Life’s Little Gifts

Hello, my dear three readers.  It’s been a little while, I suppose.  I adore writing in this blog but every so often need to take a step away.

Last week was one of those weeks where I needed to get away.  There wasn’t anything particularly stressful going on at work, but rather infinitesimal, meaningless hardships I had imposed on myself.  It was very nice to take a day off and spend a long weekend with my family and friends.  Plus, I treated myself to something nice.  Looky:

I was really debating buying a new guitar.  I had my classical guitar Aurora, but I had bought it off of amazon.com with a gift card for $40 – the quality honestly was not very good. I’ve been playing my guitar a lot (I think the tips of my fingers on my left hand will be permanently numb) and the sound quality was just starting to hinder my playing. Plus, THE STRINGS WOULD NOT STOP BUZZING. It was just a cheap guitar. I figured with the amount of time I’ve been consistently spent practicing it, a new guitar would not be a frivolous purchase.  I found a decently priced one at Guitar Center.  It is named Virginia.  It’s so pretty and sounds wonderful. And the strings do not buzz.

I’ve given Aurora to my little godsister, Raquel, who is five.  I was playing the guitar with her and teaching her that everytime I pluck the string, I am playing a note.  She seemed to take genuine interest in the guitar.  She would pluck a string, ask, “Am I playing a note?” When I assured her that she was, she would pluck another string, ask me the same question, and so on.

When I returned to work on Monday, refreshed and recharged, I found a little tiny Easter egg filled with jelly beans.  We still don’t know who dropped the eggs off for us.  I suppose all my years of watching Forensic Files and crime shows should have made me suspicious about eating the jelly beans, but whatever.  I ate them, they were delicious, and I did not drop dead of cyanide poisoning.

I got a big shock that same day that my project manager, Liz, was leaving the company to go work somewhere else.  Liz was the person I strove to make happy during the three years I spent working with her on a recently completed project.  I learned a lot from working with her, and the thought of not having her around anymore was strange to think about.

After returning from a meeting, I saw a small card left on my chair.  I opened it, recognizing her handwriting immediately.  The note said how much she had enjoyed working with me, and how I’m a gem and that I should never forget that.  She said I always exceeded her expectations and that if I ever need a job, call her and I’ll have one.  I was stunned by the contents of the note and wondered what I had ever done to receive something so wonderful.  “Duh, Jenny,” you may be thinking, “Obviously you worked hard or else she wouldn’t have written all those nice things.”  But I have a difficult time perceiving my strengths and always focus on my weaknesses. I define myself by the mistakes I’ve made. Perhaps this is why Liz told me that I should never forget that I’m a gem.  I went to find her, and gave her a big hug.  She was cleaning out her office.  I feel like a chapter of my professional life has closed.

I am tired this week because I have been increasing my weekly mileage.  I ran 6 miles on Saturday with my dad, 4.75 on Monday, .5 yesterday (along with a short core workout), and am doing the dreaded hill run (approximately 4 miles) today.  My body craves sleep but I know that what I’m doing will ultimately make me stronger in both body and spirit.

And, if these gifts I’ve received this week weren’t good enough, my dear cousin Amanda and I have started planning the next time we’re going to see each other.

The older I grow, the more I realize that your life shouldn’t be defined by material wealth or money.  It shouldn’t be defined by the mistakes you’ve made.  It should be defined by the time you spend with family and friends, and the time you spend doing something that makes you proud, be it work, running, or plucking away on the guitar.

Life could be full of misery if we let it.  We just have to let the sunshine in as often as we can to make the cloudier days more bearable.

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