Sharpening Our Saw; series about inspiration and reflection

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col (ret) Stephanie Boehning

On 10 Jan 2017, I started a new initiative:  SOS Tuesdays.  I’d found that most people no longer attend a class; instead, they watch a You-Tube video and get what they need in a few minutes.  I decided to send out a short weekly email to provide a teaching moment.  I called it     

"Sharpen our Saw" which means stop and take time for you.  If you keep sawing without stopping, eventually the blade will be dull and not cut as well.  Same goes for you.  If you keep working and working without stopping to re-energize, you'll be far less productive.  The idea was to stop, read the email, and take some time for you.   I’ve sent out close to 150 SOS emails in the past three years and have enjoyed getting your feedback when the subject hit home or moved you. 

Today will be my last SOS sent as a GS employee since I’m retiring on Friday.  My parting SOS, from Chicken Soup for the Soul,  is also my parting wish for you. . .      

Recently I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure.
Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the father said, ‘I love you, and I wish you enough.’

They kissed and the daughter left. The father walked over to the window where I was seated. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but I could not refrain from asking:
‘When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, ‘I wish you enough.’ May I ask what that means?’

He began to smile. ‘That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.’
He paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, and he smiled even more.
‘When we said, ‘I wish you enough,’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them.’
Then turning toward me, he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more..

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.

I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting…

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

Many thanks for your support of SOS over the years.  I wish you enough. 

The S.O.S series will continue as we look back into an archive of great inspirational stories Boehning has collected and shared with the Citizen Airmen of the 932nd Airlift Wing. 

Thank you Lt. Col. (ret.) Stephanie Boehning for your words of encouragement and reflection.