Sometimes it’s easy to miss the little things. Often because we’re wanting the big results to happen – for the big mountains to be moved. But what if the little things were the beginning of that big movement – what if the little things were the beginning of a shift that was happening, and all-together, those little things added up to moving the big things? To moving the mountain?
This is the perspective that keeps me going as a Food and Fitness service member. It’s easy to get discouraged with the current situation of wellness in schools and with how slow-moving wellness efforts can be. I so often desire big results, which isn’t wrong thinking, but it isn’t always realistic. So instead, I’ve needed to shift my perspective to see that the little things – the little changes – are huge and need to be celebrated, otherwise I’ll just end up discouraged, as well as miss the little joys around me.
Or these kids learning how to explain the life cycle of a pumpkin through fun, recyclable art:
Or this little girl learning how to puree pumpkins and transform pumpkin mash into yummy pumpkin bars:
It’s in the little things.
One of my favorite “little things” stories so far is one from my 3rd grade class. We’re celebrating White Milk Wednesdays at our school this year and recently had a nutrition lesson encouraging kids to drink white milk. We had a conversation about how sugar is not bad, but too much added sugar accumulates over the day, and therefore, we should have chocolate milk as a sometimes treat, and not for every meal. So on Wednesdays, we’re celebrating yummy white milk and learning that it can be just as fun and delicious as chocolate milk!
One of my little 3rd graders is diabetic and therefore has to check in with the nurse before and after meals to check on his numbers and take insulin. After my lesson, my little friend came into the nurse’s office and told me that he loved both white milks that we tried as a taste test. I told him that I was so excited and did he know that he could have a white milk today because it was Wednesday! He instantly replied with a “nope – chocolate” and headed out of the office. The nurse and I both sighed and she commented that he’s one that has always had chocolate milk at both breakfast and lunch for as long as she’s worked with him. I left a bit defeated and worked on another lesson. Later, I went back to the office to check back in with the nurse and she greeted me with a big “guess what! He just came back after lunch and he had a white milk for the first time since I’ve worked with him. He’s never done that! And we had a big conversation about how that is so much better for him and talked about carbs and points and how he can use a bit less insulin today now.” WOOO!! It’s the little things!! That’s huge! He then went on to have a white milk again for lunch the next day, and then commented that he’d probably have a chocolate milk for his next lunch, but just as a treat.
Again, rejoice in the little things. They do add up. They do matter. They are huge.