About the Book
In 10 ½ Sketches: Insights Into Being Successful Right Where You Are, Susan Harris nudges you to examine the gift you already have. Your life. Each of us has experiences that have fallen flat or soared higher than anticipated, and no one can take those experiences from us. Either way the pendulum swings, we can take away lessons: reinforce the good or change direction, overlook or look at the flaws.
Susan shows how she turned pitfalls into triumphs and gains into greater gains through anecdotes from her own life, thereby pointing the reader to the highs and lows in their own lives that can be used as stepping stones to their personal success. She is confident that you can be successful right where you are because success lies within you.
At the immigration desk, the officer asked the routine question: “Did you leave your bags unattended at any time?”
“Yes.” I looked into his eyes. “She ran and I went after her.”
The “she” in question dimpled a smile and raised Floppy into his solemn face. He did not acknowledge the bunny nor did he question further, and soon we were aboard the jet for the nine- hour plus flight to Rio. Once inside the plane, it was play time. The toddler got on all fours, crawling amidst passengers’ legs as they waited in the aisle.
“Skoo me, skoo me.” Like Moses parting the Red Sea, her request to be excused allowed her to flow through the people line directly to the back of the plane. I followed and claimed the empty row near the toilet, giving up my assigned seat near the middle of the aircraft.
I continue to give up for her and have for 15 years as of the date of this writing. My only daughter has been my priority since the day she was born. I’ve changed jobs three times and moved to different cities in Saskatchewan solely to secure her a bi-lingual education. Ultimately it had to be given up.
I’ve committed that success should not come at the expense of family life, and that has been a constant.
Insight: Few people on their deathbeds talk about their achievements and accomplishments. It’s people that count, particularly family.
I’ve taken my child across provinces of Canada on a bus so we could enjoy the sights and stops that would not be feasible if on a plane. We’ve driven to different places just because, and gone to new towns, book signings, retreats and conferences. We’ve delighted in theme parks and vacations spots, on islands and on new continents. School concerts and sporting activities, report cards and interviews, celebrating the report with a meal. I’ve driven her to school and back for years, spending long hours together in commutes.
Insight: Create memories, and create more with your children.
I’ve taught her to reverence God and to value education.
Insight: Character development precedes academic achievement. Character is driven by the Word of God.
I’ve planned surprises and entertained her friends, created unique birthday parties. We’ve cleaned house and cooked, baked and eaten, watched movies and laughed, taken photos and scrapbooked, raked leaves and filled bags, talked and talked more. I provided material needs and wants, luxuries and ostentations. More investment in homeschooling, sports, dance and music. I’ve given all I could give and I am satisfied with my investment in my offspring.
Insight: What really can take the place of a great family life? Giving up a job or learning to live with fewer material things allows a person to live for what truly matters.
My family life is far from perfect, but I don’t aim for perfection anymore. When God created in the beginning, He saw that it was “good.” I’m happy with a “good” family life. Good anything.
Insight: “Good” is a good bar. Don’t let the quest for a comparative or superlative state rob you of the good.
(Chapter Family Dues)
About the Author
Susan Harris is a speaker, former teacher and the author of six books, including 10½ Sketches: Insights on Being Successful Right Where You Are, Remarkably Ordinary: 20 Reflections on Living Right Where You Are, and the acclaimed, Little Copper Pennies series. She has written articles for anthologies, magazines and blogs, and is a monthly contributor to The Word Guild blog. Susan is a member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship, The Word Guild, Saskatchewan Writers Guild, and Saskatchewan Association of Human Resource Professionals. Susan has held key management positions in churches and in corporations. She currently resides on the Canadian Prairies with her family and the beloved cats which have been the inspiration for her publication in Chicken Soup for the Soul, and her latest picture book, Alphabet on The Farm.