It’s the little things

It's the little things

Tonight’s conversation in my head started out like this..

“Do I keep the tangled mess of cheap green ornament hangers that I just wrestled from the Christmas tree, or just chuck them in the garbage and spend a buck next November and start fresh?”

Every year that I toss the tangled green mass of hooks into a ziploc bag, I set in motion a micro-dread feeling that persists, albeit under the radar, the whole year through. The dread diminishing the fun of ornament hanging with the unpleasant chore of untangling that wire mess. “But I’m recycling,” try to convince myself. It’s a Catch-22 and the only thing I’ve caught is a no-win dilemma.

But then it hits me…

I could come up with a cool storage hack that would alleviate the stress of the tangled mass. I could then post the solution, all while feeling good about my green recycling self. Maybe my ornament hanger solution could save the world in the tiniest way! If even one less family lost a second of precious memory – making time fussing over the green wire mess, I would be a Pinterest hero!

Okay maybe it’s not that earth-shattering. Then it hit me.…

It’s the creation of solutions to make life’s hassles less hassling that makes me feel best. It’s why I love organizing, arranging, setting up things and resources and ideas for better living. This is my calling. So off I went, conjuring a solution to neatly store the green ornament hangers. I envisioned my husband’s delight next year, when upon opening the ornament box to begin the ceremonial trimming of the tree, he would exclaim, “Honey, You make Christmas great!” Well, that may not happen, but I surely will smile with a sweet satisfaction, knowing that I took a little bit of time to make life easier, and it didn’t cost me a thing. I think that this is the type of habit the very wealthy people have… taking care of the little things, so the big things take care of themselves.

Plus I’ll have another dollar in my pocket.

It’s your thing

Place your own oxygen mask on first…

Here’s a simple question for you: “How much of your day do you spend doing what is best for you, as opposed to doing what other people want you to do or think you should do?” Put another way, “How closely do you follow your inner voice?”

If your answer is anything like, “Not enough,” then read on.

It’s amazing how conditioned we can become to living our lives according to the plans, ideas, expectations and unwritten rules of others. Many of these externally-established messages are well-intended, positive and helpful. But sometimes the script that others would have us follow in life isn’t exactly what’s best for us. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that as parents, leaders, coaches or caretakers we should abandon the needs of those for whom we are responsible. In these roles, we’re obliged to consider and focus on the well-being of others. But there simply must be room in each dayto tune in to our own needs. Our own voices.

We’ve all heard the familiar mantra of the airline flight attendants during their pre-flight instructions, “…make sure to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before attempting to help someone else put on theirs.”  If you’re traveling with a child or elderly person, you naturally may want to ensure their safety first, before helping yourself. But the idea is that if you ignore your own need for oxygen, you may be unable to help your loved one and, if that happens, you may put both yourself and your loved one in danger of serious injury or worse.  The moral of this message is, “If you don’t take care of yourself first, you’ll be unable to care for your loved ones in their time of need.”

Your turn

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So, what is one thing you could focus on for yourself that would build up your own “oxygen” and allow you to better attend to the needs of others?

Thanks to my classmate, Valarie Irons-Poppiti for inspring me with her Haters photo post.