I was thinking about my Dad on today’s Tuesday Trek. If he were alive, we’d be celebrating his 91st birthday today. My Dad used to call me Littlebit. It was my brother, Daniel, who started this. He couldn’t quite manage Elizabeth when he was learning to talk. So, today’s Tuesday Trek is entitled Littlebit. Littlebit of cloud, littlebit of sun, littlebit of snow, littlebit of rain, littlebit of mud, littlebit of slipping, littlebit of melting, littlebit of a fresh cougar kill, littlebit of laughing, littlebit of storytelling and a lotabit of friendship. Dad would have loved it. Thanks for the great day Brenda and Penny!
I always try to post a few pictures of our Tuesday hikes. They are such an important part of my week. When I posted those few words along with the pictures this past week, I had no idea they would resonate with so many people. I’ve been thinking about the original words and about the messages people have sent me as they’ve pondered little bits of their own lives. And because I’ve had the memory of Littlebit, and the idea of little bits, running through my mind all week, I thought I’d share a little bit more.
I have some ‘bone on bone’ arthritis happening in my knee. It’s not the first place this has shown up in my body and I doubt it will be the last. Luckily there are some good people who know more than me about how to deal with it. When I was at the Knee Clinic last year, they suggested an injection of Hyaluronic Acid might really help me so I tried it out last July. I was shocked at what a positive difference it made. About a month ago, my knee started talking to me and I knew it was time for another injection, and that is how I found myself at my appointment with Dr Johnson up at Winsport for another injection. Dr Johnson uses ultrasound and a little bit of freezing to place the Hyaluronic Acid in just the right spot. The material in the injection forms a cushioning between the two bones. It fills the spot where healthy fluid once was. It stops the bones from rubbing on each other and reduces the pain. This little bit of gel is a life changer.
I’ve since been imagining the gel between the bones. If this is all it takes to stop the friction between two bones rubbing on each other, I wonder how little it might take us to stop friction in other places in our lives. What little bit might we try to make a big difference?
I was glad I’d received the injection when Greg texted to ask if I had a little bit of time for a bike ride this week. A lot of stars had to align; Greg had very rare time off mid-week, the mid- May weather was warm enough, the loop I’ve longed to do for years, Lake Minnewanka Loop, was closed to traffic and free of snow, and I had a new bike to try out! Yes! I had a little bit of time! Needless to say, I left a list a mile long on my desk at home, but I reminded myself that in 20 years, the time Greg and I spent together, while just a little bit on the timeline of life would be a cherished memory.
I’m finding my life is made up of many little bits these days. I never have a day when I wake up wondering what I might do. I always have more items on my mind than time in my day. I’ve been seeing more of little Ben, trying to help out his mom as she cares for newborn Andy. Some days when I don’t have as much time, I wonder if I can be any help at all. Then I remember little bits, and I offer just that. Little bits of time. Sometimes those are the very best. We go on a little adventure and discover something that keeps us talking and laughing for days. These little bits of time are forging our relationship together. I know we won’t always be lucky enough to have little bits of time during the day together. I’m making the most of the ones we have now.
I’m doing the same with my singing and dancing and writing. I used to like to have a good chunk of time set aside to do any of these. Not having that time right now, I’m investing in little bits. If I have a few minutes, I’ll head to my music and work on one song. Or write a few lines. Or practice a few steps. Or stretch a few muscles. Amazingly, often when I set out to do a little bit, it turns into more. Either way, the little bits add up. And it turns out I’m not only investing in little bits, but also in Littlebit herself.
That’s the way it is with little bits. Often, they seem insignificant. Sometimes they are such small bits they don’t even seem worth considering; things like texts, smiles, listening, noticing, complimenting. But when we remember to adjust our focus just a little bit, so the picture of life becomes clear, we can usually see that adding little bits (or sometime backing off a little bit) can make the picture of our life so much more vibrant.
When my dad started calling me Littlebit, it was just a nickname. He called me this off and on throughout my life, always with those twinkling eyes of his. Sometimes my siblings called me this too. It was such a little thing. And such an enormous thing. It was a simple little fun name, and it was much, much more. We were a big family. There wasn’t much time for ‘one-on-one’. So, when I would hear him say Littlebit, I felt seen. Today, it’s a priceless memory. I often use this name when I’m talking to myself and needing courage. ‘Come on Littlebit, you can do it’, I whisper in my head, and I feel my Dad’s encouragment. I’m going to continue to honour my name, doing little bits, backing off a little bit, acting with courage a little bit, and being my best Littlebit.
My inquiry for you this week is, ‘What little bit would help?’
Elizabeth is a certified professional Leadership Coach, and the owner of Critchley Coaching. She is the founder and president of the Canadian charity, RDL Building Hope Society. She works with corporations, non-profits and the public sector, providing leadership coaching. She creates and facilitates custom workshops for all sizes of groups. She has particular expertise in facilitating Strategic Plans for organizations. Contact Elizabeth to learn how to maximize your little bits.