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Surprise!

Every now and again, you get a pleasant little surprise. Yesterday was one of those days!
I walked into my local branch of Holland & Barrett to purchase some Omega 3 tablets. I found the Omega 3 fish oil, but had to call upon the shop assistant to point out the Omega 3 algae version. She was very helpful and I made my selection.
After scanning my tablets at the checkout, she said that’ll be £5.99. “Is that all?” I responded, “I’m very happy to pay that! The price on the shelf said £19.99!”
“You’re too honest” I hear you all say!!
Why didn’t I just keep my mouth shut?!
Anyway, the checkout assistant walked over again to check the price on the shelf and sure enough, it was £19.99.
…..Then the wonderful surprise.
She returned and said, well “There’s a mistake somewhere, but the price here at the checkout is £5.99, so £5.99 it is!”
Delighted, I cheerfully made my payment and walked out a very happy customer. 😀
Thank you Holland & Barrett, you made my day!
Have you had any pleasant surprises like this recently?

Extremes

For those old enough, you will remember the summer of 1976, it was an absolute scorcher. Record high temperatures and a long period of drought. 😎
All year long our family wouldn’t travel far at all. But with dad being a train driver and free tickets, most summers we went as far away as possible. 1976 was one of those long train journey’s, all the way down to Cornwall and basically, that’s as far as you can go. Holidays together were a priority.
With the record temperatures and glorious sunshine, I have lots of fond memories of being on the beach that summer. I remember getting up to a lot of mischief, but most of all my feet being scorched on the hot sand! 😕
Only a few weeks later in typical UK fashion, the heaven’s opened and the country was hit by massive storms and floods which dominated the remainder of the year. It seemed as if mother nature was re-balancing.
𝐄𝐱𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐬 – Life seems full of them.
Dry/Wet
Hot/Cold
Black/White
Feast/Famine
Doubt/Certainty
Freedom/Subjection
Happiness/Sadness
Like the hot dry summer, then wet autumn of 76, in life we must often chart a course between the two of them.
Finding a balance in life is a matter of setting the right priorities and establishing goals to provide direction.
How do you maintain balance in your life?

Generosity

When you think of a generous person, who first comes to mind?

Generosity – “a willingness to give help or support, especially more than is usual or expected.”

Who has inspired you the most to greater generosity?

I hope that it won’t be some famous celebrities or philanthropists, rather it’ll be a family member, a friend, someone in the community, or a co-worker perhaps.

“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” said Debbie Macomber.

One by One.
Act by Act.
Service by Service.
Little by Little.
Each of us can make a difference.

I am encouraged by the words of the Dalai Lama who said – “Generosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion and loving-kindness.”

We simply don’t talk about generosity enough.

We desperately need more men and women in society at large to look around, to look beyond themselves and consider the needs of others. To become more selfless, outward looking, to give more, to be more compassionate and much, much more generous. Some will think it airy-fairy. Yet, it is a powerful, personal, potent, peace giving potion.

What can you do, who will you help today?

A new chapter

As one chapter in life draws to a close, another is set to begin…

One morning earlier this week, I was about to head outside to post a birthday card, when our youngest daughter Cristi was also just departing for school.  I asked if I could join her on her walk to school and she agreed that I could.

All at once, memories flooded back of the many times over the last 20 years of walking to school with our children. Walking through the rain, wind, snow and sunshine have all been experiences we’ve shared together.  The days of holding each of their hands have long since gone.  Tiny steps, eventually grew into strides together.

Walking with Cristi, I recognised quickly that this was likely to be the very last time I walked with her on part of her journey to school.  Her school days are swiftly drawing to a close, with only a few days left to go.  We talked, we laughed and to be honest, I did get a little emotional. Just for a moment there was a little tear in my eye.  I realised that the school days of our children chapter of our life together, was now rapidly drawing to an end.  As we reached Dot, the lollipop lady, we wished each other well.

Our Book of Life

Like a book, life has a beginning, and end, and a lot of chapters in between that push us forward from one event to another.  Each of us will begin many new chapters in our own book of life.  Some chapters are challenging and difficult, others are fun and exciting.  Momentarily, a little bit of sentimentality also played into my own book, with this little walk for sure.  Another sweet memory was added into my own book of life.

Ultimately change happens for each of us.

Accepting change can be hard and exciting too, as we turn the page of a new chapter in life.  For us, there are a whole new set of adventures ahead, Belgium/Netherlands beckons!!

What changes and new chapters are you set to write about in your very own book of life?

Does 9.00 am exist?

“Does 9.00 am exist” I asked the delegates on the virtual time management workshop. Unanimously they responded “yes!” followed by a few whispers and puzzled faces.

As we explored the concept of time together, everyone soon realised that 9.00 am, along with 24 hours, 1,440 minutes and indeed 86,400 seconds were all simply something that mankind had created to manage time better – the study of horology is fascinating! We concluded – 9.00 am isn’t real! In fact the only thing that is real, is day & night, along with the seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter.

Each of us are stewards of our time here upon earth. Each and every day counts.

Henry B. Eyring captured it well when he said – “Someday, when you know who you really are, you will be sorry you didn’t use your time better.”

I love these words penned by Robert Baird:

Time flies on wings of lightning;
We cannot call it back.
It comes, then passes forward
Along its onward track.
And if we are not mindful,
The chance will fade away,
For life is quick in passing.
’Tis as a single day.

Consider these questions focused on different time frames…

Are you doing everything that you should be doing with your one precious life?

How will you choose to fill the blank pages of your book of life today?