Monday, April 18, 2011

Life Lessons as easy as 1,2,3

On Friday night, I had the privilege of attending a small business awards dinner.  I mention that it was a privilege for a few reasons...
  1. It gave me the opportunity to have a pint after work for the first time in a long time
  2. It gave us the opportunity to have a date night for the first time in a long time
  3. It provided the opportunity to mix and mingle with inspiring and accomplished people -- which isn't to say that our little "Lyons Cubs" aren't both inspiring and accomplished but they do have their limitations...
One of the night's honorees was a psychiatrist, who in accepting his award recalled three life lessons from his father that I think are memorable and worth sharing:
  1. Work hard -- as in harder than anyone else.  As in don't do the bare minimum to get the job done, give it your all -- every job, big or small.  Give it your all.
  2. Respect others -- as in be nice!  Be nice to people.  As in everyone from the mailman to the boss.  Treat others the way you'd like to be treated, whether you think of them as big or small.  In fact, whether they actually are big or small!
  3. Don't take yourself too seriously -- as in, don't ever get an inflated sense of self-importance and always remember to have fun. 
Sounds pretty simple, right?  I think these are great words to live by. I'd like to think I do a pretty good job with the first two... most folks would say I work hard and I think they'd say that I'm nice.  The area I'd like to work on is #3 -- not taking myself so seriously and trying to have some more fun. Lighten things up a little bit.  Yell less and laugh more.  Squint less and smile more.  I am generally good-humored but I know I have a tendency to get wrapped up in and stressed out by things that just don't matter in the big scheme of life... like organizing the hand-me-downs by season, size and color, for example! 

So, newly inspired by the accomplished folks I got to mingle with, this week I'm going to try to just lighten up.  To roll with it.  This doesn't come naturally to me since, in case you hadn't guessed, I'm an uptight Type A personality but, I'm going to give it my best.  I hope that one day, one of my kids (or maybe all five of them?) will be accepting an award and in addition to thanking Dad, they will also thank their Mom.  With a bit of luck (and a lot of hard work!), they will hopefully thank me for:

1.  Laughing. Often and freely. As in creating a happy home filled with laughter so they know they are loved and they know not to take themselves, or those little things that are inconsequential,too seriously.
2.  Accepting. As in accepting that you win some and you lose some and that's ok.   And importantly, for accepting people for who they are.  Type A or not.
3.  Organizing their hand-me-downs.  Ok, well, this may be a stretch but the day just might come when they are glad that good ole Mom took the time to ensure the bins were properly labeled and they could find that size 6 raincoat on a day they really needed it!

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