Three Hundred Forty Six: Focus on the Right Details

“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”  – John Wooden

Saturday, December 13th

I have a habit of getting totally enmeshed in things, only to find that I’d been focusing on the wrong details. For instance, just now as I was logging on to write the post I decide to count out the rest of the posts for the year to see if it reaches 365 by December 31st. It didn’t…oops! So I back up to see if there was an Archive that would let me see the posts altogether instead of month-by-month. Nope. That leads me to counting out the posts from January 1st. What? Do I really need to count out 365 posts at 6 am? How often do I do this during my days – spin out onto some tangent that never even relates to the job I’m trying to do?

It can be fun to get lost in an intriguing detail. It can also lead to stress as I lose track of what I’m really trying to achieve. I need to jog my memory that I’m really working towards a larger goal.

Take yesterday. I’d been planning for several weeks to hold a social event for my daughter’s class. I reserved the Common House space. I got the word out. I kept in contact with parents and watched the RSVPs. Then invitations came out for a classmate’s bowling alley birthday party set for the same afternoon. I was disappointed that they’d planned it for 30 minutes after the end of my event. Parents would likely choose to take their kids to a free day at the bowling alley instead of to a toy/book exchange that would benefit the local food bank. Two of my four RSVPs dropped. I started to wonder why I’d planned anything altruistic with this group? When a couple mom friends started to get bummed out too I switched my thinking to a more positive outlook – don’t cater to the naysayers, work with the people who understood the reason for the party and were willing to participate. There will always be those who participate and those who don’t.

What resulted? Well, my kids and I went through a lot of their toys and discussed ones that they were willing to party with. I culled through their books. It was a great learning process, and we had toys ready that we could share with our little friend that is growing up in a single parent household before the event. The kids that attended the party had so much fun rambling around, and they even “shopped” for new-to-them things. The small group made it a reasonable amount of chaos and all the kids played with one another…and I got a chance to talk with every parent who showed up. There were so many good things about the way the event went.

It was a great reminder for me to stay the course. Building community happens one step at a time.

Do you lose track of the bigger picture? If so, how do you focus on what’s really important?


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