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ever run in to someone you haven’t seen in a long time and they ask, “how have you been”? but their voice goes so high there is a certain sense of knowing behind it?

they are either aware you have not been well either due to illness, crisis or chaos. or they feel guilty, like they know they should have called to check on you but days passed into weeks and then it started to become such a long stretch that it would seem odd or awkward so they just didn’t call.

sometimes those in our world know something is up when the daily status updates, texts, tweets or blog posts decrease or just stop. other times there is not such a dramatic switch, things are just different/not normal, but because no obvious “pattern” has been broken there is confusion regarding what to do or how to react, or to react at all.

so some people are really consistent, that helps their friends and family spot changes that may be issues. some people, well they just sort of do their own thing, no real pattern or consistency, so when they are dealing with issues, their loved ones may not know it.

this is a challenging time of year. holidays. not everyone has the “perfect family.” families bring out the best and worst in each other. family gatherings can cause love and laughter or drama and distress…sometimes both.

it’s an important thing to think about. we don’t always know someone, no matter how well we think we know them. many people have personal issues they deal with quietly, or not at all. sometimes people in our lives need someone to talk to, a friend to remind them thing will be OK, or someone who can point them in the direction of some help…and hope.

so i guess this is a holiday public service announcement. but an important one.

ask those around you how they are, how they’ve been, and stop long enough to listen to them answer…really listen, not just hear them say “fine” and move on.

watch for those who say fine and look away, or pause trying to find “the right answer.”

i have been well. busy with many good things, lots of changes. thanks. sorry I haven’t written much lately. more posts to come letting you know about what’s been going on with me.

but because the answer is not always a good one, especially this time of year, i post this to remind people to listen and show you care. connect in a personal way. reach out to those who may seem withdrawn. help them to seek help if necessary.

so, when people ask you, “how have you been?” are you honest or do you just say, “fine” even if it is not true?