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Wednesday, December 7th, 2016
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The Working Mom - Life’s Little Surprises

By Tammy Danielson

Mon, Apr 2nd, 2012
Posted in All Columnists

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of listening to a presentation at work about “happy people”-- Why are they so happy? What is it about their inner structure that has them whistling on the way to work as they pass their co-workers on the sidewalk who are dragging their feet and briefcases? I am sure you can think of someone who fits in this category or have seen them in their car in the parking lot---you know, the one with the “Don’t Worry…Be Happy” bumper sticker. What I do know is these people see the world and what it has to offer as a reason to get out of bed in the morning and their glass is always half full.

My personal opinion is that a small step on the way to being happy is to recognize and appreciate the little things and allow yourself to be “surprised.” To get there a person needs to start believing and standing by all of these catch phrases: don’t prejudge, give everyone a chance, don’t decide your future before it happens, every cloud has a silver lining, find the good in everything. I know this may sound cheesy to some of you, but if you can truly do this, the surprises you find can make your day. And, the surprises, no matter how small, are pretty great.

For instance, my usual after 5:00 routine is to pick up any last minute grocery items we cannot live without until the next day. Now, normally I don’t mind the extra stops, but on this particular day I was dreading getting out of the car and trekking into the store…my feet hurt, I was tired, not my usually perky self, and could have nodded off in the checkout line if given a chair—pillow wasn’t even necessary. But, being the diligent grocery-getter (that my husband is not), I stopped to pick up milk, bread, and cheese.

When I got home to put them away, lo and behold there was already a gallon of milk and cheese slices in the fridge, and a more expensive, brand name loaf of bread on the counter. I was in shock…seriously shocked. I knew my husband HAD to have been the one to stop to get them, but this was the first time in 15 years that we doubled up on the quick staples because HE beat me to the punch and picked them up.

That was an unexpected surprise that made my night and, even though we had more than enough now, I was sure to thank him for picking those things up.

Another recent little surprise came from my great-niece Katryn. When I asked her if we should measure her to see how tall she has gotten, she replied, “I bet I am as tall as a panda!” Huh? She is a very spirited five-year-old who remembered after almost two years where we kept my son’s growth chart in the closet of his old bedroom. Surprise. She quickly ran to the closet and turned her heels to the wall to be measured. “How tall am I Tam?” she asked. She was proud to find out she had surpassed the baby panda and was on to the next animal on the growth chart.

And, lastly, during a recent visit from my aunt and uncle, I brought out old photos hoping to find out some family history---since my dad has passed and my mom has been in the care center for 16 years. All of those questions I hoped to be asking my parents were now going to my mom’s brother to try to decipher. When I opened the old family trunk full of our family pictures, I found a small box of photos I hadn’t seen before. Where and when did my mom ever get them?

Well, my aunt and uncle could quickly recognize friends and family from years ago and to our surprise, secretly wedged between a set of photos, was a small scrapbook that held only five photos. Those photos were of my mom and one of her brothers (my visiting uncle) when they were in junior high and they were showing off the valentine crowns they received in school that day as king and queen of their respective classes. Two photos were very blurry, but the other three were enough of a shock for my uncle to see and brought on the tears for both of us. A secret surprise from my mom…she is still working her magic. So, try to recognize and cherish the surprises that come your way each day---it is a great balance to the other stressors that life might bring.

And, there will be no stress but just FUN and great handmade crafts at the Working Mom and Fillmore County Journal Craft Show on Saturday, April 7 from 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at the Fountain Community Center on Main Street. There is a hot dish contest starting at 11:30 a.m—bring it in hot and ready to be judged. Prizes will be given, and there is no fee to register….just email or call me to register (tamsbeads@yahoo.com or 507-273-1414).

We also will have two working mom makeovers at 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. and the lunch counter will be open, so swing in there for a bite to eat. Look for the craft show advertisement in this paper. And, speaking of hot dish…give this one a try:

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