As I age, I find that it doesn’t take as much to make my day. Have you noticed this too?
I used to live for the big moments; marriage, children, grandchildren, a house, a new car, a big vacation, saving a life. But divorce, remarriage, disability, retirement, and reality forced me to lower my expectations, but in a good way.
These days it takes much less to tickle my fancy and make me feel good. If I find out Michael laid awake all night because of Tucker’s noxious flatulations, I will smile all day. I’m smiling now just thinking about it. I really have lowered my standards regarding what qualifies as humor.
In my younger, healthier days I loved being a nurse. The work was hard but the pay-offs were worth it. Besides a decent paycheck, there was the gratification of saving lives every day through dialysis. Every patient got the best I could give until that wasn’t enough and I had to stop. I still miss it.
Now blogging gives me an outlet to express myself and to occupy my time. As with finding something to laugh about, I have had to lower my expectations when it comes to “work” too. I consider this my “job” although I don’t make any money. My physical limitations also result in it taking forever and a day to get anything done. But I hang in there for the rewards.
When someone leaves a comment telling me that they saved a chick’s life using my resuscitation technique, it makes my day. While not the same as pushing a dialysis machine into a hospital room and pulling someone back from the brink of death, it still makes me feel useful. Things just change over time. I probably couldn’t get that machine over the threshold now. But I can bring a dead chick back to life with a blow dryer.
By nature I am a very competitive person. I don’t like to lose. When some legal issues came up over our adoption of Tucker, I hired a lawyer for him. When we met with the lawyer he played tug-of-war with Tucker. As dog trainer as well as an animals rights lawyer, he told us that we should let Tucker win the tug-of-war game every time. Really? Every time? I tried unsuccessfully to negotiate it down to 50% of the time. The lawyer wouldn’t budge. I still win a game of tug-of-war with Tucker occasionally. Shhhh. Don’t tell his attorney.
Measuring rewards from blogging, without a paycheck for validation, involve checking stats. I look to see how many people visited today, what did they read, how long did they stay, have they been here before, etc? I don’t obsess over stats but a little steady upward tick in visitors and page views makes my day.
Another measure, and one that eluded me for a long time, is having photos accepted by food photography websites like foodgawker.com and tastespotting.com. Constant rejection by these sites can be demoralizing, but I kept practicing, buying better equipment, and taking classes. Now almost every photo I submit is accepted. That makes my day. I submitted a photo of an apple pie I made a few days ago. For one day my photo was the “most gawked” photo on Foodgawker! I even captured the moment with a screenshot.
So relish the little things in life. Laugh when your dog farts in bed. Kick his ass occasionally in a game of tug-of-war, then deny it in court. Just live life and learn to appreciate the little things. Someday you might need dialysis and I won’t be around.
Have a great weekend!