And she’s managed to obsess over me and Jason for the last two years, mimicking our day-to-day habits and traits. It’s starting to pick up in intensity. I feel like I am under constant surveillance. Some days, it feels suffocating.
Luckily, she’s adorable (and our daughter.) Ha!
Lucy manages to soak up my every word, tone and expression. It’s fun, but also a big responsibility. It’s scary to think she’s learning the ways of the world from silly ‘ol me. (This poor child!)
You don’t have to be a parent, teacher, or manager to influence someone else. The dirty little secret is that you are being watched at THIS VERY MOMENT. Unless you’re a hermit, people are watching you.
What are your actions teaching others?
Are you leaving them challenged? Or are your actions helping them rationalize their behaviors?
“I should really re-look at my schedule and make some changes to slow down. My neighbor Terry seems to have way more time to enjoy her family in the evenings. All I am doing is running from one place to the next. I would like to have relaxing evenings like Terry. If she can do it, I can too.”
[ versus ]
“Well, I don’t feel bad about watching 10 hours of TV each week because my co-worker Terry watches like 15-20 hours. I’m not as bad as her.”
Like it or not, YOU are influencing others. But don’t get freaked out. It’s actually a fun opportunity to use your powers for good. Let me give you an example.
I am LOVING the moments when I get to teach my little stalker (aka Lucy Ruth) about the greatest (and usually simplest) joys in life.
Like walking through crunchy leaves on a brisk fall afternoon.
The other day, as we strolled at a snail’s pace down the sidewalk for the bazillionth time, I happened to notice there were dried leaves lining the edges. Little crunchy moments of joy just waiting to happen. Lucy didn’t have a clue about the fun she was missing.
Sometimes you don’t know the fun you’re missing unless someone else shows you.
And as a mom, I am privileged to be that person on a regular basis. Sweet!
As the neighbor watching shared with us later, we spent 20 full minutes crunching in the leaves in front of his house. (And here I thought I was only showing Lucy, but see, I told ya someone is always watching!)
Crunch. Crackle. Crunch. Crackle. That noise is one of the single greatest sounds in the world, but nothing compared to the sounds that followed… Giggle. Screech. Giggle. Screech. Leaves will never be the same in the eyes of this little girl.
You also have the privilege of showing those around the joy they are missing. Don’t tell them. Show them. And don’t tell them you are showing them. Just shut up and show them.
“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
What will YOU do today to show someone else the joy they are missing?
Jump in a puddle at the bus stop. Dance to your iPod on the train. Laugh out loud at a silly YouTube video. Bring cupcakes to your neighbors for no reason. Smile and look in the eyes of the loneliest person you know.
It just needs to be uncovered for those too busy to notice.
Embrace the joy. Embrace the reveal.
Remember, someone is always watching.