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

Lowering the Bar Confessions from a Recovering Perfectionist

A dear friend of mine sent me a self-help book she loved as it spoke to her on multiple levels. I read chapter after chapter in which the author, Shauna Niequest, writer, speaker, wife and mother of two worked on remaking her overly hectic life after experiencing mega burn-out.

Although I had empathy for the author, as I took in her story I could not relate to her situation. You see I am hawk-like about guarding my calendar from over-scheduling.  I pride myself on this because it’s one of the few things I did not have to learn the hard way.

About three-quarters of the way through the book, I found a chapter aimed directly at me. Yes, this one had my name on it. My author-guide talked about her incessant desire for perfection as she planned for a holiday she knew looked so much better in her mind’s eye than how the whole event would actually shake down. After much soul searching, the writer came to the conclusion she must choose, “present over perfect.”

As I read, sentences like “perfect has become as near a dirty word to me as hustle, prove, earn, complete and push,” popped up making sense. It all came to a crashing crescendo when she wrote, “Perfect and the hunt for it will ruin our lives.”

Okay, I give up. I’m guilty of trying to create the perfect this, or the perfect that, and day-after-day continually disappointing myself. When I go to bed at night and start counting my blessings, somehow the “Perfection Princess” who lives in my head starts recounting all the things that did not live up to her standards. Reading on I got some advice on how to turn my quest for perfection on it’s ear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the author professed, “It’s all about learning to show up and let ourselves be seen as we really are,” I thought wait a minute. If that means leaving the house without make-up, forget it. Not going to happen, at least not yet anyway.

Knowing I had to start somewhere, I chose entertaining. We invited another couple over for Saturday night dinner and drinks. Aha! Instead of spending hours scouring recipe books to design the perfect menu like I usually do, I opted for a simple rustic Italian dish created in the slow cooker. I really blew the lights out on dessert. Finding a cool creation on Pinterest involving store bought ice cream sandwiches and whipped cream, I put it together in under seven minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The evening went well. Simple as the menu was, my guests ate with gusto. We all relaxed and enjoyed just being together over food and wine. When dessert was served I must admit, it looked like something a 3rd grader cooked up. But guess what? I didn’t care. It provided my guests with fits of laughter and some really good bites.

So cheers to “present over perfect.” I’m getting there. If you can relate to any of this, let me know and I’ll send you the recipe.

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your comments on how you deal with perfectionism.

Learning to Wait Thoughts on the Waiting Game

 

Last week was eventful. A close friend welcomed a new baby girl into the family while another dear friend said a final loving good-bye to her mother. What both events had in common was a period of waiting. Joyful anticipation built over the months as the new mom and her extended family prepared for the birth of a child. On the flip side, those who have experienced a loved one deal with a lingering illness know tremendous pain as those precious minutes slip away.

There are different types of waiting periods in life. Waiting to meet your soul mate, waiting for a house to sell, waiting for a cappuccino

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

at your favorite coffee shop, waiting for summer to begin and the list goes on and on.

In the past, I totally sucked at waiting fervently wishing I could fast-forward time. Perhaps that is a common ailment in our “I want it now,” world. True, some things are out of our control and waiting periods fall into that category. Over the years I’ve learned to utilize the wait time wisely and respect the process.

Whoever coined the phrase, “Good things come to those who wait,” had a point. For example, a few years ago one of my single clients (let’s call her Tami) was obsessed with finding a mate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She went through one of those “What’s wrong with me,” scenarios.  Tami was a beautiful hard working accountant but spending most of her waking hours at the office took a toll on her ability to converse about anything other than balance sheets and journal entries.

My suggestion involved reducing her working hours to make room for a hobby. Following through with this plan Tami enrolled in a number of gourmet cooking classes and even began blogging about vegetarian cuisine.

 

By busying herself with a hobby, and back-burnering her focus on waiting for “the one” to show up, she began feeling fulfilled outside of the office.

 

Oh, and did I mention Mr. Wonderful eventually surfaced? Turns out she married the chef instructor of her Pastry 101 course. (Yes, good things do come to those who wait).

 

 

 

Tami’s experience can be applied to most periods of time requiring we patiently go into a holding pattern.

So how do you deal with an event you wish you could hurry along? First, accept that “wait” is not a nasty four letter word. Change your focus and make some plans while you’re sitting it out.

By doing so, in the interim, you might find you’re having the time of your life.