When we recall the past, we usually find that it is the simplest things– Not the great occasions– that in retrospect give off the greatest glow of happiness. – Bob Hope
I had a glow of happiness today. During a meeting, I volunteered to draft out a detailed plan design of a project we are starting. After I hung up I wondered if it were possible to get everything documented in two days. I opened up my “shell” template for the plan design and realized I had already started it when we passed one of the main stage-gates a few months back. Bonus, I was far along in the documentation. The sweet glow of happiness filled the room.
Don’t forget to count these moments when you reflect on the things you are grateful for. I’m with Bob. These simple things are gems!
I’ve been knee-deep in finals and school ends this weekend. I lost my writing momentum but am getting back on track.
I’m still working on a well-lived life. I walked the trail at lunch today. It was a slow peaceful walk with lots of insights.
How am I doing with my goal to live a well-lived life? I booked a trip to Ireland in February and London in April. I’m not the best traveler so it is really pulling me out of my comfort zone but I am really looking forward to new experiences.
Each today, well-lived makes yesterday a dream of happiness and each tomorrow a vision of hope. Look, therefore, to this one day, for it and it alone is life. – Sanskrit Poem-
Sweet Cooper ain’t having it. Looks like I’ve got to get out there in the cold and take him for his walk. I think you would agree his look says “tell it to the paw cuz these beautiful ears ain’t listening to your lame lazy excuse. Now get your coat on and let’s roll.”
Even though I looked foolish to my husband, I’m glad I took the moment to entertain myself while on hold with Apple Support. My mood soared after a few minutes of finding my funk dancing around the kitchen to the hold music Flashlight by Parliment. I was almost disappointed when the tech came on. Sure I looked like Elaine dancing on Seinfeild, but who cares? What is that saying? Dance like no one is watching? Next time you need a lift, turn up the tunes and dance like no one is watching. You will be glad you did.
Now I lay me down to sleep
I guess I’ll go count the sheep
Ha da da dee da hada hada da da (oh)
Shake your funk (Ha da da dee da hada hada da da)
Shake your funk (Ha da da dee da hada hada da da)
Shake your rump (Ha da da dee da hada hada da da) (ho!)
I think I found the funk
I work from home and when I’ve been staring at the computer for a few hours not even blinking, Cooper will make his way to my desk and then pop his head up from under the desk and climb on my chair or he will give me the stare down if I’m on the couch with my laptop. In the past, I would push him back down with a firm “not now I’m busy.” Last week I was walking the trail and kept thinking of Cooper and his “do you see me now moments.” I had an insight. Cooper, was once again teaching me a valuable lesson on being present with our loved ones and giving them our full attention.
How often do you see couples at dinner staring at their phones or the TV behind their date’s head instead of paying attention to each other? I’m guilty. It has become acceptable behavior, the norm. Then dinner is served and the focus is on eating. The check is paid and dinner is over. How much of that dinner was spent with the full focus on each other or even tasting the food?
Following Cooper’s example, we need to single to each other to “see me now.” We turn off our phones or put them on vibrate during movies. It is the rule after all. Let’s continue that practice when we are spending time with each other. Put the phone in airplane mode, no beeps, rings or dings to pull your attention away. Can we not spare an hour from our device to give each other our undivided attention?
When I got back from my walk I decided the brown-eyed stare down was an opportunity to take a stretch break and to get a glass of water. Now, I grab my water, give Cooper a scratch, open the back door so he can do a quick run in the yard. Toss the ball for a few minutes and enjoy the view. Then I head back to my task. It’s done wonders for helping me keep my water goal each day, and a quick stretch break helps me take a deep breath and has a calming effect when I get back at it. And Cooper either entertains himself with a toy he found in the yard or gets fascinated by a squirrel and is happy and content. He didn’t need hours of my time, just a moment or two to feel like he mattered and to know that I remembered he was an important part of my life. Isn’t that worth a few moments?
Communication is not just about talking or waiting for a silent break so you can jump in and give your two cents. Being a good listener doesn’t always require a response. A knowing nod, or simple comment is often all that is needed. Often times people tend to follow with a similar story of what happened to them. Sometimes people just need to be heard, and coming back with a story of your own may feel like you are relating to them, but it can also feel like you are saying, “you think that is bad, check this out” and in the process dismissing or diminishing what they just shared.
My pups Max and Cooper are always listening. I swear I can be downstairs with the kitchen door closed and they can be upstairs, and they can hear me open the refrigerator or crack open a chip bag. I knew dogs have an excellent sense of smell and hearing, but I didn’t think it was on the level of the Six Million Dollar Man or the Bionic Woman.
Unlike Max and Cooper, I don’t have the greatest hearing and more times than not, I find myself asking someone to repeat themselves. A sense of hearing is my problem child. I have always known that there is more to hearing than taking in the sounds that pass through your ears. The second prong is being a good listener. Over the years I’ve heard people say things such as “lean in” so they know you are interested, “nod” so they know you are on the same page with them, or they ask you to make eye contact. There seemed to be a lot of facets to listening. I put most of those nuggets into practice, and I thought I was a good listener.
I swallowed hard one day when I heard someone make a comment that people listen with the intent of replying and not learning. If ever I was guilty of something, it was listening with the intent of answering. It wasn’t that I felt my response would be earth-shattering or enlightening; it was more that I wanted to mentally prepare my position on what was said so I wouldn’t look like a deer in the headlights if asked. I had an added habit of interrupting because I was afraid of losing my thought if we got too far into the conversation.