Thursday, 1 January 2015

A reflection on appreciation… Day 33

Day 33 (2nd January 2015)

33 bones in the human spine.
Prior to adolescence, the spine consists of 33 articulated bones
because the sacrum’s five bones and the coccyx’s four
do not fuse together until adolescence.

Over 1/4 of the spine's total length is created from cartilage
the sponge-like substance that separates one vertebral disc from the next.
Photo: exterior of an Osteopath's practice in Shoreditch, London
The first Friday of 2015 and we are treated to an uplifting piece written by Dawn Smedley, who works as an "Appreciateologist" at O.C.Tanner. It is perhaps no surprise that her post is a reflection on appreciation. I know Dawn through Twitter (her handle is @DSmedders) and she oozes genuine enthusiasm, interest and positivity. She is based in Milton Keynes and, in addition to having a passion for her work, she is a loving wife and wonderful, proud mum to two beautiful girls. She writes a blog about the things that are important to her.


It’s definitely the time of year for reflection and as I thought of what to write for this wonderful series of blogs, it got me thinking about appreciation’s role on my personal path. You might think that, as an Appreciateologist, I would be consistently good at giving appreciation. Most people I come into contact with from a work perspective would absolutely testify to this. I am so passionate about this stuff, I live and breathe it. I have an infectious enthusiasm and it is absolutely part of who I am. 

However, I have a bit of a confession to make...

The Confession by Giuseppe Molteni, 1838
Wiki Commons
My realisation over the course of the last few months is that whilst this is great from a work perspective, I’m also spending less time appreciating those people in my life that mean the most to me – my wonderful husband, my beautiful girls, my amazing family, my fabulous friends and myself.
Dawn with her husband and daughters
My blog is an apology to them and to myself. On my path, I am realising that to give my best in any part of my life, I have to apply all of the things I talk about at work to myself. I have to appreciate and recognise all the good things that I do and stop spending so much time dwelling on the things that I don’t, I need to switch off my devices and appreciate the time that I do have with my family and friends, I need to listen to the stories and messages I share with my children…then apply them to myself, I need to speak with my lovely family and friends more because I know I always feel so much better when I do, I need to absolutely be in the moment when It happens rather than always thinking about the next thing and I need to be true to myself, who I am and what I stand for at work but more importantly in all that I do!
“Each of us is born with a gift, an ear for music, a knack for science, a flare for writing.For a time, these seeds of genius lie dormant within us, then it happens.With the mark on a page, or a comment with a smile, someone we trust appreciates a task well done and appreciation changes everything.
It awakens our gift from slumber and makes it real. Talent becomes expertise. Potential becomes performance.
We look around and see possibilities everywhere, in everything, and we’re inspired to invent, to create, to discover, to change the world. All because someone appreciated our potential!Then the real epiphany comes, the fastest way we can change the world is to appreciate the potential in those around us!”
Seeds of Genius
"Paisley" Quilt designed & made by architect Bruce Seeds, 2011
It’s easy at this time of year to start thinking about all the things that you will change in 2015. A New Year always feels like it’s a chance to start afresh. My promise to you all and to my family and friends who I will be sharing this with, is that this starts now. And I hope in reading this too, you all take some time from your own path to think about how you can appreciate those around you and yourself more now, today, tomorrow and every day forward.
Have a wonderful 2015!
With appreciation,
PS The text in the middle is our philosophy at OC Tanner but isn’t it interesting that this applies in all aspects of our lives! You can watch the video here.

Appreciating potential
Snow carving of cat seeing its inner lion in a mirror by Keith Martin and team
Second prize winner at Whitehorse International Snow Sculpting Challenge 2014
Yukon, Canada


  1. A heartfelt post Dawn - as we become more successful, the calls on our time get greater and greater and it is wise to place priority with those who don't scream for attention but who are important to us. Family often fall into this category. All the best for 2015

  2. Just the thoughts I am having (again) 2015 will be the year to make it happen!