Little Lessons

A Taste of the Past

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jul 24, 2020 4:30:00 AM

teacup
“The past is really almost as much a work of the imagination as the future.” – Jessamyn West

Anyone who knows me knows my love of coffee. Whether it’s from my favorite coffee shop, or Dunkin Donuts, or instant coffee heated over an open fire. No sugar or cream, just hot, black coffee. It’s the perfect way to start the day or end a meal.

Then there are afternoons when my cravings take me elsewhere. To a cup of tea. Now in my favorite teacup, featuring a “Penny Black” stamp. Printed in England in 1840, the Penny Black was the first adhesive postage stamp.

Whenever I drink tea, the flavor pulls memories from hidden corners of my mind. My father and uncle having tea on Sunday afternoons after dinner. My mother making the tea, even though she preferred coffee. My mother-in-law enjoying her cup with a spot of honey. A visit to the Bath Postal Museum to see an actual Penny Black.

The gift of this cup.

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Topics: inspiration, love, memories, mother, story, listen, moment, joy, little lessons, time, father, parents

What We Will Build

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jun 12, 2020 4:30:00 AM

toolbelt
"Do not wait; the time will never be "just right." Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along." - Napoleon Hill

During the shutdown, people have turned to working with their hands as a coping mechanism. Baking bread was popular for several weeks, with people posting photos of their beautiful creations. Several of my friends are using their sewing skills to fabricate clothing and accessories. I’ve returned to my workshop.

My woodworking journey began about 30 years ago when I refinished my mother’s sewing table. It had been covered in soot due to a furnace malfunction. Using hand tools and an old belt sander, I was able to restore it. The best part of the project was the smile on my mother’s face when I delivered it to her house. Her father had been a cabinetmaker and my work brought back happy memories.

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Topics: leadership, love, mother, gift, listen, little lessons, social media, parents

Go Bowling – A Lesson From My Mother

Posted by Mark Fallon

Feb 28, 2020 5:00:00 AM

candlepin
For as long as I can remember, my mother belonged to a bowling league. One night a week, she would spend a few hours away from the family and go bowling with her friends. One trophy she brought home on a regular basis was inscribed, “Perfect Attendance”.

When I was little, I never looked forward to my mother’s bowling nights. She protected me from my older brothers and sisters. Without her around, who would make sure we had an equal say on which TV channel we watched? And who would put their arm around us if we were afraid? (Not that I ever admitted I was afraid of anything.)

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Topics: personal relationships, honesty, memories, mother, happiness, little lessons, bowling

Refilling Our Hearts

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jan 17, 2020 5:00:00 AM

groceries
“Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.” – Kahlil Gibran

A friend shared a post about how an ordinary task – bagging groceries – brought back memories of her father. And how much she missed him. In a follow-up conversation, she talked about how much she thinks about him, about the hole that he left behind. She ended with, “I’m okay with that, because he is worth leaving that hole, only for him.”

That phrase stuck with me for days, “he is worth leaving that hole.” I thought of all the holes that have formed in my heart over the last few years. Losing people close to me – people worthy of leaving a hole. People worthy of tears in the middle of the night, or while watching a movie, or bagging groceries.

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Topics: personal relationships, love, memories, mother, people, little lessons, emotions, father, parents, nature

Your Favorite Little Lessons of 2019

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jan 10, 2020 5:00:00 AM

John Wilson
Another year, another 52 Little Lessons shared. Learning to slow down. Learning to listen. Learning to pay attention. Learning to live.

I’m grateful for everyone who takes the time to share my journey and the little lessons that I learn along the way. Your support is essential to my writing, to this blog, and to my next steps forward. Thank you.

Here the countdown of your 10 favorite “Little Lessons” of 2019:

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Topics: reflection, friendship, leadership, personal relationships, appreciation, positive, mother, happiness, little lessons, kindness, help, parents, service, volunteer, nature, walking, quiet

Finding the Positive

Posted by Mark Fallon

Oct 18, 2019 5:01:00 AM

Bentley Class of 1948 daytime
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall

Back in February, I wrote a blog post about my mother entitled, Take Heed of the Quiet Rebel. It was my annual tribute to my first teacher of life’s little lessons. I included stories of her accomplishments, including getting a college degree in 1948. The example of her life remains a guidepost for how I live my own.

A few weeks ago, I received a comment from Liz Baccala on the post. It was the sort of connection only possible in the age of the internet:

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Topics: networking, memories, mother, little lessons, help, social media, parents

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Posted by Mark Fallon

Aug 23, 2019 5:01:00 AM

Boot Camp Letter
“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffett

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” – Nelson Henderson

Lately, I’ve been thinking about my parents. A lot.

It started with finding a stack of letters my mother had saved. They were letters I’d sent to my parents when I was in the military.

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Topics: reflection, family, memories, reactions, mother, story, listen, little lessons, father, future, mail, letters, parents

Support Your Local Library

Posted by Mark Fallon

Apr 12, 2019 6:04:53 AM

Woburn Library
My earliest memory of my father is the first day he took me to the Woburn Public Library. The trip was special in many ways, and still affects me today.

One feature making this trip special was the fact it was just my father and me. As one of 10 kids, I didn’t get much “alone time” with either parent, especially my father. He usually had left for work before I woke up, and sometimes worked a second job. Our family ate dinner at a large table, with several conversations overlapping. There wasn’t much time for one-to-one talks.

But my parents wanted that trip to the library to be special. I was told the week prior that I had to behave before my father would take me. And I better be on my best behavior when we went to the library. My father’s tone of voice was similar to the one he used before we went to church on Sundays, so I knew this was serious.

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Topics: Reading and Books, mother, father, parents, library

Take Heed of the Quiet Rebel

Posted by Mark Fallon

Mar 1, 2019 5:01:00 AM

Bentley Class of 1948

“Example isn’t another way to teach, it is the only way to teach.” – Albert Einstein

In the 1940s, less than 4% of women in the United States went to college or an equivalent institution.

My mother was one of them.

In 1995, only about 15% of people in the United States had email.

My mother was one of them, too.

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Topics: hard work, love, mother, parents, trust

An Expotition to a Memory

Posted by Mark Fallon

Jan 11, 2019 5:01:00 AM

Poohsticks

“Some people care too much. I think it's called love.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

It started with a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts to see their special exhibition – “Winnie the Pooh: Exploring a Classic”. It was a weekday evening, but there were plenty of people in line to enjoy the displays of original letters, drawings and early editions of the books that introduced the world to Christopher Robin, Pooh, and their captivating cohorts.

The ages of attendees spanned the generations. Not only were there people my age, but people old enough to be my parents, or children, or grandchildren. Different languages and accents could be heard sharing laughs and smiles in front of the displays. Even crusty old men took a moment to play Poohsticks on the bridge – just as they have for over 90 years.

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Topics: love, memories, mother, little lessons, parents

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Our blog helps the reader focus on the little lessons - taking place every day - that will lead to sustainable, long-term success.

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