Sleep-Overs and Excellence

>Tonight is my daughter’s first sleep-over experience. She’s not the one actually sleeping-over, her little friend is coming here, but she’s been talking of nothing else since last week when we decided to make a date of it.

The first sleep-over I remember was when I went to stay at my friend Melissa’s house out in the country. There might have been others before this, but I can’t remember. What I do remember about Melissa’s house were the “first” things.It was the first time I’d ever had Strawberries-n-Cream instant oatmeal. The first time I’d ever seen and played with a water pick. The first time I’d seen Annie, and the first time I’d ever eaten microwave popcorn.

I remember it being so much fun to experience how other people live, and to this day, I still really enjoy seeing how other people decorate, what they eat, how they organize (or don’t), and what their feng shui says about them.

Little piles of paper work, family drinking cups beside the sink, magazine racks, and bathroom reading materials all send a message. Do they hang up their coats on a tree beside the door or do they have a coat closet, and in that closet, are there extra hangers for guests’ coats? Do they have a “no shoes in the house” rule and do they apply that rule to their guests as well?

It’s the little details that are so telling. I guess it’s no different about character as well. Most people are good, many are great, but only a handful are excellent. Many do not attend to the little details that make all the difference between good and great, great and excellent. The diligence required to maintain the nuanced life requires that individuals be introspective, welcoming to the feedback of others, and students of lives well-lived.

Face it, it’s easier to sit back and waste an hour of your life watching reality TV or playing some computer game than to read a book about an area in your life that needs change, to journal about your personal thoughts or demons or attend a support-group of sorts–especially if your life is relatively good. It’s easy to leave work with a couple loose-ends waiting until the next day rather than dot every i and cross every t. We like working with people of excellence–they make our jobs easier–but we don’t often think about how our ethics and character impact the lives of those around us. We like the idea that “it’s better to give than to receive”, so long as someone else is giving and we’re receiving.

People of excellence don’t just act excellently, they LIVE excellently. They attend to every detail in their lives, not just some. And they are always on a quest to improve.

What if you could sleep-over with some of the most excellent people you know? What do you think you would discover? And what would they discover about you if they were to stay over at your place? Are you a person of excellence?

Well, I don’t know what Sophia’s friend will remember about this sleep-over, but I sure hope she has fun. I can bet she’s not thinking in terms of excellence, but I have a hunch that the activities that are excellent–the food, the hospitality, the laughter–are the things that will make an impact. They always do.


3 Responses to “Sleep-Overs and Excellence”
  1. Ruby Red says:

    I liked this post!! How fun for Sophie-add a picture. I think you're thoughts on this were great. She will enjoy reading this someday. 🙂

  2. Amanda O'Tremba Oster says:

    R–I didn't take any pictures. I know, I know, I should have, but I only always think of pictures after the fact. I should get better at it then I could spruce up my blog a bit, but . . . oh, well, maybe next time.

    BTW–lovin' kind birds!

  3. Ruby Red says:

    I mean "your" not "you're"…brother!

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