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The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee


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I am sure many have seen this before but a reminder never hurts....



When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 Hours in a day is not enough --



Remember ... The mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee.


The story goes...


A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.


He then asked the students, "Is the jar full?"


They agreed it was.


The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.


He then asked the students again, "Is the jar full?"


They agreed it was.


The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous, "Yes."


The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand.


The students laughed.


"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided,"I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - Family, children, health. Friends, and favorite passions --Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter. Like your job, house, and car. The sand is everything else -- The small stuff." And he shook the jar.


"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. So... Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play With your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal."


"Take care of the golf balls first -- the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."


One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled.


"I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

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Thanks Inge, my son's RE teacher wanted him to think about that, not sure he ever did though, I'll remind him of it. :1b


Hope things turn out how you'd want them to Lucy

Edited by Rea
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Oh Beth that's so sad - is there anything we could do to help?


Inge - I really like that - I have read it before - but have now copied it and will display it somewhere and read it when I forget what really matters.......


Not sure weither to make a new thread in the lounge. Struggling with the excessive workload on a part time hours.

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Thanks for this little moment of sanity. This has made me smile.


I am having an incredibly difficult time at work at the moment, end up crying and not wanting to go in.


A little sanity after a very busy day! Maybe we could help? / and things get better soon!! X

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Guest sn0wdr0p

Many years ago I ended up in hospital with stress related to IVF and my despair over not being able to have children. Whilst in there my Mum (very wise but sadly no longer with us) told me I had to marble dunk.


She said small worries are like swallowing a small marble and big worries are like swallowing giant marbles. Eventually you fill up and become ill. But, it is much easier to 'pass' those small marbles so get rid of them and you will start to feel better and get help to 'pass' the large marbles.


I used to worry about things I had done years before such as being mean to her in my teens etc. Things she didn't even remember but I still dwelled upon.


So I try to take her advice now and stop stressing over the little things and 'pass' those small marbles. Owning and running my own setting means I swallow a lot of larger ones now!


P.S. After spending tens of thousands on IVF and 15 years of trying I do now have 3 wonderful sons, one adopted and two conceived naturally.

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Inge, thanks for the reminder!


I did my own mayonnaise jar operation recently, made a BIG life decision and and am now happier than I have been for ages - and so is everyone around me! ;)


Sue, that's great to hear. I have been wondering how you are!

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This has made me cry, happy tears. (I think)


After 3 months of 40+ hour weeks, weekends on top of that, evening training courses and working towards another qualification i am currently walking around like a zombie on auto pilot! I cannot remember the last time i spent the day with my family!!


This has helped me put things into persective. Thank you

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