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Baby Bows and Gardens

As I was walking through the neighborhood with my dog last night, I wondered what stories were being told by the outside of people’s homes.

I know in my case, the exterior of my house tells a story.

What’s on the outside sometimes reflects what’s happening on the inside ~ but not always.

When my son was born 15 months after my daughter, I was beside myself with joy. I didn’t grow green things back then (unless they were in my refrigerator), but it was a very happy time for me.

A few months into our new lives with two little ones, a neighbor came to visit. I still had the blue baby bow on the front door of our house. Although it was fading, it made me happy every time I saw it. And truthfully, in the busy-ness of our lives, I sometimes forgot that it was there.

My neighbor made a joke about how faded the baby bow was and asked when I was going to remove it from my door. Although I am not a “quick responder,” the answer came to me immediately and I replied, “Right after I clean my toilets.”

My bow may have appeared faded and tired, but there was a happy, balanced story inside of me. That young mother was playing with and enjoying her children ~ and she was being taught how to play ~ by her very wise children. That was a young woman who had her priorities straight and I try to remember that time. It is still a compass for me when I think about making the “right” decisions.

It’s so important to keep things in perspective and focus on the “right” things. Deciding what the “right” thing is – is a lifelong process.

My father died when I was 25 and somehow that experience taught me to live life to the fullest. Life is short and, I believe, every time I am faced with a decision about how to spend my time, my dad whispers in my ear: “Live each day as if it were your last. If today were your last day, what would you do?” When viewed from that lens, the decision to play – or listen – or hug – or say something nice - seems easy.

As a mother of two grown children (now in their 20s), I know that sometimes the “right” thing means dropping everything on my fabricated “to do” list. The beauty of life is that we are making it up as we go – and you get to decide what’s important.

Sometimes the “right” thing means working, sometimes it means cleaning, sometimes it means putting our lists aside and being present with someone who needs us, and sometimes it means taking a hot bath or planting a garden.

We need to have strong inner guidance to make the “right” decisions. And we are likely to make mistakes a long the way. We just have to remember that in all things, we have choices.

  • There is no baby bow that must be removed today.

  • There is no toilet that must be cleaned today.

  • There is no garden that must be planted today.

  • Unless it makes you happy to do it.

So today, you get to choose what’s on your “to do” list. What’s the most important thing you need to do today?

Reorder your priorities – just for a day. And see how it feels.

© Kathy Sturgis, Ph.D. Kathy is founder of Refreshment Zone and is an organizational and personal development specialist with a doctorate in communication. Contact for more information on motivational programs.

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