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Keep Your Compass Close

11/03/2013 11:00

If you are raising children or have raised kids, then you will have surely received the odd telephone call from the school.  For our community members who are not parents, do you remember either making a telephone call to your parents or a teacher or principal calling Mom or Dad?

By the way, my favourite people are either kids or were once kids!  That is a wee twist on something that I will often say to new parents when I get to meet their tiny Dear Heart for the first time.  I will often say, “my favourite people are babies or once were!”  Kids are comical at times, exasperating sometimes, teach us often, are the source of instilling humility & humour & are Dear Hearts within our entire human community.

You know what is endearing?  It is the absolute joy that fills our hearts to witness children & adults having good old-fashioned fun together.  Within the simple, we find immeasurable fun.  My heart believes that will never change.  If you are a parent, you will have snapshots of times either in the form of literal photos or pictures for the mind’s eye of adventures that your children have shared with their grandparents. How amazing is it to see the bond that is shared between grandchildren & their Dear Heart grandparents.  My heart smiles when I get to see my Mom & Dad playing with our sons.  They all bring the beauty of a child’s heart.  For that time together, they all simply, “get it.”  Collectively, they understand the simple yet spectacular gift that comes out of being present with one another.  I know this feeling too because my Grandpa was someone that had an infectious laugh, the heart of a servant, the bravery & courage that you instantly felt & the absolute knowledge that this time shared was all that mattered for that time.  Not once in 13 years did I ever see my Grandpa look at his watch or ever say that he was busy.  From this gentle giant, I learned through having “little eyes upon” him day in day out example. This example built the internal compass that I carry with me to today.  Grandpa taught me by example to be present with people naturally, to put first things first, to laugh as often & as hard as possible, to share freely, to make the most out of any situation & to love & honour  with all my heart my family & friends because it is people that truly  matter. 

When  we temporarily forget to use our internal compasses to guide our decisions daily , don’t you find too that a gentle tap on the shoulder comes in one form or another.  Hopefully it is not in the form of a health scare or other forms of that magnitude.  Maybe instead, we have a literal object or mindset that acts as our continuous compass.  It reminds us of Stephen Covey’s wise gem that “things that are most important should never be at the mercy of those things that are least important.”  Stephen Covey beautifully conveys to us that it is so easy for unimportant tasks to either be actioned first by us or have time simply move these to the top of the “must get done” list.  How do we prevent our lives from becoming a collection of decisions to inadvertently action our least important items on our “to do” lists?  Again, my heart says that a compass is just the thing or antidote. 

My grandpa taught me these amazing guideposts over 2 decades ago yet I have carried his wisdom through several geographic moves & all the phases or chapters of life so far.  Again, as I have shared before, a wise mentor said to me many years ago, “you don’t know what you don’t know.”  That is the reason that I choose to carry the heart of a child along with me as I continue an infinite life of learning.  My grandpa taught me to be humble through his actions as well & to just plain be excited about the small things. 

Okay, Saundie, where did this idea or these thoughts come from?  About 30 minutes ago, I received a telephone call from our oldest son, Matt.  Matt is a creative fellow with a caring heart.  He has challenges in the area of organization.  When forms are sent home from school, they just don’t hop out of his backpack onto the kitchen table so that his Dad & I can action them.  As a humourous aside, last year, Matt’s backpack was “exploding” with stuff popping out onto the floor at home.  I let Matt know that he & I would be organizing his backpack right away together.  Yikes, this was in March & what did we find but a form that was due the previous October!  Today’s call was one where he had a level of urgency in his voice.  He had not returned a form for an upcoming school event & it is due the day after tomorrow.  He asked me to come by the school & sign it this lunch hour.  This would surely get him off the hook.  Matt’s nickname is “Matt the Cat.”  It suits him because he usually lands on his feet just like a cat.  (Matt the Cat is the shortened version of “Matt the Cool Cat” that Matt’s Dad & I endearingly have always called him at home).  Immediately two things came to mind.  The first one & most important was my internal compass.  This is a non urgent matter that has moved up the list simply due to the passage of time.  Is this a good reason to action it with lightning speed?  No.  Secondly, this was yet another opportunity to pass along a life lesson to our son.  There are natural consequences to our actions or lack of action.  He would need to take responsibility & explain his lack of due diligence to his teacher.  The hope is that in future he will remember this & action his forms in a timely manner next time.  Decisions become easy to make when we have a guidepost.  If our compass is telling us that we are about to make a choice of “actioning” the unimportant at the expense of what truly matters, then we get the opportunity to make a better choice for ourselves instead.  We have the compass & we can choose to use it.

When it comes to diabetes or other 365 challenges, the compass is in my mind invaluable.  Sometimes we over commit ourselves in terms of activities & tasks at the expense of our health. Or, perhaps we are making behavioural choices that are polar opposite to our compass.  Our thinking can even be off track in conjunction with our values.   Our compass may tell us that we are off course.  We then get to choose to re-focus & go in the direction of our principles & move instead towards that which matters.

My heart’s hope for you is that you have a compass that guides you to giving yourself the dear & treasured simple moments that make up a lifetime of what truly matters.

Smiles, Saundie  :)

P.S.  Hope that you can return to share time again this Friday with the writing sharing of "You May Need to Go Around the Block"  :)