Gratitude

While on Wednesdays, there will be mid-week celebrations, Thursdays will be the time for expressing gratitude. We will return to failing on Fridays.

Today’s gratitude is extended to the invention of air conditioning.

Where I live, we are breaking 90 degrees and while I know that is not the hottest temperature in the world, it is an intensity of heat that is uncomfortable to me.  By July, we will probably be breaking 100 degrees around here, or it will feel that way with the heat index.  So, air conditioning is a pretty cool thing to have around.

90 degrees, it turns out, is hot enough to require canceling horse therapy sessions.  This meant that I did not sidewalk today. Currently, the organization is in the process of getting enough fan units to keep the arena where the sessions occur cool enough for both clients and horses.  Having been at the arena yesterday, when it was a mere 89 degrees, I can say that my gratitude towards being able to stay in my nice air-conditioned home today has been amplified by that experience.

In order to express my gratitude in a semi-accurate way, I even casually googled to find out who invented air conditioning. The inventor was Willis Carrier, according to the search results.  He established the Carrier Air Conditioning Company in 1902, according to http://www.popularmechanics.com.  Also according to the site, 2015 marks the 110th anniversary of air conditioning.  Neat!  They even published an article that has a timeline of the history of air conditioning in order to celebrate Willis Carrier and his invention.

Anyway, I am grateful to be living in a house and conducting daily life business in buildings that have air cooling units within them.  Air conditioning makes the summer much more bearable.  It is also an encouraging reminder to know that autumn, my favorite season, is just around the corner.  Thanks to the AC, I will not melt before it gets here!

Thanks Willis Carrier! Thanks air conditioning units! Thanks mom and dad for paying the electricity bill!

Until tomorrow, happy failing!

For anyone interested in the timeline, it is here:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to/a7951/a-brief-history-of-air-conditioning-10720229/

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Gratitude

While on Wednesdays, there will be mid-week celebrations, Thursdays will be the time for expressing gratitude. We will return to failing on Fridays.

This week’s gratitude is extended to acquaintances, both acquaintances in general and a specific one.

At the equine therapy center where I volunteer, I have only been present a day or two each week for five weeks.  For this reason, I am still a newbie to the organization.

My sister, however, is not.  Last spring semester, she was the volunteer coordinator for the organization.  Meaning, she was in charge of making sure that the people who did the things I am doing at the center now were in the right places at the right times.  So, she directed multiple newbies and old hand-type volunteers.  Now, she is well known and respected by the administrative-types in the organization as well as the old volunteers she helped coordinate during the spring volunteer opportunities.

As a newbie volunteer, this puts me in an awkward place of not-just-another-volunteer-but-actually-only-a-volunteer.

Today my gratitude is extended to someone who my sister has developed a strong friendship with at the organization, but who hardly knows me.  She is one of the riding instructors, and while I am in an awkward volunteer space, she has always gracefully managed to treat me without any awkwardness.  I am acknowledge as someone who is not a background volunteer person, which I technically am, but as someone who does know quite a bit about the organization through my sister, although I do not expect or want to be engaged beyond volunteer responsibilities all the time.

Instead of ignoring me or not including me in conversations, she always makes sure I know that I am appreciated as a volunteer.  Since I usually arrive with my sister, who arrives early, and only volunteer for 2 or 3 hours when I am there for 8-10, that alone means a lot.  She takes her kindness one step further by including me in snack runs and/or as part of the group that she will share snacks with after the volunteer hours are over.

She is the reason I feel included in and appreciated by the organization, without feeling awkward when I am there and in either the not-yet or have-just-finished volunteering mode.

Acquaintances can make your life miserable for no apparent reason or wonderful for the same lack of reason.  I am fortunate enough that in this experience, I have an acquaintance that has chosen to invest some time in me to make sure I feel appreciated and enjoy volunteering.

Here’s to acquaintances that make life wonderful.  Thank you!

Gratitude

While on Wednesdays, there will be mid-week celebrations, Thursdays will be the time for expressing gratitude. We will return to failing on Fridays.

This week, my gratitude is extended to gel inserts for shoes.

I have flat feet, which means that my feet have no natural arch to them.  While I have been told that a few ballet classes could strengthen the muscles in my feet and thus cause them to develop an arch, I am not uninhibited or dedicated enough to pursue any form of dancing, even if it is for the reason of Health Benefits.

Enter the saving grace of gel inserts.  These marvelous things can be put into your shoes in place of or in addition to the sole of the shoe, to give you as much or as little arch as you need.  However, they can be used as a source of fancy foot comfort to help prevent/ease non-arch related issues.

My gratitude for these inserts has only been amplified by the experience of working for 8.5 hours today.  I was on my feet all day, which is no surprise.  However, the shoes required for my work uniform do not have an arch in them.  I was unable to hack the gel inserts down to my proper shoe size before going to work.  This meant, I had to traipse around in archless glory.

To give you an idea of how the pain from this spread, by the end of my shift, everything from my lower back down was hurting.  My feet were stinging even when I was standing still.  The carpool drive home took an hour, and even though I did not put any pressure or move my feet (except for a few small fidgets), the stinging pain did not fade away completely until hours later.

I’m lucky, though, because this is pretty much the experience I have every time I go to a water park.  I was mentally prepared for this exercise in flat-footed freedom, even though it would have been nice not to go through it.

However, my appreciation for gel inserts that magically prevent feet from hurting and make sure proper posture can be maintained in archless shoes has only increased.

And that, my friends, is something I am grateful for.

Gratitude

While on Wednesdays there are going to be mid-week celebrations, Thursdays will be the time for expressing gratitude. We will return to failing on Fridays.

Today, my gratitude is extended towards the little things in life.  You know, those things that are so tiny that they should not really make a difference, but somehow they do.  Like my sister’s friend who invited me to her graduation party and really wanted me there, even though we had only met two or three times before.  Or when I have done nothing to attract the attention of either of my dogs and one of them crawls onto my lap, not because they want a treat, but because they want to cuddle.   The package of Sour Patch Kids I jokingly requested from one of my friends as a graduation gift and received a week before the ceremony is another example of this.

The little things in life are what keep me going even when everything else is not working out.  A stranger smiling at me because I opened the door for them, high fives of happiness, a good grilled cheese sandwich.  Watching trees move in the wind, listening to a meaningful song, art on postcards. Little things of appreciation and to appreciate, given and received by people worthy of appreciation and gratitude as well.

The little things are, well, little.  They are also the wonderful details of our life experiences that set us apart just as surely as the bigger things, such as our personalities or where we are born, do.  So here’s to the little things in life and the quiet happiness they bring.  Here is to the people involved in making sure they happen as well.  Thank you!