How Are You?
How often a day do you get asked “how are you?” and how often do you quickly, without thinking rattle off a “good” or “fine” and just move on. Lately, I’ve found myself trying to answer honestly. And sometimes that answer is not great. Or, I’m having a good morning but really, it’s been hard lately. I’ve also been trying to listen intently when other people answer the question and let them tell their story.
With so many of us working remotely these exchanges that used to take place over the “water cooler” and now they take place on Zoom or MS Teams. It seems even more important that in those settings you take the few minutes before jumping into the agenda to chat and let everyone give their personal update. It fosters better teams and relationships. And more importantly it gives us all a moment of connection.
As I’ve been offering my real answer to the how are you question lately, I’ve been more and more surprised by the responses I’m receiving. Someone the other day said to me, “gone are the days of parties and weddings, now we’re talking about divorce and illnesses”. Unfortunately, it seems true, especially as so many of us are taking care of our aging parents.
On the flip side though, if you ask the question and want more than the typical glib response, you also hear the funny stories and joy in people’s life and sometimes that joy comes out of the difficult situations. My Mom has Alzheimer’s and over a year ago we placed her in a memory care facility. It’s not easy and this is certainly not how she wanted to be spending her life. However, there is great joy and certainly a lot of funny stories to share. Just last week they took the group on an outing to a Winter Wonderland and on the way home asked my Mom if she had a good day, her response was “well no s–t I did”! And then the next thing out of her mouth was, where are the muffins you went back in to get for us? While my Mother may not remember what year it is or who is president she does not forget if she has a chance to eat a baked good.
With the world a heavy place right now, really ask the people in your life how they are and listen for their response. In this holiday season, find the funny and joy.
Wishing you and yours a happy holiday and healthy New Year.
Vice President, Symposium & Expo
Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo