Today I have on my to-do list: go to Staples, buy file folders and note pads
I bought staples on my last trip to Staples.
Did you know that you can’t buy 1 box anymore?
They come in 2-pack’s.
I suspect somebody over there looked at their staple sales and planned to double it. Now, everyone who goes to buy a box of staples comes away with 2. I suspect most customers wouldn’t shop elsewhere over such a small issue, and wouldn’t leave it to another day because they really need the staples.
I wonder if that would work for me?
If a client needs 3,000 sq. ft. of office space, could I get them to lease 6,000? Or should I request they bring me a referral, someone they know, who needs 3,000 sq. ft.? Better yet, maybe I should only look for clients who need 12,000 sq. ft. – then I could quadruple …
Or, when it comes to writing, maybe someone could hire me to write a piece. I could offer them 2 for the price of 1? Or, maybe 1 ½ .
Get a little bit better every day.
That’s what it says on the first page, on top always, in my daily reading file. Every morning, first thing those words greet me, in the first file I open.
I open that file first.
I read that piece of paper before anything else.
I’m not sure which is more daunting – whether it is the getting better part or the every day bit, or the challenge of choosing something meaningful to improve today.
It’s just a piece of paper.
I could throw it away. I could miss-file it. I could tape it to a mirror or a door – somewhere I would see it often, but not have to confront it first thing in the morning.
It could be so many things, it could be anything. I vacillate from choosing something trivial (like turning all the cutlery in the drawer in the same direction) or remembering to feed Gusta the minute we come back from our walk on one extreme, to trying to fix the biggest things to make them better.
Better at what?
Writer, salesman, home-cook, dog owner, father, son, friend – or better at removing staples from things that shouldn’t have been stapled at all?
I could be kinder, gentler, harder working, more understanding, more generous, more compliant with the world – but would that make the world better, by even a little bit, every day, or not?
Why try to get better every day?
Because I can.
Because that piece of paper directs that I do.
This isn’t a mental exercise. Not just for fun, it is real. There really is a piece of paper, I really do look at it every morning. It reminds me, refreshes me, inspires me and sometimes causes me to review yesterday. Did I do it better? Did I do anything better? And, of course, the following self-interrogation about why I didn’t do my best at some things, about why I didn’t strive harder to do better, to improve, to excel.
Never underestimate the power of a single piece of paper.
Imagine, going further, with two pieces – would be like connecting two ideas, connecting them and holding them together.
Maybe with a staple.
column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk: -7C / 19F … on its way to warms-ville today; yesterday’s snow is slush on the streets and will soon be mush everywhere else, but white mush, fresh mush, wet snow for making snowballs but walking in it is like walking barefoot in soft sand (OK, it’s cooler), a good workout for legs and ticker ...
Your transparency with Gary has brought on an introspection that I thought, quite frankly, I was done with. It has been six years in July since I said goodbye to my late husband who died of brain cancer. I think heroic is the proper word to describe the attempts at normalcy through the process of leaving one's earthly body. Heroism in the fact that they continue to respond, to talk, to reflect, and not simply choose to slip into the morphine haze that accompanies them during the days before. It is so very hard to watch someone die that you love and so helpless is your feeling that you grow into a sort of uselessness. We can't delay the inevitable even though that is our heart's desire. We can only love them through it which seems to bring more comfort than the morphine. GW, Brady, Tx.
You are so privileged to know someone like Gary who is taking you down his winding road until the point where you have to part. That is a very special relationship. My mother died almost 7 years ago but fell into a coma very soon after the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. I sat at her side, playing her favourite music and reading to her but I always wondered if she was aware of my presence. Your beautiful words brought a little tear to my eye this morning. We never want our loved ones to go but at the end I whispered in my mother's ear that she could stop fighting and let go, CG, Cobourg, ON
I find your updates on Gary, his life and end of life journey, very moving and poignant. They provide insight into a hero for sure. They also offer a beautiful window into your heart, LG, Calgary, AB
I’ve been following the Gary saga. Gut wrenching, RH, Calgary, AB
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