Wednesday, April 25, 2018

When She Says "Thank You," It Travels A Distance That Very Few Understand

One of my favorite quotes is, "A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected." No, that quote doesn't just apply to your boss giving you a pat on the back or a raise. It applies to everything. Everyone. Everything you take the time to do for others. Every effort. Every hour of free time you volunteer. Every random act of kindness. At home. At work. And, it doesn't matter if it's the free time you sacrifice to help others or the various tasks you perform at work that is included in your job responsibilities.

It's human nature. If you feel appreciated, you'll go above and beyond. You'll continue to sacrifice your time and put in the extra effort for friends, family, coworkers, etc. You'll cook and bake and give and work and do stuff that isn't fun and most everything between.

Over the weekend, Lisa took a quick trip to the store to pick up a few items before heading upstairs to assist with the renovations. She was gone for over an hour.

About a minute before unlocking the door, she sent me a text.

"I just pulled into the driveway. Where are you?"

The first thing that came to mind was a text I received from Lisa in July of 2014.

"Where are you?"

"I'm at my desk."

"Meet me out front. Hurry." 

I didn't exactly hurry because I had to pee.

A few minutes later, I stepped onto the front porch. We were amid a heat wave. It was almost 100 degrees and the humidity was thick.

Lisa was standing there. Sweating. Holding the most adorable bird bath.

I had been wanting a bird bath for the front yard. The look on her face was priceless. I could tell she wanted nothing more than to be inside where it was nice and cool.

But, there she stood. Waiting for me.

So, when I got that text from her on Saturday, I made sure to reply immediately.

"I'm at the kitchen table."

"Okay, stay there, but cover your eyes."

Okay. I complied. I had to pee, but I held it and was determined not to sneeze, cough, or laugh out loud.

Lisa walked in. Placed stuff on the counter. Then, she told me it was okay to open my eyes and look.

On the counter was 2 gorgeous bouquets of flowers. One from her. The other from our kids. She gave me a tight hug. One that lingered. She thanked me for being the best Wife and Mommy in the whole world.

I have no shame in admitting I was a MushyGushyTearyEyed mess after her sweet "just because" beautifulness.

I needed this, but not for reasons you may think.

Lisa lets me know each and every single day how grateful she is for us, our family, our home. That we're embarking on this thing called life...together.

She appreciates what I do whether it's getting up in the wee hours of the morning to make her a hot breakfast, pack her lunch, or the dinners I make every night.

Her surprise tokens of gratitude extend worlds beyond that.

She knows that as a Work at Home Dog Mom, my days don't merely consist of desk work, creating DIY Dog Mom Projects, whipping up new, homemade dog treats, finishing custom orders, handling clients, and prepping the meals for us and our kids.

It's so much more...

I'm on the front line every single day. I deal with the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. I handle the day to day stuff as it happens.

I deal with the growing pains of our efforts towards the greater good. Putting my foot down and speaking up when necessary. Or discovering the fool's gold when you catch a glimpse beneath the surface of a person or situation.

I get the brunt of most repercussions that follow after I announce changes or confront an individual directly. People email me. They message me.

My workday revolves around everyone else's schedule or the noises that cause distractions. Not everyone is aware or considerate. I've completely arranged my sleep schedule, but sometimes, that doesn't seem to be enough.

My efforts and intentions are sometimes misunderstood, undermined, or not taken seriously.

I have provided many services at discounted rates or for free because I have a big heart and kind soul. And because I believe in local artisans who are just starting out. By doing this, I work my ass to the ground for what very few would work for. I don't get compensated for the extras.

On a handful of occasions, I've been pushed aside or stomped on because their business grew and gained popularity. They didn't follow through with promises or obligations.

On many occasions, I have taken on clients who request the highest level of confidentiality. The work I do is either classified or they hire me as a ghostwriter. What this entails is doing a lot of work, writing some great pieces, and putting a lot of time into something I can't take credit for. Their name is attached to the work.

This type of work is hard because I can't share the excitement of success on any level with anyone. I have witnessed many getting awards, recognition, raises, and bonuses for the work I did but they got credit for per agreement. And sometimes, I have to watch someone bask in a spotlight that doesn't entirely belong to them.

As a Work at Home Dog Mom, I don't get the same perks as a lot of people who work outside of the home. Raises. Catered lunches. Holiday parties. Fun employee events. Etc.

I have a candid and honest tongue. I don't sugarcoat stuff. Most people admire that about me until it's directed at them. At that point, I fall into the bucket of being insensitive or they no longer want to deal with the situation at hand.

The list goes on, but you get the gist of it. 

This is why when Lisa thanks me for being the best Wife and Mommy, it goes a long way with me. It travels a distance that very few, if any, understand.

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