I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. For those of you in stations or cars or behind the mic working during the holidays, we appreciate the sacrifices you and your family are making while ensuring our safety and security. It does not go unappreciated or unnoticed.
This year I did something that most of us have done before…I purchased a new car. Well, it wasn’t exactly new , it was a 2017. But still, that’s the newest vehicle I have ever owned. Ever. So now I try harder to keep it clean than I did other vehicles before. I haven’t eaten in the car, and try to be responsible. (Hang with me, I’m going somewhere). One day after one of my Chaplain duties, I got back in the car and it smelled like cigarette smoke! (This is weird because I don’t smoke and haven’t had anyone in the car that had.) So I smelled my uniform. Nope. Looked around to make sure I got in the right car. Still nothing (Yes, that has happened before!). I tried to figure it out for a few days. Nothing. (And I knew I had to figure it out before my wife got in the car!) Then one day I dropped something on the floor and I found what I was looking for : A cigarette butt and some ashes. So what I guessed had happened was that I somehow tracked in a cigarette that was not all the way out onto the rubber mat floor. Luckily there was no damage to the car and the situation was easily fixed. (I know, my life is hard…)
So what does that have to do with us? I’m glad you asked. Sometimes we just walk through our lives and something sticks to us. It may be through no fault of our own, and might even be easily addressed, but we just don’t notice, or take the time to do so. Is there something in your life that you want to get rid of this year? Make a commitment and do it! Or if nothing is sticking to us, maybe we can help someone needing to shake something off their life.
I also ask that you do me a small favor. Your jobs are hard and demanding, so take some time over the holidays to do something that is fun, something you enjoy. Even if you have to work through them, do something that makes you happier.
During the holidays, I always put in this information, because I know that someone may need it. The holidays are meant to be times of joy, happiness, time with those we love and hope. While it can produce stress for even the best of us, for some of you can be a time of sadness, frustration or depression. It can be hard to balance out what you have to deal with and still know that there are great people in society as well. I also know that it’s hard for us to reach out sometimes (and I’m no exception to this rule). If you find yourself struggling in this holiday season, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance. Your departments may have Employee Assistance Care, Chaplains, Chiefs, and any other Supervisor available for help. There is also other Clergy and/or even friends for guidance and assistance should you need it. My phone is always on and I’ll make myself available to help you in any way that I can. Call us, grab us after roll call, or send an email. Reach out if you need to.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and best wishes for 2019. I’ve said it before and will say it again, you all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough.