Here’s what happened. Monday was St. Patrick’s Day, a fact that I temporarily forgot when I decided to run an errand over lunch. I took a break from my projects to walk from my office in downtown St. Paul to the local library where I had a book on reserve.
On my way, I ran into the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Before crossing the street, I was stopped by a police band and a vintage fire truck from a local pub. There was a drum and fife band coming up. This threw off my schedule and my first thought was to find an alternate route.
Think about it. The purpose of the errand was as much to take a stretch break as to get the library book. The weather was fine for March and I was dressed appropriately. People around me were enjoying themselves. I had a curbside view of a parade. And was working up to be crabby about it.
Upon reflection, I decided that if the universe literally drops a parade at my feet the correct response is to stop and listen to the bagpipes. I confess that I didn’t stay for the whole event, but I did spend a few minutes before going on my way. The library book was, of course, still waiting, and after checking it out I didn’t duck into the skyway. I took the long way back and enjoyed more of the festivities.
It’s hard to miss a group of people in kilts playing on bagpipes. But I wonder how often I’ve missed opportunities to take 5 minutes and enjoy what’s happening around me. Occasionally someone will come into the office and say something like “did you see the great sunset on the way home last night?” I try not to be the person who didn’t notice.
As leaders we are all extremely busy. But I hope we can balance that with small moments of enjoyment. They can help us return to our work refreshed and energized.
–Dee Anne Bonebright