For some reason, this post is hard, too. Maybe I just needed a little encouragement. 🙂
On my About.me page, I say that I am an Encourager. My Twitter profile page says I’m a Nurturer. Although the words aren’t exactly interchangeable, they are inextricably linked for me. I do believe that people will live up to your expectations if you give them opportunity, which is where the encouraging and nurturing comes in handy. Here are a couple ways I have observed or participated in Encouragement that stick out in my mind:
I love to watch my husband and his best friend interact. They are running buddies, and have run several half-marathons together now. Training together must, I think because of the Bro Code, include smack talk and sarcasm. Phrases like, “Try to keep up,” “Come on, Old Man.” That sort of thing. There are others, but I can’t remember at the moment. Somehow it works though, because they are still running, and enjoy each others’ company.
Watching videos of kids sports, and remembering my own kids’ teams. They both run cross-country and both did mixed martial arts for a long time. There is/was always a lot of clapping, yelling, and cheering for each other. Not just for their close friends, but for the whole team, and for other teams. I cannot express how much it warms one’s heart to see one’s daughter finish a race, and turn to help the girl directly behind her, from another team, mind you, because all she wants to do is collapse at the finish line, which is not good. And knowing that she was encouraging that girl for most of the race. “Come on, you can do it! We can do it!” CC didn’t come easily for them this year, but they ran, and they finished the season.
Sitting in the front row at my first student recital. To clarify, the first student recital on which I had my own students participating. I felt like the proudest mama hen, and I hope they were encouraged by the bright eyes and ear-to-ear grin that I couldn’t keep at bay. They did SO WELL! and I made sure to tell them.
A quick text message to a friend on her opening night. We exchange randomly timed I Love Yous and Thinking Of Yous via text message because we are too busy to talk much. Or perhaps a voice mail if there is really exciting news. She knows – and I know – we think of each other far more than that. But sometimes that I Love You can mean the world in that moment, on that day.
I know there are so many others, and I know there are plenty of fail-bombs too. But the post is too long already, and I need to work on the next one.