Learning from Perfect – and NOT so Perfect – Days (6/3/22)
|Think back to a special day in your life when you were a child. It could have been your birthday, a family vacation, or neighborhood adventures with your best friend. This perfect day held such promise that you couldn’t wait to jump out of bed and get started. Now think about a recent morning that wasn’t quite so perfect. Depending on what lay ahead, you had no desire to jump out of bed and get started. In fact, you really wanted to pull the covers up over your head, close your eyes and remain hidden away, safe and secure.
Maybe you have a feeling that an unhappy person is going to yell at you for something that isn’t your fault. Two family members are engaged in a conflict and they’re asking you to take sides. You have trouble saying “no” and you’ve over-extended yourself with volunteer commitments. There are so many people demanding your time and energy that you feel you never have a minute to yourself. Someone at work or at home is getting on your last nerve.
My mother always had pearls of wisdom to share in those moments – although I didn’t always appreciate them at the time. The older I get the more I realize how much I’ve learned from her wise quips and comments. Of course as a teenager I vowed that I would NEVER use those phrases with MY children. (Sound familiar?) But I’ve shared them with my children and grandchildren because they help keep things in perspective. And I’ve also shared them with my audiences.
As a keynote speaker and author I’ve had the unique pleasure and privilege of sharing my stories with thousands of people every year – people of all ages and in all stages of life. Although I believe each of us is unique, meeting so many of them over the years and hearing their stories has made me realize we’re all much more alike than different. Haven’t we all tried to change someone we love before finally giving up… tried to fix a problem that wasn’t ours to fix … or attempted to please everyone else without taking our own needs into consideration? At some point we’ve come to understand we’re not in charge of what happens around us. All we’re really in charge of are the attitudes, beliefs and behaviors we bring to those events in our relationships and our lives.
We’ve discovered we can learn a lot from challenging people, insightful people and experienced people who bless us with their wisdom. And we’ve found a good sense of humor helps keep our lives in perspective. With wisdom and courage, we’ve learned how to celebrate the good times and survive the bad times. And we’ve gotten better at focusing on the people and issues that really matter. (Our mothers must be so proud!)