My goal had been to take off by 3:30, 4 o’clock at the latest. It was Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, and I was already over a month into the annual Open Enrollment season. By the end of November I am long past tired and more than a little frazzled. My plan was to leave early and to spend the evening in my kitchen. I could hear the cranberries calling to me. A pumpkin pie was in my immediate future. And then it wasn’t.
I had an unexpected service issue that kept me in the office till a little after 4. I left my office only to find a couple in my waiting room. There had been a small mix-up. Their appointment had been for 4 PM yesterday, Tuesday, but they were here now, Wednesday. The couple, we’ll call them Bob and Judy, had been referred to me by one of their friends, one of my favorite clients, and were here to get organized. It would be a month or more before we could possibly do business, if ever. They were here. It would be rude to reschedule them. Lianesha got them bottles of water and I ushered them into my office.
G-d I didn’t want to be there. From the other side of the room I could hear emails, messages, and the ringing of the phone. Even if they left immediately, I was locked in for another hour or more before I could escape to my kitchen. I was able to relax once I accepted the fact that I wasn’t leaving. And that is when I realized that I really liked Bob and Judy. We were all about the same age. I had a real connection to Judy’s profession and her employer. I could relate to the twists and turns of Bob’s career path. My agitation, my stress, had nothing to do with Bob and Judy. We had a nice conversation. The hour or so that I spent focused on them was as good an appointment as any I had had that week.
The holiday season can be incredibly stressful, even if you aren’t an insurance agent. There is still that woman in front of you in the Express Lane checkout, a cart full of groceries, talking loudly on her cellphone. You’re going to get cut-off by the guy who couldn’t wait to get into the mall. And yes, you will be stuck at an intersection behind a Buick, its driver never looking up from his phone to see that the light has changed. The challenge is to let those moments go, to not let a source of irritation impact the rest of your day and the other people you encounter. I’m not saying that it is always easy. Maybe it can be a goal.
I answered the call of the cranberries Thursday morning. The pie was done by noon. Everything gets done. It always gets done.
Picture – The Colors Of Thanksgiving – David L Cunix