On Reaching Out

Several months ago a stream of thoughts was going through my head, and I jotted down a few ideas. Today, I decided to capture them on paper (well, in this case, on the screen).  I was thinking about the term, reach out, which I have heard recently in meetings at my new job.  It is so often used in business settings these days.

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It seems to me to be such a silly phrase. Almost more of an indication that something might happen at some future time, but we’re not going to commit to it actually happening sort of thing.

Where did it come from? I’ve heard it just in the last three or four years since I returned to (wait, I was never actually a big part of — so entered) the business world. Reaching out — is it a break off from the feel good advertisement, popular some years ago: “Reach out and touch someone”? Or what?

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When I was a stay-at-home-mom (my choice, and most days I loved it) with six young children, I did a lot of reaching out. I reached out to stop the baby from rolling off the couch, to prevent one child from pummeling another, to rescue the bowl of cereal or glass of milk teetering on the edge of the table about to fall, to yank a toddler out of the path of an oncoming dog, bike, swing, or baseball, to stop a child from running into the street. Reaching out was an intuitive reflex to alternately discipline and protect my children.

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The kids with new bikes for Christmas

I did the reaching out thing in other ways too. Every single day I found myself reaching out. Phone calls to my mother to vent and ask for advice, knowing I would always receive encouragement.

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Mom working at the shop.

Phone calls to other mothers, seeking commiseration and validation, or to simply to have a few minutes of adult conversation (conversation that didn’t focus on who was wearing whose shirt or who farted in whose face) the sorts of topics which were my daily fare.

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Kelly at work in the glass shop.

Phone calls, reaching out to Kelly while he was at work, simply to hear his voice — those calls helped me get through many a rough day. How I wish I could still reach out and pick up the phone and call Kelly, and hear his voice —listening to the lilt in it when he said, “how are you today, Cute Stuff?” and “Sure Love Ya,” before he hung up. Sigh.

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With my sweetheart, Kelly.

Today, my acts of reaching out fall more into the category of reaching out to my Savior to ask for help, to make it through each day. And you know what? He’s there for me, with comfort, solutions, and answers. I suppose that is what reaching out is supposed to be about after all.

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