Breakfast - Musings

Musings: Buckets & Treats

Last updated on August 19, 2010 by Liza Hawkins

“Each of us has an invisible bucket. It is constantly emptied or filled depending on what others say or do to us. When our bucket is full, we feel great. When it’s empty, we feel awful.

Each of us also has an individual dipper. When we use our dipper to fill other people’s buckets by saying or doing things to increase their positive emotions we also fill our own bucket. But when we use that dipper to dip from others’ buckets, by saying or doing things that decrease their positive emotions, we diminish ourselves.

….So, we face a choice every moment of every day: We can fill one another’s buckets, or we can dip from them. It’s an important choice; one that profoundly influences our relationships, productivity, health, and happiness.”

Rath, Tom, and Donald Clifton. How Full Is Your Bucket?. New York, NY: Gallup Press, 2009. Print.


Yesterday I had an important meeting at work that started promptly at 8am. As any mom knows, when you have an event attend and it’s mandatory that you arrive at a specific time, your children will do everything in their power to make you late.

Yesterday morning was no different.

After finally dropping my eldest child off at preschool and pulling into the company parking lot, I ran a quarter mile from the my car to the building, sprinted up two flights of escalator stairs, and dashed to the meeting room (filled with about 50 people) – in heels. I was five minutes late. The opening speaker had started already, and I quietly made my way to my seat where my co-workers friends were whispering, “Are you okay?? You’re never late!”

I thought, “My 5-year old slept too late & moved at a snail’s pace to get ready, my 1-year old decided that he wanted to be fussy (read: ‘NO!’ to everything) & therefore wouldn’t bend his legs to sit in his highchair (it’s amazing how strong a 1-year old is), the 5-year old lingered at preschool drop-off, then I hit every red light on the way over, NO time for coffee-let-alone-breakfast, etc., etc., etc., etc.”

But instead I said, “Yes, I’m fine.” Because you don’t want to be THAT mom who blames being late on kids. You should be able to manage, right?

Anyway, after dropping my bags and pulling out my laptop, I finally noticed that somehow a Starbucks cup and bag had made its way to my seat. Turns out, on the way in, my co-worker stopped to get me a latte, and he also got me a slice of iced lemon pound cake, which is by far the most phenomenal baked good Starbucks has to offer. This was like seeing magic on a silver platter! And I didn’t even expect it.

My bucket went from empty to full in a matter of five seconds.

Has your bucket been filled lately?

Hi, I'm Liza — a self-proclaimed word-nerd who loves getting lost in whimsical stories and epic movies. I have laid-back, practical attitude towards life and am always on the hunt for good eats, easy recipes, binge-worthy shows, relaxing road trip destinations, the perfect fizzy gin cocktail, and time to finish my novel!

4 Comments on “Musings: Buckets & Treats

  1. I loved this story. You are so correct in our not wanting to be “that mom”. Thank you for visiting my blog, I will follow yours and look forward to more great stories.

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