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Standing in an Intersection

Since the beginning of January, I have been walking our three dogs twice a day. During this time, I have learned more about their personalities and how they change given the time of day and the weather. The three dogs vary significantly in age, with Kolbe, the youngest and most energetic, Indy (actually our neighbor’s dog that they let us borrow) being middle aged who is still energized but is tempered by age; and Kiah, who is a senior at 12 or 13 years of age.

We have a pattern that we walk along a draw near our home. Indy and Kolbe are on beep collars, and stay within a respectable distance of me. They are easily controlled with my voice.

Kiah, on the other hand, walks independently. She takes a lot of shortcuts. Her pace has slowed considerably. She spends time at her favorite sniffing spots, before moving on. There are certain holes she likes to explore.

The issue is that the other two are moving ahead, and Kiah is falling back behind. That’s not a problem, except we cross two intersections, and when crossing, Kia moseys, at best.

For a while, I would put Kiah on a leash and lead/pull her across the intersection. But I always felt guilty – making her proceed at a pace she did not want to go.

Finally, I came to a solution: I would wait for her at the intersection. As she arrived, I would just stand in the intersection until she crossed. Once she got to the other side, she would start her regular exploring, smelling on her own, and I could proceed with the other two dogs.

Last year, we installed a completely different case management system in our office. The “old” system had been used by me for 21 years. But the young people in my office researched and determined that the new, different system would be much better, and accomplish a lot more than my old system. They installed it while I was out of town. When I got back, two of our office team worked with me, at my pace. They were patient when I asked the same question multiple times, they would not get frustrated when I would ask “now what is my password?”. They made little notes on how things were to be done and they taped them to my desk and even on my computer screen.

Clearly my team was standing in the intersection, letting me cross the technology intersection at my own pace.

We work with a lot of clients at various stages. Sometimes their pace is effected by aging issues, health battles, or even just a world changing its speed and expectations. We want to give them time. So we stand in the intersection while they get to the other side.

You may be working with or caring for someone who has challenges. I hope you’re willing to “stand in the intersection” for them, so they can pass safely and peacefully.

Back to Kiah: Though our walks are more of a challenge to her, each day she is excited to go, following me around the house with her big, expectant eyes. As I open the door, she rushes out.

I know that one day our time together will cease. So, I try to appreciate the joys that she gets from our walks and I’m glad I have the opportunity to stand in the intersection and help her cross.

Help someone cross an intersection whenever you can.

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