Tag Archives: appreciation

2014

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”
– Edith Lovejoy Pierce

I sit here overwhelmed with the feeling of joy and happiness that this first day of the New Year has brought me.

kiddos1I rang in the New Year with a group of friends that I am blessed and privileged to have come to know in the past few years.  We have shared a stage together, and now, we share our homes and our lives.  Our children have become friends, which warms my heart to no end.  In fact, after ringing in the New Year, we brought a group of them home with us for a sleepover.  As I type this, four teenagers are playing outside in the vast backyard of our new home (after promptly informing me, mind you, that my breakfast was awesome because they had to eat ‘healthy stuff’ at their homes.  Heh.  Oops.)  I finally live in a community where I actually know people well enough for our kids to have sleepovers together.  This may not sound like that big of a deal, but to a roaming nomad Army brat such as myself, finding a place that feels like ‘home’ is no small feat.  I have found it.

I also woke up to this email this morning:

email

My heart is full as I realize that something I wrote touched a heart in Saudia Arabia.  Saudia Arabia!  This world just isn’t as small as we think it is, is it?  Months ago, I sat with a cat curled on my lap and the man I love made a comment about it.  And now, because I took the time to turn that into written word, it has touched a heart across the world.

Wow.

Really.  That’s all I know to say about that.  Just…wow.

Tomorrow, I will head in to a wonderful good-paying job that I worked hard to work my way up to.  I will then leave work, and I will come home to a man who loves me with all of his heart, and I’ll know that just by looking at his adorable little dimpled face and seeing that smile that lights it up when I get home.  I’ll also know it by watching him chop wood to bring in to build a fire in our wood stove.  I’ll know it by watching him tinker with my car to make sure everything is in working condition.  singing1I’ll know it each time he picks up a guitar and asks me to sing with him, and making me feel like I’m good enough to do it.  I’ll know it by accepting the glass of wine he hands me after a long, stressful day, or by sitting down to the wonderful meal that he has cooked for me.  I’ll know it by feeling his hand reach out across the table and slip into mine and squeeze it before we begin to eat.  I’ll know it by the kiss he plants on my forehead before we slip off to sleep in our big, warm bed.  I’ll know it because…well.  I’ll just know it.  Because I pay attention.  Because I look for it.  Because I believe it.

I am a blessed, happy, healthy woman.  And I intend to spend 2014 continuing to see and appreciate those blessings that surround me, and will try my best to not take a single moment of this precious life for granted.

Won’t you join me?

Happy New Year, my friends.

***

“Write on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Reinforcement

“I love working with an audience.  I love working with actual people who, you know, if they’re moved, you see it.  If you say something they’re stunned by, you see their jaws drop.  If they’re amused, they laugh – that kind of reinforcement, I totally adore.”
– Jane Pauley

As an actress, I really dig the above quote.  There’s just so much truth to it.  When I’m doing a show, I know exactly how the audience feels about it.  If they like it, they’ll smile.  If I did a good job, they’ll clap.  If I was able to move them to tears, they’ll cry.

Don’t you wish it worked like in real life?

Seriously, think about it.  How much of what you feel do you keep inside?  How many chances do you let slip past to tell someone how their everyday, real life ‘performance’ is going?

I’ve been watching my daughter struggle with a very large theatre role.  She’s practically brand new to acting (only small non-speaking roles in prior shows) and has now been cast as the lead.  Now, you don’t have to be involved in theatre to know that being the lead of a show is going to carry some serious weight with it.  Especially when you’re only 13.  And even more especially when you’re a kid who is too hard on yourself like she is.  She expects perfection to come out on the first try (and I’m afraid some of the others involved expect that of her to), and she gets so down on herself when it doesn’t.  Poor kid.

But I’ve started to notice one particular person in the cast who can change her outlook around in an instant.  Appropriately enough, that person is the one who plays “Daddy Warbucks.”  (If you’re not familiar with the show, Warbucks is the one who ultimately adopts little orphan Annie in the end.)  Warbucks is played by our friend Jeff Dreyer.  And let me tell ya – Jeff is phenomenal with my daughter.  She looks forward to the rehearsals when she’s working with him because she is comfortable with him.  He’s so good to her and always tells her what a great job she is doing.  When she makes a mistake, he’s always quick with a, “You’ll get it next time,” or “Don’t be so hard on yourself – you’re doing great.”  I see what a difference this makes in her, and how much better she does after hearing this from him.

Which got me thinking.

How often do we do that for people?  How often do I do that for people?

Someone doesn’t have to be performing on a stage for them to deserve positive feedback.  So much of what those around us do in any given day sadly goes unnoticed.  Things become routine and expected, and therefore no longer outwardly appreciated.  (Every mother knows where I’m coming from, I’m sure.)

So, I want you to think about this.  Is there someone in your life who deserves some recognition?  Some appreciation?  Some verbal applause?

Well, get to it.  Give them some positive reinforcement.  Give them a pat on the back.  Thank them for what they do for you and how much they mean to you.

I’ll start by giving a little shout-out to my boyfriend, Richard.  That man is a true saint at times…especially this week.  I have been stressed to the max.  There’s no one particular huge problem or anything…just a multitude of small things that are adding up and sending me on an emotional rampage.  There have been times this week that I’ve just wanted to crawl under the covers and let the world go on without me while I take a sick day from it all.  But I can’t.  There’s too many people depending on me.  I have to get up and keep moving, whether I like it or not.

And there he is to help.

He has picked up the slack for me so much this week, I can’t even list them all.  He has made phone calls for me and run errands that I didn’t have time to run.  And through it all – through my moods, my ranting, my venting – he has listened and responded with a calm optimism that I can’t help but be influenced by, no matter how hard my stubborn self tries not to be.  I’m a very, VERY lucky girl to have this man in my life.  I hope he knows how much he is appreciated.  I hope he knows what a wonderful boyfriend he is, and how loved he makes me feel.

Good job, Richard.

So, who do you need to thank?  Who makes a difference in your world?  Who needs some applause?

Now is the time.

positive1

***

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”
-Voltaire