I’m pretty sure we all have the same morning routine at work or at home. Get into the office, switch on the lights, the computers, switch off the telephone night answer service and then grab a cuppa to drink whilst you go through your emails. Or get up, get everyone through the bathroom, fed and watered before grabbing a coffee and checking you’re emails. More often than not the emails I receive start, ‘Hi Rachel, how are you?’ I think that’s pretty much standard isn’t it? I know I do it. We all write the same three little words ourselves everyday without a thought don’t we? I wonder if we ever take a moment to really think what those three little words mean to the person receiving our emails when we write them down.
Yes, it’s polite to ask someone how they are; it’s what we were brought up to do. Be mannerly. So, you’re sitting there with a mountain of emails that need answering and you dive in to work your way through them and your reply goes something like this.
Hi (insert name)
I’m really good thanks. How are you?
And as you’re writing I’m good thanks in your head you’re screaming, I’m not good, I’m really not OK! You’ve no idea what I’m going through. I’ve been up all night dealing with a meltdown, I’m tired, I don’t know what to do for the best and I just want someone to help me! This was me a couple of years ago. I think at some stage or another in our lives many of us feel this way don’t we? We might not all be shouting about the same thing but our heads are manic and telling us all is not well.
Life often feels like this when you’re the parent of children with special needs. Actually it feels like this sometimes even if you’re not. It’s easy for parents of disabled children to become isolated. There are often times where your social circle depletes especially when you have children with unseen disabilities. So let’s remember to look beyond the bog standard and socially acceptable answer of ‘I’m fine’. Let’s check in on that friend we haven’t heard from in while, even if it’s a quick text. And perhaps don’t start it ‘How are You?’. It might be three small words but they’re mighty powerful ones.