Nothing of Consequence

Everyone is dealing with something.

Often it’s something noticeable like eating healthier or quitting a bad habit like smoking. A few years back I decided to exercise each day and eat a healthier diet. Over a few months I dropped nearly 60 lbs. The change I had made to myself was easy to recognize. Friends and coworkers encouraged me. I recall one office gathering where someone ordered pizza for everyone. The office manager knew I was trying to eat better ordered a salad for me instead.

But what if you’re working on something that’s not visible? Maybe not only is it not visible but amorphous and difficult to put into words?

When you’re trying to lose weight or quit smoking it’s not uncommon for a group of supporters to morph into your personal cheering section. They are on the lookout for anyone or anything that might cause a setback. But they have your back and are ready to jump in on your behalf to keep you focused and progressing towards your goal. Sure, you want to meet your goal but you also don’t want to disappoint this group.

We are all dealing with something, and chances are it’s something internal. Maybe you’ve shared it with a spouse or close friend. Or you put out feelers to see if it’s even safe to share. That’s what I do, but it’s not easy to determine if the coast is clear. When you share you open yourself up to scrutiny. You feel vulnerable. You could lose a friend.

With so many outlets like Facebook and Twitter to share ideas or passions or even the mundane, I find myself sharing less about the stuff that really matters to me. I tend to joke around or share a quote from one of my children. Nothing of consequence.

Knowing that others are working on issues provides comfort. I could always tell when a good friend of mine had something on his mind. I’d ask him what was going on and he’d reply that he was working an issue over in his mind. To this day, I have no idea what he was dealing with and never pushed for details.

I need to find one of those friends again. One who doesn’t live 1200 miles away.

Comments

  1. I live far away. I hear you. I bet I could be a good sounding board. But I’m not moving to Utah.

    • Brett Nordquist says:

      I think Utah could grow on you, Louis. What’s more likely, you enjoying Utah or me enjoying a Chromebook?

  2. Kim Henke says:

    Very true. I agree that most of us are having fairly meaningless conversations most of the time. What I’m slowly realizing is we do have people in our circles who will lend a caring, sensitive ear, but sometimes it’s hard to have the courage to broach a subject that we hold so close. I also think that one friend isn’t necessarily always the best person to talk to about every subject. Brett is always the first sounding board for me, and then if I’m still mulling something over, it may take me awhile to decide who else I think can give me additional insight on it.

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