I like to be busy. If I happen upon a day at work that isn’t, minutes feel like hours. When there’s plenty to do the time flies, and that’s how I know I like my job.

This week has taken busy to a new level. No, I’m not putting in long hours, so my sister will have no sympathy. On the other hand I’m not asking for any, so it all works out. This entry is not a plea for pitty, it’s a judgement neutral statement of fact. I’m neither reveling in nor complaining about my recent burst in responsibility. If I allow myself a moment of honest reflection, I’d have to admit that I haven’t really been that busy. It’s only been busy compared to the last nine months while I’ve been hidden in my office, locked safely away from the germ carrying public.

You may think this is a little pathetic, but I often view life’s events through the lens of this blog. I may not think about it right away, but at some point I ask myself if I should write about something earlier in the day. It’s a habit that started in college, starting with one of my early psychology classes (discussing different approaches to counseling). It’s not quite the obsession you may think it is. There have been long stretches between college and now when I didn’t think about writing at all. It’s been an off and on thing, but this last year it’s been mostly on. You could say that I’ve needed it more this year (if you think of writing as a form of therapy), and I wouldn’t argue back. There have been days when I’ve writen and not posted, and others when I’ve thought of writing and didn’t, but it’s been on my mind.

These last few days I haven’t really thought about it much. Before you start, this isn’t a ploy to elicit ego masaging requests to continue with the blog (assuming I’d get any ;-) I have no intention to quit. I’ve just been busy. This week I’ve been back to court. I’ve been conducting training sessions on the new database, and handling some of the angry walk in clients.

You know what? It’s been great. It’s almost completely at odds with my self-image – the shy kid who got picked on at school, but I’ve loved being out among the people we work with and serve. Sure, I’ve done a couple hours in court, or gone to a few meetings, but this is the first week that I’ve really been out there day in, day out.

There are people out there with gifts/talents which allow them to help a lot of people. I’m not one of those people. I don’t connect well on a personal level, most of the time. But for some reason I don’t seem to have that trouble on the job. I’ve learned something doing my job that may seem obvious to you, but it took me a while to realize. You don’t need a unique talent, a lot of money, a charitable foundation in your name, or the resources/power to move the Earth to make a small difference in someone’s life. You don’t need to make a profound difference in someone’s life either. Life isn’t a television show or a Hugh Grant movie. I think sometimes it’s enough to work with what you’ve got, to make a lot of small differences… to be the person that cares, that wants to understand, that wants to help.

Sometimes I work with angry people, they see me coming, and eat my soft-spoken ass for lunch. But you know what? Most of the time it doesn’t work out that way. Most days I come home from these days working with our clients mentally exhausted, but light on my feet with the feeling that I’ve done some small, but real good.

It makes it real easy to be happy around your wife and kids when you don’t have to leave anything at work, because you really are happy.

Give the gift of words.