I was driving home from the hospital after visiting my mother in law the other night. I was weary, traffic was brutal, and all I could find were nasty cover versions of Christmas songs on the radio. As I pulled up to a set of lights, I saw a bus next to me in the right lane. I glanced over, and the young driver was wearing a Santa hat and a smile. He waved, and mouthed “Hello and Merry Christmas!”. Then he pretended to reach out and shake my hand.
I started to laugh out loud, and I did the same. We “shook” hands and grinned.
One moment in time was all it took to move me from close to tears to delight. One moment and one person. That’s it.
In our personal lives, and our business lives, it often only takes one moment or one person to make a substantive difference. When my workload seems overwhelming, I just have to hear Bart’s voice or Rochelle’s laugh, and I am back on track. When I am worried about my mother in law’s health (she pulled through the heart surgery brilliantly, by the way), the world is better when I hear my cell phone make the ringtone of my son, or get a voice mail that makes me laugh.
I am one of the lucky ones who can find immense joy in the most inconsequential things: a Santa hat and a smile. I have learned that it takes a bit of effort to become that way, and thinking and planning about it sometimes helps shape the spontaneity of future events. As I was reading the Globe and Mail business section on the weekend, I came across an article entitled “What will your personal theme be for 2015?” It recognizes that in the rush of the busy-ness of this season, it is easy to get swept away, and lose track of those little things. The author poses some questions that can help focus thinking and perhaps help each of us to recognize and celebrate all those inconsequential things that 2014 held, and that 2015 will bring. Here are a few of my answers. Please share yours with me…the more we share the positive things, the more positive there is to go around!
What went well?
- Duh! I had a great bike tour with Rory, Sigrid and Bill. Just look at us here!
- My NRCan change management training workshops were OUTSTANDING!
- A new business relationship with my friend
What changed for the better?
- My relationship with my mother in law!
- My Information Management (IM) understanding (I had NONE before I started working with NRCan)
- My level of patience
What were the gifts of 2014? (this one is hard because every day is a gift…but if I had to choose…)
- The positive participation of the Rep Prep participants in the change management workshops…each interaction with those folks was a gift of joy and learning.
- My annual fly fishing adventure made even more wonderful by being with people I love.
- Working with Bart and Gerarda in creating our new company, SHiFT.
What and whom are your most grateful for right now?
- My new house – I LOVE IT!
- My business partner(s) – Nicole, Barton, Guy, Gail, Tony…the list goes on!
- My personal partner(s) – you know who you are.
- My children – they continue to amaze me
What is your theme for the year ahead?
- Gratitude – for so many little and so many big things.
It’s Christmas Eve Day, and a new year is just around the corner. I know that in Seeley’s Bay, Whitehorse, Bragg Creek, Palgrave, Pictou, and other places far and wide, there is someone thinking about me, and I am grateful for that. I know that a bus driver in Mississauga is most likely remembering a happy interaction he had with some crazy lady a few days ago, and I am grateful for that. If you are still at work, or if you are already happily eating shortbread cookies and defrosting a turkey, please be grateful.