Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Day 21- A Hugging First

Today is National Hugging Day. When I found that out last night, I knew I had a first. Today, I celebrated National Hugging Day. I did not even read about how to celebrate this day. I figured I'd just hug a bunch of people. I even came up with a little speech for people that might not be used to getting a hug from me.

I know some people are tree huggers, but I decided to keep the hugging to people. The only time I've ever tried to hug a tree was when I was climbing one. I have been a tree sitter this week, but I was deer hunting and did not have to hug it in order to climb it due to the nice ladder someone had built.

The hugging thing can be tricky. If someone wants to hug, then that's a really cool thing. Some people are not so "touchy feely" and are not as comfortable being hugged so I don't want to be freaking them out.  So, my rule of thumb is if people offer to hug, I hug back. If they stick out the hand, I shake hands. I've had people tell me they are glad I like to hug and others tell me that they know I don't like to hug. I guess they don't know I'm sort of following their lead.

This morning as Laura was leaving the house to go to town I gave her an extra long hug and she said,"That feels good." It was a good start to National Hugging Day."

 We have a license to hug

When the children came home from school, I gave them both a big hug.  That's pretty normal for us. I visited with an elderly man and after we shook hands I asked if I could give him a hug.  He said, "I can always use a hug." This evening when I told Joel it was National Hugging Day, he immediately stood up without a word and hugged me.  Sweet boy!

Those were the highlights of my day. The rest of the day was pretty disappointing. The reason is that I just did not see many people today.  I thought I would this morning as I chose National Hugging Day for my first. But the day did not really go as planned.  It was a really good day; just not many opportunities for hugs.  I did go to pick up Hannah Grace from her dance class.  It was pretty cold and most of the parents (read 95% Moms) were sitting in the cars waiting. I thought I could go hug the girls as they came out of dance class.  Then, it occurred to me that some guy hugging a bunch of young girls might not only lead to celebrating National Hugging Day, but also an investigation by the authorities.  I could have went and knocked on car windows and offered hugs but that just seemed creepy. I sat in my car and watched for people that I knew. I did not see any.  So, I sat in the car and read. Then, I came home and hugged the dog.  I think she thought I was wrestling or something. She was the only one who resisted a hug.

Of course, some people send out cyber hugs. I am not gong to do that.  A cyber hug (a hug through the Internet) is like the cyber cup of coffee someone sent me one time.  I got a message that I had received a cup of coffee.  So, I started looking for it.  It was not anywhere around the computer.  I checked the coffee pot and it was dry (I know that sounds silly, but with the things they can do with the Internet these days, you just never know).  I looked on the computer for a coupon or something for a cup of coffee. There was none. It was just words. That's not a cup of coffee.  Coffee is meant to be drunk. A cyber hug is not a hug.  Hugs are meant to be felt.

Hugs are also good for you. Hugs can boost the oxytocin levels which help with feelings of loneliness and anger.  They also boost your immune system. Hugs can raise your serotonin levels which help to raise your mood and create feelings of happiness. There are several other positive effects of hugging.  One person wrote, "We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth."

So, I wish my National Hugging Day had went better.  I was thrilled with the hugs I did get.  Oh well, it doesn't have to be National Hugging Day to hug someone. Go hug someone real good!

Hugging for the abundant life


3 things I thank God for today
1. Nagging sense of guilt over things I've not done yet that God wants me to do- reminds me that He doesn't quit on me
2. A wife and children who like to hug
3. Sweet gifts my children received from Aunt Darla and Uncle Mike

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