April Jeppson: How a hug gave light during a tough week

Published 8:45 pm Friday, April 28, 2023

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Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

I sometimes work long hours. Lately, that “sometimes” has turned into a “usually.” I genuinely enjoy my co-workers and love what I do, so all in all, it’s not bad. There are days, however, where it feels like the light at the end of the tunnel is never going to be visible. Last week I caught myself saying that thing I promised myself I would never say: “I just gotta get through this week and it’ll get better… .”

April Jeppson

I know from experience that expression is a lie. Once you start saying it, you continue to say it for weeks on end. Then one day you become self aware, and three months have passed with no end in sight. The only real way to get out of the cycle is to step back. You literally have to remove yourself from certain situations and allow whatever is going to happen, to happen.

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Take a breath and realize that you can’t control, save or help everything so just let go.

The thing is, I would let go, except I just have to get through this week first. Seriously though, there are important deadlines I need to hit, then I can breathe. I promise to relax and take a moment or 14 for myself, next week. Pinky promise.

Anyway, I’ve been busting my butt more than usual lately. It’s not that I’m trying harder, it’s just that there are more things on my plate to do. So as I’m handling this thing and juggling that and apologizing for not getting back to someone faster, someone thanked me. She actually thanked me and gave me a hug. It stopped me dead in my tracks.

I was moving chairs and helping to set up for an event. Honestly, it was a pretty typical day. As I was working with this gal, she looked me square in the eyes and said how much she appreciated the work I was putting in. I smiled and said something like, “Oh, it’s nothing,” but she repeated herself and really put emphasis on her gratitude for my efforts. Then she opened her arms and hugged me.

I try really hard to call people out when I catch them being awesome. Words of encouragement are one of my top love languages, so to an outsider it may seem like I over do it. I actually find it painful to hold in a compliment.

I met someone new this week and within a few minutes I realized that their voice was very soothing, so I told them how pleasant I found it. Later that day a longtime associate was just doing their normal thing and it just struck me how good they were at their job, so I told them. I’m sure at times I make people feel uncomfortable, but I really don’t care. If I have something nice to say to you, you’re just going to have to deal with the mild awkwardness and take it.

So this hug. It just made everything stand still for a moment. It made the day a little easier and the light at the end of the tunnel started to peek through a bit. It felt good to be noticed and recognized for my efforts. It felt so good that I know I can power through the rest of this week and probably next week. However, I do believe I made a pinky promise 354 words ago …

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.