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Even the Smallest

As I get older I find that the smallest of gestures, or accomplishments, are more fulfilling than the grandest.

I’m on my quest to become everything that I haven’t lived up to in my life. While I constantly make additions to my ongoing list of things I must do, I’m finding that I take great relish in crossing them off one by one. I’ve a sense of joy and pride. I’m learning to not sulk in front of either the TV, or PC or anything else that I have done in the past in order to fill myself with defeat and ennui. I instead am forcing myself to consult my checklist and find something to cross off.

I’ve been in an orientation at a building that will only hire me per diem and Friday was my first day on the actual floor. I’ve been greatly disappointed with the environment and with the staff that seem to all be in their own distant world – nary a ‘hello’ or an acknowledgement that a new person is there. I went to get my first check after the shift and was surprised that we only get paid every two weeks! I wasn’t told that. I then took the opportunity to inquire what my pay rate was. It was looked up and relayed to me. I was almost floored at how little it was! Granted, I should have asked on day one, but in my field even at my level, per diem gets compensated very well. I was stunned to note the difference between what I’m making during orientation and what my pay was at my very first job in my new career! However, on the other hand, in an effort to remain positive and be thankful for what I have, I’m looking at it as it is better to have something than to have nothing.

So, for that I am grateful and have the attitude that it’s not forever, and something else much better will come my way soon!

I’ve called school and told them my situation with being out of work and asked if there is any way to receive any type of financial aid – short of a loan, to help me with this semester’s bill. They were happy to help (the lady on the line even called me ‘honey’ and told me not to worry which almost made me well up a little – I’m so grateful for individualized attention) and have sent me a form to fill out showing my change in income.

So, I’m hoping that I can get even a little something so I can live and still attend school.

Reacquainted girlfriend has been wonderful. She invited me and my children to her house Christmas party which was last night. I talked with a lot of people, ate some really great food and we did a Yankee swap. Actually, I gave her the idea a few years ago on a twist to the Yankee swap tradition; Years ago with my own friends, instead of going out and buying something for everyone to trade, what I did was to ask my friends to wrap something from their house that they didn’t want anymore. Then we’d swap presents. It turned out to be a huge hit and one year I ended up with a Washington Redskins footstool that a friend had to get rid of per his (then) wife. I wrapped up about fifty 45’s that I had lying about, and for my kids, I wrapped up two small bottles of flavored oils, two candles and a tiny loaf dish with Christmas penguins skating that someone had filled with cookies and given to me last year. We ended up with an unopened shower massager, a cloth book holder, a fleece blanket and a wooden angel. Pretty funny time, inexpensive (cost of zero) presents and time out of the apartment. A really fun time. Oh, and she has a tradition of buying dozens of silly string sprayers and has the kids go out on the front lawn and spray each other silly! That was also a ton of fun!

I went to church this morning by myself – my middle didn’t want to come and I never want to push them, but was filled with sorrow. I have a tendancy to look at the families and stare and regreat what I had lost as I remember myself in their position. I will never, ever have that again and that deeply disturbs me. I regret that I messed things up for my children and because of that they will not have the rich experience of family together. I blame myself harshly for that and rightly so. When I came back, I couldn’t even take my coat off, all I could do was stand, stare at them and feel regret for what I’ve done to them.

But, I’ve learned to monitor myself to have patience with them, to be sure they know I love them and to be there for them when they want me to.

Not the giant leaps, but the smallest of steps which bound together lead to the greater reward is what I’m concentrating on. The giant leaps will skip over the mundane, but necessary, degrees of victory and will leave loose strings, all frayed and unkempt, allowing me to stumble and ultimately cause me to waver and dilute my quest in reaching what my mightly goals are.

The smallest gestures, those are what are keeping me filled with the sense of accomplishment. Those are keeping me going.

  1. 12/19/2010 at 11:11 PM

    That’s a really good point and good way of looking at it. Small gestures, that often go unnoticed, can often be the biggest gestures, when you look at it, a little deeper and what they mean. Great post.

    • 12/20/2010 at 10:23 AM

      Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I should have also added something to the effect of how necessary it was to do them all in order. I tend to go about it so willy-nilly, all unordered and it sometimes becomes a mess.

  2. 12/21/2010 at 3:43 AM

    That Yankee swap sounds like a great idea and a really fun time. I’ll have to keep that in mind for next year. I like your attitude about realizing your current situation won’t be forever and better things will come along. I just keep picturing myself a year from now when my divorce will be final, our house will be sold – and I’ll be able to just live my own life, fresh and new. Hope your school came through for you!

    • 12/21/2010 at 6:35 PM

      That’s what I have to keep telling myself – that this is not forever. That, and inching forward reaps big rewards.

      I wish you luck also with what you’re going through. Although you seem to have a much healthier attitude than I did. Wish I had the backing to help me see that a lot sooner. But, you’re an inspiration and I’ll keep reading about your progress.

  3. 12/21/2010 at 7:54 PM

    I want to give you credit for your attitude, really, it seems more positive than you think it does. This past year I have absolutely despaired at times over my situation, and (this time of year is difficult for many as it is) adding to that money and job stress makes it even worse. I’ve read your entries and I think that your view that life will improve is dead on. And I loved having grad school this past year to distract me, and I hope that your financial aid comes through.

    P.S. I love Yankee swaps anyway, but your twist on it sounds perfect (economical and fun.)

    • 12/23/2010 at 2:42 PM

      Thank you Marisa for the time to leave a comment. You know, there’s good stock in the advice to have distractions. Could be school, hobbies, work … I’ve spent my alloted time dispairing and find it vastly more rewarding to dive into distraction as hard as it was earlier.

      But now – the beginning of the beginning.

      Merry Christmas!

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