Have you ever gotten so wrapped up with the everyday that you forgot to take the time to appreciate what you have? I believe this is, mostly, a rhetorical question for just about anyone. It definitely is for me. My wife and I run a local small business in Dayton, OH
and like any small business owners, we’re involved in many aspects of the business: Operations, Human Resources, Sales, Marketing and Finance. Being a married couple also brings its challenges as the business comes home as well.
The major challenge for us is that we sometimes forget to stop and appreciate the simple gifts we have in each other, family, friends … and pets. Yesterday was a tough day in our household. We lost a beloved pet, my buddy for the past 10 years. Striker was an Australian Cattle dog and unbeknownst to us, he had a tumor on his spleen that had ruptured. Up to that point, he was his normal high energy, please-throw-the-frisbee, jumping up on the bed and begging for table scraps canine. Like most family pets, he loved his pack.
This morning I woke up and he wasn't there to feed, sneak a table scrap to, or accept his requisite belly rub. I realized, that I too often forget to appreciate the simple things. Yesterday it was tough to have to put him down. The vet said there was nothing they could do: the cancer was too wide-spread.
This happened at a time when we are both so busy with the business and in the process of downsizing our house. You might be thinking that he was "just a dog," but anyone who has a beloved pet knows differently. Both my wife and I were devastated. It was a gut punch. I don't normally cry, but I did yesterday. It was over by lunch time and sadly, we had to go in to the office. The rest of the day we were both in a fog. It was a rough day to say the least.
Here are the lessons I learned.
- Count on your team: - Nothing at work is that important. On this particular morning, we had three 'important' meetings. Guess what? -The team covered them for us. I guess those meetings weren't THAT important after all.
- Slow down - Appreciate what's around you: We are constantly running. Stop, breathe, appreciate the little things. I know, it's cliche, but yesterday reminded me, all to graphically, that sometimes those little things can go away.
I realize this isn’t the typical business blog post, but it is in a way. Make sure you stop. The business will be there tomorrow, but the really important things might not. I’ve wondered if Striker was sending us a message last night. After a gloomy, rainy, overcast afternoon (which fit our mood), we witnessed a beautiful sunset and this morning was the perfect, cool, blue sky. The kind of fall day I love. Maybe Striker was making me smile one last time. He'll be missed.
My last message to you is this: if you run or work at a business, please stop and take a brief moment to realize life is short. Don’t neglect what is truly important.