I'm grateful for the folks who had to work today on Christmas, and showed up at their jobs with cheerful spirits and smiles. I wouldn't want to have to work today.

At the moment I'm chillaxing at the Starbucks on Cool Springs Boulevard in Franklin, observing the dynamics of the crowd and employees. As expected, no families with small children have shown up so far. There's a 50ish couple nearby who's barely speaking to each other; they're playing on their phones and reading, and I wonder if they're still in love. A few younger couples have wandered in, stayed for a while and then left on their merry ways. Several people are, like me, here alone. One couple brought their cute puppy inside.

A tall, bald and reserved-looking young man just sat down near me reading a book that looks new. I gave him a holiday card, much to his surprise, and he awkwardly thanked me and then shoved it inside his book. Neither of us have spoken a word since, and that's ok.

The Starbucks orders are running about 10-15 minutes behind. No one has gotten cranky with the staff, as far as i can tell. I've heard several Christmas songs, including “Baby It's Cold Outside,” which Jovie and Buddy the Elf sing in my new favorite Christmas movie, Elf.

My precious daughters are at their mother's house, playing with their new stuff. I miss them a lot, but I feel very blessed and excited about life and the future. If anything, the difficulties of 2013 have provided much-needed perspective and clarity on personal and professional goals. I want to stay engaged. I want to give life my all, and serve the people around me with my energy, strengths and compassion.

And keep showing up, like the employees here did today on Christmas.