Posts tagged ‘work’

I am A Faux Kind of Woman

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Without the sophistication to realize the value of “real,” I am a faux kind of woman. It started when I was in my teens and I was given a beautiful little necklace of a dove carrying an olive branch with a diamond at the tip of the branch. The tiny stone fell out and it was replaced with a beautiful blue stone, (cheap glass, not a sapphire or anything “real”). I thought the blue matched the jeans that were my standard wardrobe at the time, and that necklace became one of my most cherished possessions.

When getting engaged and faced with the fact that getting a diamond was a tradition, my thoughtful hubby to be picked out the perfect engagement ring for me – a tiny diamond in the middle with navy sapphires forming the shape of a flower around it. It was awesome, and I still wear it today, not desiring a two- or three-carat diamond when my ring is so much more colorful and personal.

One of my first years married, my in-laws gifted me with a white fur coat for Christmas. I loved that coat, and wore it for every special occasion. It was exquisite; warm and toasty. I would not have preferred to have a “real” fur (unless the furriers hunkered down on the ice floes waiting for the polar bears to die a natural death and then made a coat out of them). Another favorite coat hung in my closet, and I received many compliments on it. It took me a while to realize that everyone thought it was leather and not the $24.99 jacket I had purchased on sale at JC Penney’s. It managed to fit me elegantly.

This life changing realization actually came to me the other day while getting out of the shower when I noticed our bathroom counter. As an avid watcher of “House Hunters,” the strict demands of the house buyers often fascinated me; people would be knowledgeable about what material was the most stylish and which material was mandated, such as marble countertops.

Looking at the cheap plastic countertop surrounding our bathroom sink, it looked like marble to me. The “tile” in the bathroom floor was just vinyl, and the white cupboard looked like wood (but was just particle board with the “wood” part uncurling in a few areas). The bright, cheerful flower arrangement on the back of the toilet was made of artificial flowers, and a plastic ivy plant curled around the circumference of the mirror. My whole bathroom was faux, and I was suddenly thankful that at least the toilet was real!

“Real” for me are the things that meet my needs. I am not envious of people with huge diamonds and marble countertops, but I admire their beautiful choices that are right for them. “To each his own,” my mom used to say. I may not always be perfect, but I’m always me, the “real” me!

All on Equal Grounds

I received a wonderfully insightful comment from  nancyaruegg.com  at “From the Inside Out”that I would like to share:

“Your attitude about your life-calling is an inspiration in itself.  You don’t consider yourself a martyr.  Instead, you see your background as preparation for what God has called you to do, and you take pleasure in the fulfillment it provides.  No accolades necessary.  My takeaway:  Each of us has been formed and prepared by God for a unique purpose.  We can each embrace our own.  Thank you for your inspiration!”

To which I responded:

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!  You have great insight into the way I feel.  I really love raising my kiddos, and I think I am pretty good at it.  However, I am no more remarkable at it than the friendly waitress who served us, carrying that huge tray of food without spilling a drop, pre-eminently bringing us extra napkins and salad dressing on the side, pleasantly refilling my glass of Diet Coke ten times, and splitting our dessert on two different plates each filled with its own whipped cream.  

No more remarkable than the teachers who teach my children with great compassion and understanding, imparting educational wisdom on them even though I can’t get them to make their beds.     teacher-give-chance-to-students

No more remarkable than the truck driver who hauls the oranges up here from Florida, going for days without seeing his family, stopping to take cat naps at the rest stops; I would have gone bonkers with loneliness after the first half hour, would have had to stop every 50 miles to pee, and would have fallen asleep at the wheel after three hours.

No more remarkable than the individual with a developmental disability who works as a bagger at the grocery store, who carefully puts the heavy items on the bottom of the bag where I would have thrown the cans of tomatoes right on top of the bread and the carton of eggs in upside down.  

No more remarkable than the dental hygienist who cleans my teeth while I whine like a baby, offering calming words and a smile I can see by the crinkling of her eyes, because her mouth is covered in a mask, (or is she really laughing at me?)

No more remarkable than the computer designer who works magic in the computer world, enabling me to play games, use e-mail, research projects, make the print larger, (for my older eyes which refuse to accept glasses,) and BLOG!

No more remarkable than the pastor who preaches, imparting words of wisdom and hope to his congregation, of which I am a humble part.

No more remarkable than the bus driver for public transportation, who cheerfully stops to pick up strangers, dropping them safely at their destinations, (when I would have surely clipped a few mailboxes, and maybe a few pedestrians, and I sure would have shut the automatic door too quickly on someone’s butt.)

Yes, the waitress, the teacher, the truck driver, the grocery bagger, the dental hygienist, the computer designer, the pastor, the bus driver and any other profession where you know someone loves his/her job, we all have one thing in common; we are good at our chosen jobs. No accolades necessary, success is the feeling of a job well done.  

This is the life we choose to lead, all on equal grounds.   

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Link to my book
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-apple-tree/id538572206?mt=11

The Apple Tree: Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane

Link to the Readers Digest review of my book:  http://www.rd.com/recommends/what-to-read-after-a-hurricane/

 

LIfe is like a Tiny Bag of Jelly Bellies

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Having been on a diet for forever, I was starved for something sweet. I admit that I used to eat a lot of “comfort food”, so finding a way I could still do this and not gain weight has been a challenge.  Fortunately,  I came up with secret of packing little bags of Jelly Bellies, these great little jelly beans that really taste like what they say they taste like. My favorites are licorice, cotton candy, and, (of course for anyone who KNOWS me,) buttered popcorn.  I purchase only my favorite flavors, and package about 20 of them into little bags. Then, throughout the day when I need a little boost, I eat a few, and I am happy.

It has dawned on me that my life is full of little jelly belly moments, not in relation to the real jelly bean, but as a reaction to little events that can happen that also give me a boost and make me happy:

little baby smiles everywhere; in the grocery store, as I am stopped at a red light and look sideways, in a shopping cart, and in the many wonderful photos on WordPress blogs

ordering a salad at Panera bread getting a reward for free

a hug and an “I love you” from my husband

seeing a grandfather walking along, holding the hand of his joyous granddaughter, all dressed up with coat and fancy hat, skipping happily along, ribbons trailing

sun beaming through clouds after a rain; even better, a rainbow, but that is a rarity and would be worth a whole bag of jelly bellies

a person coming out of the store and holding the door for me, smiling

getting that next to last piece of bread in the loaf so you don’t have to eat the end

hanging a picture on the wall and having it come out straight the first time

finding a $10 bill in the pocket of a coat I haven’t worn in a long time

getting cup of tea at that one perfect temperature

getting three green lights in a row when I am in a hurry

taking a group picture and having everyone turn out beautifully (okay…I have only dreamed of this happening, but it would be a jelly belly moment if it did)

having all of the socks match when folding the laundry

the warmth of a fireplace while lounging on the couch watching favorite tv shows, (mine is Parenthood, of course)

being able to sleep late on a day I would have normally gone work

being able to fill my gas tank on a nice day, instead of a cold or windy day

being the last car to go through a green arrow light

having at least a smidgen of milk left in the container, enough for my tea, after 3 large young men and 1 thirsty “old” man have used it

having a clean house with nothing left to clean, (alas, this will never happen in my house…if it did it would be worth a 1,000 pound jelly bean.)

eating dinner together as a family…contently…

no line at the bank

being dressed warm enough in the winter so I can actually breath in the crisp air and enjoy it

eating lobster…whoooo!  (that, too, is a whole bag of jelly bellies!)

a hug from a child, especially if it is accompanied by and “I love you”

Little things like this keep me going, keep me happy, and encourage me to live on…

What are some of YOUR jelly belly moments?

 

 

Link to the Readers Digest review of my book:  http://www.rd.com/recommends/what-to-read-after-a-hurricane/

Link to my book  The Apple Tree: Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane

 

 

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