Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Giving thanks

I've so much to be thankful for.  First and foremost is my health.  I recently celebrated my 13th "rebirthday" - my annual tribute to another year away from cancer.  I have a very strong marriage that is in its 23rd year.  My mother is healthy and my brother and his wife are too.  My in-laws live nearby and my husband is able to spend time with them.  My husband has a job and career that he loves.  And I found my niche in my career.

This year, our Thanksgiving feast happened twice; the first was a traditional one with my mother, who was en route to her Florida "snowbird" locale, and the second was nontraditional with my in-laws.  They were both great meals and great days.  The first involved a full bird, homemade cranberries, and all the usual trimmings.  What was fun about the second one, though, was the lack of truly huge amounts of effort in the cooking stage.  Nobody slaved for hours in the kitchen.  We were able to really just spend some prep time and a little baking time, and then we were sitting at the table and talking, enjoying each other's company.

A third feast happened this past weekend at a friend's house.  You know, the urban family thing.  About a dozen folks got together on Sunday afternoon and sat together, catching up.  For some of us, we only see each other this one time, or maybe one other, during the year; so aside from Facebook, this is where we catch up.  Fabulous food, excellent conversation, and a time to reflect on all that is good in our lives.

In this time of uncertainty in our world - be it financial, martial, health, etc - a time for reflecting on what's good in our lives is so important.  We can be brought down so easily.  But really, if you sit down for a quiet moment, you realize that life really IS good and we have much to be thankful for.

As we near Christmas, I offer all my friends my sincere thanks for their friendship, and I send best wishes for a safe, happy, healthy, prosperous season.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Reaffirmation... compliments on a job well done

So today is Monday.  We know how most folks feel about Monday.  Add to that that I'm NOT a morning person, and you can understand where I come from.

As I sat this morning sipping my second cuppa joe, I heard my email ping.  I pulled up my iPad and looked at the email.  It was from an attorney for whom I did a portion of a three-week trial, including some rough-draft days.  The attorney was getting ready to argue before the Court of Appeals.  He took the time to thank me for the quality of work that I had produced to him, the accuracy of the transcripts, the ease of use of the files I sent to him.  He acknowledged that he's not the easiest attorney to take down (he's a speed-talker!) and thanked me for all the hard work that he knew I put into the transcript.

Unsolicited thanks for a job well done.  We don't often get that in our business.  In the court setting, of course, the attorneys are not sure who they're going to get as a reporter; they have to live with whomever is assigned on a particular week.  I'd like to think that all the reporters in the courthouse provide the same level of service, but I don't know.  All I know is that this attorney didn't have to say a word, but he did.

Every day, no matter where I am reporting, I strive to do my very best; it's really nice to know that people out there notice.  Everybody loves to get an "attaboy/attagirl" once in a while.  I know my day sure looks brighter today.

I think the next time I get good service at a retail outlet, I'm going to let the manager know.  It's so easy to complain; it's much more unexpected when you get a compliment.