Its the Little Things

It’s been a week of little things…


Yesterday was the last day of school, which was a major whoohoo.  Not because it’s one of those milestone years, or because there were awards or accolades involved.  Since we homeschool, those tend to be rare. But because the schoolday was filled with tests and exams, which are usually a  source of stress for my daughter, and it went so smoothly.  Just like that, she flew through them all and voila, we are both free for the next 6 weeks!  We celebrated by making chocolate chip pecan cookies for dinner.  Nothing major, but it’s the little things.


After years of having a total handle on it, I’ve been struggling the last few months to write a career plan that works for me.  In part because I have some big choices ahead, but also because, well, nothing seemed to click and capture the ‘plan’ the way I knew it should be.  I’d gone the business route, visiting the SBA site and downloading their template.  But it was too dry and blah.  I’d googled my way through a half dozen writer or creative focused plans, but nothing felt right.  I revisited a workshop I’d taken from Author MBA years ago, but while the template rocked, it didn’t take into account where publishing is now.  I tried writing my own, but it made my head hurt.  Then earlier this week, someone mentioned that OneNote was available for Mac.  I’d used the program for years in goal setting and other projects, but had given it up when I switched from Windows to Mac. So this was so cool. Even cooler?    It was free (seriously!  Free!)  I downloaded it and within a day, my career plan started taking shape, ideas were flowing and everything just clicked along.  Not because the program has a template or anything like that, but because it simply flows in a way that works with my brain. See, it’s the little things.  

RWA13 HQ party 2

Wanna hear another one?  So, I’m going to the Romance Writers of America conference  next month.  And I was excited about going, don’t get me wrong.  But I was also a little bummed because so many of my friends aren’t going this year (including so many of the Bandits *sob*) and on top of that, my CP was stuck at a different hotel because the conference hotel had filled.  One of the things I love best about conference is this tradition that a handful of us started, oh a million years ago.  After the Golden Heart/RITA ceremony, once everyone was through partying, we’d all return to our various hotel rooms, get whatever we needed down for departure in the morning, wash off our makeup, get in our comfiest sloppy clothes and meet in a  quite corner of the hotel. We’d dish, we’d decompress, we’d plan, we’d quietly begin the mourning process that comes with not seeing each other for another year.  But with so few of us at the conference, and my bestie at a completely different hotel, I knew that tradition wouldn’t be a part of this conference. And it seriously bummed me out.  Then, mid-week, someone mentioned on Facebook that the conference hotel had openings.  Just like that, my CP was booked at the same place I was, and even if it’s just her and I, the tradition will continue!  Again, a tiny little thing, but it’ll make such a difference in my conference experience.  

cookie choc chipThere were other little things this week, enough of them that I spent last evening seriously reflecting as I sat outside watching the full moon. So often, we measure life by the big things–at least, I do.  Accomplishments, milestones, events.  But its the little things that make all the difference.

How about you?  Do the little things make a big difference for you, too?  Or are you already used to appreciate them (I am learning!)?  I think I’ll go celebrate my week of little things with another cookie! 

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  • Helen says:

    Well done Tawny woo hoo I guess I appreciate the little things that happen as planning big things seem to be way too much at the moment LOL everything that gets done makes me happy then I can fall into the book I am reading.

    Enjoy your cookies and have some well deserved relaxation time

    Have Fun

    • Helen, and there’s the little thing that you caught the rooster today – although he resents being referred to as a LITTLE thing! 🙂

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Hugs and hi, Helen 🙂

      OMG I hear you on the big things being so difficult to plan sometimes!

      I had way too many cookies, I’ll admit it. I justified the last one by saying that I couldn’t close the cookie jar with that many in there, so needed to take one away LOL. But it’s amazing how those little things add up and really do help us relax, isn’t it! I’m so much less stressed because of them.

  • Helen says:

    Oh looks like The Rooster is coming for a visit yay just what I need with 3 grandkids staying as well 🙂

    Have Fun

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Ooooh, what a wild weekend you must be having, Helen!!! I hope you’re having a wonderful time with the grandkids 😀

      Maybe they can convince the rooster to play hide and seek, let him hide, and they forget to seek 😉

      Have a great time!

  • Shannon says:

    I’m so glad that you found one note. A friend has encourage me to start planning life out five years. For the time being, she said to put down anything that I’d like–realistic or not. Since I have to get a new computer (long story about old computer, new modem, file sharing) to replace the 10 year old best friend, mayhap I’ll find one note as a tool.

    As for life choices, I had a major choice to take an enormous chance with my career. I weighed the benefits against the risk. There were too many unknowns for me to be comfortable with rolling the dice. Only half the people in the program decided to make a change, so I’m not alone. There’s a real chance I’ll be forced to participate next year. So I wish you luck with the career decisions; it is so hard to figure out what will work, what will not, and what might really work out.

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Hugs on the computer changes, Shannon! Even when the are good changes, any shift in technology can be stressful because of the learning curve. I always end up happier afterward, but the process itself is rarely fun.

      Hugs, too, on the work changes. Its so hard to know the right thing to do sometimes, especially when it’s a brand new option. I hope if you are faced with the same choice next year, you at least have a lot more information to go on.

      I used to be a fan of 5 year plans for my career, but with all of the changes in publishing, I’m now in the 1 year plan mode instead 😀 I’m hoping to change that this round, though, and go wild with a 3 year one 😉

  • Deb says:

    Tawny, I’m glad things started to click in place for you with your career goals. I am already stressing about the next school year with common core and another program called daily 5 taking over. I totally disagree with them, but am between a rock and a hard place. I will just flow along with the tide, but…..

    Little things sometimes don’t appear to be or seem much until after the fact, as you found out with OneNote. One thing that struck me a few weeks ago was a comment my dad made. I’ve shared here a few times that he is in the latter stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. He doesn’t call me by name, doesn’t really know me as his daughter, but when he asked where I lived and I told him, he was able to say, “Oh, you’re the teacher.” Little thing, but a wow moment.

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Deb, those rock and hard place choices bite, because really… where is the choice? I’ve been in the midst of quite a few of them and it’s beyond frustrating, so I very much feel for you. Even when we try to go with the flow, we still know that the flow isn’t working *g*

      You ‘little thing’ about your dad brought tears to my eyes. Its those little things that touch our hearts that mean so, so much!!!

  • catslady says:

    Although most everyone celebrates the big events, I really think it’s the little things that make a difference day to day – good and bad. A cross word can ruin a day but a smile or thank you can make the day a good one!

    • Tawny Weber says:

      GREAT point, and one I didn’t even think of! Yes, sometimes the littlest thing like rude comment, a snarky remark, those do ruin what should otherwise be a happy time. I hate that.

      Here’s wishing us all lots of good little things 😉

  • Becke says:

    Good thought for reflection. I changed my thinking seven years ago when my dh was diagnosed with leukemia. One would think that I wouldn’t forget what I learned during the initial diagnosis. However, that isn’t the case. I find that I need to send myself a reminder. My thought is that we have a defense mechanism that enables us to carry on with our lives.

    I never want to forget that lesson, but it’s also important to live life. Since we don’t have a end date stamped on our heels, it’s important to live, enjoy the journey, and embrace the painful messages that make us who we are.

  • Whoppers.

    Yep…everything is better if there are Whoppers in the vicinity. 🙂

    Mom. I got to have my mom here, visiting. To be able to just sit and talk, or talk while we made dinner. Yeah. That made my whole month.

    Watching and listening to my granddaughter read a chapter book. Is there anything better?

    Those are some of my small things.

  • Tawny, what a lovely post. Congratulations on getting through another school year – and good luck with the career planning. I so admire your professional approach to your writing. I always have.

    Because I’m moving at the end of the year (hopefully the house will sell!), I’m taking time to enjoy the things about living here that occasionally I’ve taken for granted. The lake at the end of my back garden. The full moon rising over that garden like a big glob of honey. The black swans. The other wonderful birds. The sound of the sea at night. How beautiful and quiet it is – I’m sure my new place won’t be nearly the lovely bolthole that this place is. The space. The memories of the family all together here. All fairly small but all really meaningful!

    • Tawny Weber says:

      Hugs and thanks, Foanna 🙂 I’m beyond words thrilled about the school year. And thanks, too, for the good luck wishes. I was joking with someone the other day, saying that the real reason for the career plan is to have a legitimate excuse to say no when I’m asked to do things LOL. Its so easy to get pulled in a million directions, then I end up frustrated and wondering if I’ve wasted time, money or both.

      I’m so not a go with the flow kind of person 🙁 I wish I were! I really wish I were a ‘seize the opportunity and run with it’ sort 🙂

      Oh… I want to move into your house- it sounds so peaceful and lovely. And filled with gorgeous memories. Are you taking photographs or something similar to save for when you look back, or do you already have albums filled with pictures? I’m sending you fabulous home vibes, both that your current one sells, and that your next one is perfect for you.

  • Tawny, so glad y’all got the hotel deal worked out! As time goes by, I value people time more and more. I learn a lot at the conference, but it’s the people, the conversations, I remember long after it’s done.

    Congrats on your career planning. I’ve heard good things about that app.

  • Mozette says:

    Hey, the devil’s in the detail I say… I’m cleaning out my house and adding new furniture to it too. So, when I got around to buying a new hall table, I had to time it well – which I did – but when I got it home, I found one end smashed in. The timing of that couldn’t have been worse! I had moved everything around and organised everything to have the stuff I was going to have moved into my bedroom on a temporary basis… but I was kept waiting for a new hall table for a week.

    So, yeah, it’s the details that really matter to me, most definitely. I hate it when things go wrong, but you have to be prepared for that too; which I wasn’t.

  • pjpuppymom says:

    Tawny, what a lovely post. So glad you found OneNote and got those creative juices flowing. Also, that the conference hotels worked out. I’m looking forward to seeing you in San Antonio.

    During the five years that I was my late husband’s caregiver I learned to appreciate and celebrate the little things. This week brought a text from a relative “just to say hi,” a pair of comfy sandals that don’t hurt my feet (this is rare) and lunch with a good friend (I’m looking at you, Nancy) that introduced me to a wonderful new breakfast dish (omelet with avocado, tomatoes and bacon). I also stumbled on a sale with free shipping for a birthday gift I needed to buy and found awesome veggies at the local produce stand. All little things but things that made me smile.

    A not so little thing this week was the birth of my newest grandnephew. He’s such a cutie!

    I’m celebrating all of these things tonight with a root beer float which always makes me smile! 🙂

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Inspiring post, Tawny. It’s definitely the “little things” that pick me up or put me down, so I try to pass the positive ones on to family and friends. I’m always so surprised by how just a little effort on my part makes a world of difference to someone else.

  • Amy Conley says:

    Wow Tawney, may have been a week of little things, but what a list!

    I am a “little things” type person. It’s the little things which make me crazy or feel good. I’m partial to the feel good things but I can’t always get what we want.