To All of Those I Take for Granted

thankyouTo say simply that I like words is an understatement.  A well-crafted phrase that twists and turns, rolling smoothly off the tongue fills me with pleasure of the kind others describe when savoring a piece of fine chocolate.  Quotations, thoughtful and full of undeniable truth, bring me particular pleasure, as anyone who knows me can attest to – they are collected and printed and tucked here and there, scattered about wherever I spend time.  You’ll find them in my office, on my bathroom mirror, above the entrance to my dining room, on my front door, in the hall, and even framed inside my closet.  On this particular morning, I took notice of one posted on my refrigerator as I brought out the cream for my coffee.  “Take time today to appreciate someone who does something you take for granted. “   And this morning, that’s exactly what I intend to do.

The obvious springs to mind as the garbage truck rumbles through my neighborhood.  Those men, dressed in raingear and holding tightly to the back of the truck this cold morning as it pushes its way through the slush in the streets most certainly deserve my appreciation.  Getting up before dawn to carry away the nastiest of the nasty for us…rain or shine, sleet and snow…they come without fail week after week and because of them we do not have to smell what they smell, see what they see, touch what they touch….yes….thank you to the garbage men!

And what of the shop keepers, the retail workers that tend the stores on holidays and weekends and the clerks who stock the shelves each night so that we can run in and grab what we need at a moment’s notice without so much as a thought of who put it there for us to take?  Yes I believe they deserve a measure of my appreciation as well.

And you know who else springs to mind?… the strangers who smile at me for no reason other than to simply share a bit of their joy with the world.  They don’t have to do it.  They don’t get paid to do it.  They aren’t even assured of getting a smile in return.  And yet they smile at me, and in that simple act of sharing they create in me a momentary happiness that can sometimes linger an entire afternoon.   To all those who smile at me, and especially to those at whom I didn’t smile back, I owe a thank you.

And let’s not forget to look a little closer to home.  How about some appreciation for those who pick us up and dust us off when we’ve stumbled or fallen?  Those who remind us that we are worthy of love and friendship and the most precious of commodities…time.  Those who see us at our worst…sick and angry, sad and vulnerable…and hungry…let’s not forget how ugly we can get when we’re hungry!  Those who stick around through all of that and still remember why.  The ones who cheer for us and celebrate us and are there for us to share in the mundane as well as the miraculous.  These are the people for whom we should strive to be our best selves.    Mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers, husbands and wives and very best friends…they are surely deserving of more of our appreciation than they often get.

And so today I’m taking the time to remember, to appreciate, to try a little harder not to take for granted all those who touch my life and, by doing so, make it all the richer.  To all of you…thank you.

© Kelly Rainey and, 2015.  

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