It’s The Little Things

    For weeks I prepared for a very big move. I traded in life in the Golden State for my next chapter in the Sunshine State. If you’ve ever moved across the country, or across the street, you know when it comes to your personal belongings, there are many decisions to be made.

For me, the big stuff was a cake walk. Selling my furniture, giving away clothing, kitchen ware and electronics, all a no-brainer. It’s the little things that gave me pause. Articles like a mug, a shawl, a tray, a Christmas ornament, a selection of amazing spices,  all gifted to me by friends that I did not leave behind.

     That’s the way it is in life, right? The small items or happenings make your heart sing and bring you joy. A mother’s smile, a first kiss, the smell of coffee brewing in the morning, your fourth grader’s first home run, the list is infinite. It may have been Pooh who said, “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” Well said dear Pooh. And for all of life’s little things, we should express gratitude.

For the small things that bring me joy, I am grateful

      We can also view this “little thing” concept from a goal achievement perspective. Obviously scoring small wins count when working toward the big goal. As Van Gogh stated, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” He certainly proved it with each tiny little brushstroke. 

Something Small Goes BIG

Sometimes something small inadvertently turns into a big accomplishment. I once read that Dale Carnegie’s mega-best-seller, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” started with a short speech that expanded to a workshop, soon after became a course and eventually, the book. According to Wikipedia, over 15 million copies of this book have been sold worldwide.

So maybe the life lesson here is dream big, but start small.

Stop for a moment and consider the possibility of something you started as a minor project. Is there promise is broadening the outcome? (Note to self: Listen to your own advice. Turn your career columns and motivational blogs into two separate books. )     

Two Take-Aways

Based on the experience, my advice is twofold. Take notice of, and delight in the small things.  Show appreciation to the guy who let you cut into traffic, the barista who made you the perfect Tall Flat White and the sound of your loved one’s laughter. At the same time, review your catalog of small projects and determine if you’ve created a diamond in the rough. The possibilities are limitless!!

Dear Readers,

My husband and I have now been in our South Palm Beach condo for a month. Our transition has been an amazing experience. Takes a bit of moxie to step out in faith, but well worth it.

Now that we are settled in, I am returning to blogging on a regular basis. Thank you for reading and I hope you will continue to subscribe to “Life on the Sunny Side.”

Love,

Sunny

It’s About Time ...the clock is ticking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have fond memories regarding my formative years. For one, I never missed a meal. Due to my father’s excellent cooking, I looked forward to gathering at the dinner table.  Dad made the best fried chicken in town. It was his claim to fame. Neighbors enlisted him to cook his special dish for every party on the block.

One day I breezed through our kitchen as he worked on a batch of golden fried poultry. My father looked up from his task and asked me to stay so that he could teach me this culinary art.

I smiled, and politely declined thinking there was plenty of time to learn trade secrets from this home chef. As it turned out, the clock ran out. I did not respect time.

I have a friend, let’s call her Kelsey. She never arrives anywhere on time but comes prepared with an excuse, sometimes creative, sometimes reasonable, often quite lame. Kelsey does not respect time.

My cousin Jimmy has been known to totally blank out on appointments. He claims he practices calendar management, but on occasion admits to losing track of the moments that lead to hours. Jimmy  clearly lacks a respect for time.

 

 

 

Valuing Time

What’s my point? My friends and I are guilty of disrespecting the one thing that stops for no one, time. The late author and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, aptly sums it up for us:

“Time is of more value than money. You can get more money, you cannot get more time.”

At some level, we can all gauge of how much time is worth. If this article were about time management, or work life balance, I would direct you to a website to help you track and gain productivity. But, today, that is not my message. I’m talking about respecting time.

Time Analysis 

Right now, do a deep dive on your treatment of time. In fact, it might be helpful to drop down to the bottom line. How much time do you think you have left on this earth? Perhaps, 20, 30 or 40 years? Maybe more, maybe less?

As you contemplate time, quiz yourself. What exactly do you want to accomplish in the years remaining? Are you on the right path? Given the limited supply of your banked hours, how can you manage your time to live life filled with happiness and peace while adding value to those around you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those are personal questions only you can answer.

Time to Change

I will never have the opportunity to learn the art of frying chicken from my favorite chef. Life dealt a difficult lesson, but it taught me to revere the clock.  Value your time and the time of others. Remember, it’s a limited commodity.

 

Thanks for reading. Please leave your comments. I love hearing from you!

Five Rules of Giving

 

I don’t always get it right. That was pretty obvious yesterday when I opened a “thank you” email. Although happy to be the recipient of some gratitude, I felt a twinge of shame. You see, in the spirit of giving, I extended a stranger a profession courtesy, no charge, no strings attached, just to be helpful and practice kindness. I like doing that. Later I grumbled in my head for at least 48 hours about the silence. Where was a gracious show of appreciation? I wanted something in return. Nothing much, just a thank you.

My “Aha” Moment

After receiving the email I realized the need to make some changes.  Obviously, due to my desire for gratitude, my act of kindness had a string attached.  A true and sincere giver expects nothing in return. Not only did I want a “thanks a lot,” I wanted it in my defined time frame. Like NOW! When I didn’t get it, I indulged in negative thoughts about allowing others to take advantage of me.

As this wasn’t the first time I found my  face red over fake selfless acts, I decided to teach myself a lesson and immediately  and began plotting to overcome my desire for give and take.

The result of my self-assigned homework, is my “List of Five.” Yep…five life rules I’m putting into action.

 

Rule Number One

If you’ve ever been to a second grader’s softball game, you may have noticed no one keeps score. Based on that philosophy, number one on my list of corrective action items is, “Throw away the scoreboard.”  That’s right. No more quid pro quo. No longer will I use a mental clipboard to keep score.

Passing On a Good Deed

Coupling my new rule with a familiar phrase and philosophy I penned, “Pay it forward,” as number two on my list. We’ve all been the recipient of kind acts. Passing on a random act of kindness makes our world a little brighter. My new mantra was kindness, whenever possible. As I considering it for a moment, I underlined it…TWICE!

One Way Giving

Often my expectations run high. Had I given freely, with no agenda, the thank you email would have been a sweet surprise making number three on my list, “Set no expectations.” 

Abundant Kindness

Reviewing my list, I smiled. Then another thought occurred to me. There is no such thing as too much kindness. Quickly I penned my number four, “Give, give and give some more.” 

 

Be My Best Self

Five seemed like the right number so the last thing I wrote is directed at being my best self. Any success I’ve experienced in my career was because I took my job seriously. Got it! My fifth and final rule is, “It is my job to be kind.”

This week I’m determined to put my big five into practice. Thanks for reading this post. I’d love to hear about your top five.