I just got back from my local butcher, for the second time today. This time I went straight to the front of the line—waltzing quickly past the growing queue of last-minute shoppers. And for a good reason.
I’d been charged twice for my homemade shepherd’s pie and needed a refund. (Mind you, if you’ve tasted their incredible pie you’d also know how tempted I was to just let it slide it’s so worth it! And I’d certainly pay double!).
Contrary to what the lovely gentlemen who served me likely expected, I was cheerful, grateful, and incredibly welcoming.
This team is one I have marveled at this year. Their endurance. Their friendliness. Their impeccable ability to keep a massive line moving, from the heat of the summer sun, to the drizzly windy wilds of autumn, to the dark chilly afternoons in the winter. They have been on.
And I’ve become ever-increasingly grateful and thankful for their presence.
I feel the same way about my local baristas and café teams—my second homes really. I’ve marveled at their consistency. Their impeccable standards. Their love and joy for what they do.
They bring me so much love, without even realising it.
And as the year has been wrapping up, I’ve felt an almost desperation to let them know how thankful I am. I want to hug them and cry out you are amazing!!! What would I have done without you?! Your smiles make my day!
I’ve dropped off the odd box of chocolates which has been received with so much glee and delight it’s left me wondering how else I could possibly express my appreciation. And yet still I feel like no matter what words I say, and how many chocolates I can deliver, will they ever truly know how much I appreciate them and their contribution to my world.
As I walked away from the butcher, smiling and feeling over-joyed (despite having lined up for 20mins, walked all the way home only to immediately turn back for a second time)—I started expressing out loud how I felt about them.
Then wondering how else I could tell them how awesome they are.
I wanted to tell them you’re so incredible. Thank you. Well done! Keep going. You are doing great. Thank you for everything, for working long late hours, for smiling, for being friendly. All of it.
And it dawned on me—I too am doing incredible. I’ve had a big year. Full of so much transformation. I’ve smiled. Been friendly. Kept going.
And I realised the very thing I so want to give to others, is right there within me to give to myself.
I literally started to say out loud to myself:
You too have done a great job this year.
It’s been a big year! You’ve done great.
The warmth, the release, the love I felt in that moment was so healing.
What if we could all just acknowledge ourselves?
What if you could stop right now, and give yourself that thanks, that appreciation, that love you’ve been feeling for everyone else in your life this year.
You too are doing great. You’ve had a big year. Handled all sorts of unexpected situations. You’ve smiled. Given love and support to your friends, your family, your local butcher, baker and barista.
You’ve looked out for others. You are incredible.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
As I move towards switching off from work, from thinking, from being “on” for a few weeks, I’m feeling so grateful. I know that the love is all around me—from the baristas to the butchers to the messages from friends and family—and I also know the love is in me.
And it’s also in you.
However you’re feeling right now—you’re doing a great job.
And now, it’s time to stop.
To put down all those things you’ve been carrying this year. And it’s time to rest. To play. And to love.