Are Your Relationships Surviving or Thriving?

The holiday season found The Flying Randelli Travelling Circus back in the hospital.  Again.  Yes, I spent some time scanning the night skies Christmas Eve with a blowgun trying to end this eternal war I’m fighting with that judgmental Santa bastard. 
Since I’ve already written an entire book on growth through crisis in a hospital setting, let’s instead focus on the lessons learned this time around.  Also, it’s just not all that interesting to talk about procedures done preventatively to thwart the future chance of the Captain getting himself into real trouble.  He was back at work within a week and feels terrific.  Who knew you could use medical intervention BEFORE a major crisis?  How novel.
Here’s what I want to say from this go around: your relationships are what dictate your life.  Not your weight.  Not your clothes.  Not your car or house.  We all know by now it’s definitely not the amount of money in your bank account, even though I still get a good chuckle when I catch a snippet of the scripted bumbling antics of reality television trying that route. 
It’s relationships.  Are you in ok ones, good ones, great ones, or curl your toes back and howl at the moon phenomenal ones?  Now, you might think because of that last example I’m talking about sexual relationships alone.  I’m not.  Perv.  I’m talking about friendships, family, colleagues, extending all the way to folks you chat up in line getting your morning infusion of caffeine.
Is your existence being validated?
Are the people (I’m not talking about animals here purposefully because I already know they never forget to do this one simple thing) in your life reminding you that they appreciate the fact that you exist on this planet?  If not, I have one very simple and elegant solution.  Do it for them.  Lead by example.  Ask yourself if you are acknowledging the people in your world.  Are you giving of yourself in ways that are quantitatively making the lives of the people you interact with qualitatively better?  In non-academic speak…can they count on you to make them feel truly seen?
Practice makes progress.  One kind word, deed, or interaction at a time.
Here is as far as I will go with Santa today.  Sometimes your timing supports my belief that you are targeting me.  I get that you have a lot of cookies on your plate and the poisoned dart to your rotund posterior may have been a step too far.  I apologize.