linger for a few minutes watching family and friends flash onto the screen. I smile as I am transported back in time to a party, trip, or special day of celebration. This brief interlude in my day helps to ground me. It centers me by helping me to remember what is important in life. I feel a wave of gratitude for those I love, and the times I share with them. And, who can resist a smile break in the middle of a long workday?
This month, as the holidays approach, I hope that you will take time from your work to remember what truly matters. Yes, work is important and rewarding, and often stimulating and fun. This has been a year of much success for many of you, and also one of growth and change for most of you. May your holidays be full of peace, joy, and the company of those you love. Thank you for the privilege of sharing part of your life and your work with me. I wish you many blessings during this holiday season and for the New Year.
Sharon Keys Seal