The Little Things...

"While it may seem small, the ripple effect of the small things is extraordinary." --Matt Bevin

It's often easy to look to the big things in life. Small things can seem exactly that. Small. Unimportant. Insignificant. Even bothersome.

If there's one thing both teaching and writing have taught me it's this:

The small things are the only things that matter.

It's true. If you want to achieve those huge and daunting milestones in your life, you have to let yourself enjoy the little things first. The tiny, seemingly non-essential and possibly time-consuming moments are in effect what makes those humungous events achievable.

I'm not suggesting that we don't set goals. Quite the opposite, in fact. Absolutely set those goals. But don't become so blinded by making those dreams happen that you miss those moments that make your heart smile.

It's not always easy.

In teaching preschool, it may seem more important to get that group activity done, practice the letters and sounds, create a graph, make a journal entry. No doubt, these things are important to achieving the bigger goal: getting the children academically ready to move on to kindergarten.

But in the rush to 'get it done', I have found that it's okay to allow myself to hit the pause button. I don't want to miss that special smile from a shy 3-year-old student because they drew a picture for me. Or the story they just have to share because it's important to them, even though it's time to go outside. Listening matters so much to them at this age, and everyone's busy. Teachers. Parents. It's a busy world we live in. Just pause to listen. Play with them. And appreciate that I am important in their young life and they need me in that moment. Academics are important. But so are the little things.

In writing, the big goal: write a book and get published. Focusing on the end-goal can be daunting, overwhelming, and can seem quite impossible. Self-doubt is a constant stumbling

block, and at times it may seem easier to just give up. I have discovered that if I focus on the small things and take one day at a time, the huge goal seems more achievable. Just write that chapter, or even a paragraph, and before you know it the book is half-written. I need to remind

myself to pause. Think of the reasons I started writing in the first place. The need to tell a story. Letting imagination and creativity flow. The peace that comes with telling a tale. The enjoyment I get from early morning silence; just me, my computer, and utter quiet.

 

So, here's my list of the small (huge!) things that make my heart smile, making those impossible dreams somehow possible:

*Summer flowers ready to bloom

*Freshly picked wildflowers in a cup

*My husband's hand in mine

*The sound of water flowing gently over rocks

*An impromptu walk in the creek

*Early morning silence

*The sunrise and sunset

*A gentle breeze that rustles my hair

*The sound of my husband and sons laughing

*A dog's muzzle resting on my leg

*A good book that I think about even when I'm not reading

*Toes in the sand

*Saltwater on my lips

*The sound of waves crashing

*Sun on my skin

*That special smile he saves just for me

*The sweet taste of chocolate

*Pizza on a Friday night

*Reading my own published words

*An unexpected day off

*Family movie nights

*Home

I challenge you to make your own list, and feel free to post it in the comments!

 

Slow Dance By David L. Weatherford

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round? Or listened to the rain slapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight? Or gazed at the sun into the fading night? You better slow down. Don't dance so fast. Time is short. The music won't last.

Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask "How are you?" Do you hear the reply? When the day is done Do you lie in your bed, With the next hundred chores Running through your head? You'd better slow down Don't dance so fast. Time is short. The music won't last.

Ever told your child, we'll do it tomorrow? And in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch, Let a good friendship die Cause you never had time, to call and say "Hi"? You'd better slow down. Don't dance so fast. Time is short. The music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere You miss half the fun of getting there. When you worry and hurry through your day, It is like an unopened gift.... Thrown away. Life is not a race. Do take it slower Hear the music Before the song is over.

 

Haven't had a chance to read KOTW yet? Click here to read the first three chapters!

Kristen L. Jackson, Author of KEEPER OF THE WATCH

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