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What I learned from my mom about joy

I’m at my Mom’s house in a small town in Ohio. Lots of times people say to me, “How can you stay there so long? What do you do? Don’t you get bored?”

Well, here’s the thing: I never get bored here because my Mom is fun and funny and loving and full of vitality. So we don’t have to be going to Broadway plays or eating at fancy restaurants to have a wonderful time. We have a great time because she is a great person.

It’s that simple.

You’ve heard me say a million times, “An extraordinary life is made up of a series of extraordinary moments.”

Those extraordinary moments happen in the most ordinary of ways. But when we’re present to them, they light up the neon of our hearts! Zing! Pow! Zip!

Okay, here’s one. See that photo of my mom up above? She’s holding a pie. Today is my last day visiting her and this morning she whipped the pie out from a hiding place and said, “I baked this for you!”

That in itself was an ordinary-extraordinary moment. Because you see, all my life my mom has baked pies. I LOVE pie. And I love my mom’s pies. And these pies are one of the many ways she expresses her love. So when she proffered the pie, it was a moment of joy!

But wait, there’s more.

See this sticker on the pie?

Last week my mom told me that she thought it would be really funny if she had “Made in the USA” stickers to put on the pies she sells at the local flea market. (Yep, her pies are so good, complete strangers gobble them up!) So many things are made in China these days and folks around here love to buy American goods. So my mom got a kick out of thinking how funny it would be to have those stickers on her homemade pies. (Don’tcha just love that she thought that up?!)

Ha! It was easy-as-pie for me to find them online and have them shipped to her as a surprise. And it is funny, right? Hopefully you laughed a little when you saw it. I know I did. And my mom will put these on her pies and people will smile and it will create ripples of tiny extraordinary moments.

I’m talking about pie. And a few stickers. That’s all. It isn’t a lot of money. It isn’t a lot of time. But there is so much joy in this small story.

But here’s the thing: it took a certain intentional thoughtfulness to make these moments. My mom probably got a flash yesterday that it would be lovely to surprise me with a peach pie before I head back to SF. And … I heard her when she said she wished she knew where to buy those stickers. I listened and acted immediately. It wasn’t a big deal at all — for either of us. But our choice to make the time for each other paid off in authentic connection and laughter.

Rinse and repeat … and what have you got? LOTS of small moments of joy that add up to a really delightful life.

Easy as pie? I hope so. Try it for yourself TODAY. Who can you surprise with some out-of-the-box happiness? Did you hear someone say something they wish they had? Is someone kinda blue? Did a friend accomplish something? How can you bring a tiny moment of extraordinary-ness to them? I bet if you spend just a few minutes thinking about it, you’ll come up with a simple bit of love for someone in your life.

If you need a hand, I can help. I just introduced something called an Audio LoveGram, which is an audio note of love I create for someone in your life. It gets sent to their email inbox and is chock-full of zesty words of joy and appreciation. You can listen to some samples here.

Selfishly, I love creating these LoveGrams because they fill ME with joy. Another l’il secret that I learned from my mom: she gets so much joy from giving. It lights her up.

Here’s to the small moments that make up your big life,
Sherry

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