Obviously, I’m not at all close to this individual, but we had worked on a couple of projects together. That’s why she was contacting me. She was asking me to be a reference on a job she was seeking.
I must admit, I was surprised that she even asked me to be a reference. But I also admit that I was flattered.
But then, being asked to help someone else is always flattering. It also always makes me smile.
Day 201: Being Asked to Help Day 200: Boys and Their Toys Day 199: The Most Important Person Day 198: People With Courage to Do What is Right Day 197: Being Pleasantly Surprised by My Children Day 196: Being Told I’m Young Day 195: Good News Day 194: Meaningful Eye Contact Day 193: A Sense of Accomplishment Day 192: Growing Into the Person I’ll Someday Be Day 191: Matt Groening Day 190: Tuning Out Bad News and Tuning In to What We Enjoy Day 189: Parents Who Encourage Independence Day 188: Watching Young Minds at Work Day 187: Funny Phone Calls Day 186: Healthy Lungs Day 185: Reality Checks Day 184: Coincidence Day 183: Lame Attempts to Go Retro Day 182: Learning From Our Mistakes Day 181: Goofy Childhood Memories Day 180: A soak in a bathtub Day 179: Optimism Day 178: The Year’s Top Baby Names Day 177: Reading on a Rainy Day Day 176: “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey Day 175: Watching the Torch Pass Day 174: Converse Tennis Shoes Day 173: Family Acceptance Day 172: Christmas Day 171: The Mr. Grinch Song Day 170: Positive People Day 169: Watching Movies From my Childhood With My Kids Day 168: Jealous Pets Day 167: Family Christmas Recipes Day 166: Church BellsDay 165: School Holiday 164: Unexpected Grace Day 163: Letting Go of Things We Can’t Control Day 162: Anticipating a good story Day 161: Hope Day 160: When Dogs Try to Avoid Embarrassment Day 159: Surprises in the Mail Day 158: Kids who aren’t superficial Day 157: A Garage on Winter Days Day 156: Real Christmas Trees Day 155: Being a Parent Day 154: Selfless People Day 153: Nelson Mandela Day 152: Memorable Road Trips Day 151: Great Neighbors Day 150: Oscar Wilde’s quote about being yourself Day 149: Love Letters Day 148: The first day of Advent Day 147: The Breakfast Club Day 146: Marriage and Shared Anniversaries 145: JFK’s quote about gratitude Day 144: Watching My Dog Play Day 143: Having my Family’s Basic Needs Met Day 142: When Our Children Become Role Models Day 141: Random Acts of Kindness Day 140; People Watching Day 139: Sharing Interests with My Children Day 138: Eleanor Roosevelt’s Best Advice Day 137: Weird Human Behavior about Garbage Day 136: Postcards from Heaven Day 135: Mickey Mouse Day 134: Generous Souls Day 133: I’m Moving On Day 132: A Family That is Really Family Day 131: A Personal Motto Day 130: Mork and Mindy Day 129: The Bears’ House Day 128: Veterans Day 127: Doppelgangers Day 126: Letting Life Unfold as It Should Day 125: The Constantly Changing Sky Day 124: When History Repeats Itself Day 123: The Love Scene in The Sound of Music Day 122: Helen Keller Day 121: The Welcome Back Kotter Theme Song Day 120: Sheldon Cooper Day 119: Having Permission to Make Mistakes Day 118: A Diverse Group of Friends Day 117: Family Traditions Day 116: The Haunting Season Day 115; Life Experience Day 114: Changes Day 113: The Wooly Bear Caterpillar Day 112: The National Anthem Day 111: Parents Who Care Day 110: Good Friends Day 109: My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss Day 108: A.A. Milne QuotesDay 107: Spending Time Wisely Day 106: Parades Day 105: The Peanuts Gang Dancing Day 104: Sharing a Secret Language Day 103: The Electric Company Day 102: Doing the Right Thing Day 101: When Siblings Agree Day 100: Being Optimistic Day 99: Trying Something New Day 98: The Sound of Children on a Playground Day97: Good Advice Day 96: Red and white peppermint candy Day 95: The Soundtrack from the Movie Shrek Day 94: Accepting Change Day 93: True Love Day 92: Camera Phones Day 91: Bicycle Brakes Day 90: HeroesDay 89: The Cricket in Times Square Day 88: The Grand Canyon Day 87: Unanswered Prayers Day 86: Apples Fresh from the Orchard Day 85: Being Human Day 84: Captain Underpants Day 83: The Diary of Anne Frank Day 82: In Cold Blood Day 81: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Day 80: The Outsiders Day 79: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Day 78: The First Amendment Day77: People Who Touch Our Lives Day 76: The Rewards of Parenting Day 75: Improvements Day 74: Family Traditions Day 73: Learning From Our Mistakes Day 72: Live Music Day 71: Sleeping In Day 70: Grover Day 69: A Good Hair Day Day 68: A Sense of Community Day 67: Kindness Day 66: Living in a Place You Love Day 65: Gifts from the Heart Day 64: The Arrival of Fall Day 63: To Kill a Mockingbird Day 62: Green LightsDay 61: My Canine Friends Day 60: Differences Day 59: A New Box of Crayons Day 58: Bookworms Day 57: Being Oblivious Day 56: Three-day Weekends Day 55: A Cat Purring Day 54: Being a Unique Individual Day 53: Children’s Artwork Day 52: Lefties Day 51: The Neighborhood Deer Day 50: Campfires Day 49: Childhood Crushes Day 48: The Words “Miss You” Day 47: Birthday Stories Day 46: Nature’s Hold on Us Day 45: Play-Doh Day 44: First Day of School Pictures Day 43: Calvin and Hobbes Day 42: Appreciative Readers Day 41: Marilyn Monroe’s Best Quote Day 40: Being Silly Day 39: Being Happy Exactly Where You Are Day 38: Proud Grandparents Day 37: Chocolate Chip Cookies Day 36: Challenging Experiences that Make Great Stories Day 35: You Can’t Always Get What You Want Day 34: Accepting the Fog Day 33: I See the Moon Day 32: The Stonehenge Scene from This is Spinal Tap Day 31: Perspective Day 30: Unlikely Friendships Day 29: Good Samaritans Day 28: Am I a Man or Am I a Muppet? Day 27: Shadows Day 26: Bike Riding on Country Roads Day 25: When Harry Met Sally Day 24: Hibiscus Day 23: The Ice Cream Truck Day 22: The Wonderful World of Disney Day 21: Puppy love Day 20 Personal Theme Songs Day 19: Summer Clouds Day 18: Bartholomew Cubbin’s VictoryDay 17: A Royal Birth Day 16: Creative Kids Day 15: The Scent of Honeysuckle Day 14: Clip of Kevin Kline Exploring His MasculinityDay 13: Random Text Messages from My Daughter Day 12: Round Bales of HayDay 11: Water Fountains for Dogs Day 10: The Rainier Beer Motorcycle Commercial Day 9: Four-Leaf Clovers Day 8: Great Teachers We Still RememberDay 7: Finding the missing sock Day 6: Children’s books that teach life-long lessonsDay 5: The Perfect Photo at the Perfect Moment Day 4: Jumping in Puddles Day 3: The Ride Downhill after the Struggle Uphill Day 2: Old Photographs Day 1: The Martians on Sesame Street
Of course I also used to think that life was like a math equation.
That is, I thought that if you did the right thing, then good things would happen to you. And, if you were greedy, mean or cold-hearted, then bad things would happen. In other words, in the balance sheet of life, everything would add up.
I also believed that if you watched what you ate and exercised on a regular basis, there was no reason you shouldn’t be able to fit in the same sized jeans you wore in high school.
I was clearly delusional.
Now that I’m older, I’m a bit more realistic.
I also find myself analyzing every compliment I receive.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those people who thinks all compliments are back-handed or have some hidden meaning.
I’ve simply found that compliments say more about the people who give them than about the people who receive them. They provide great insight into motivations and personalities.
For example, I used to go absolutely crazy with friends who would criticize people behind their back only to make insincere compliments to their faces.
Not that I necessarily felt the need to be rude to people whom I disliked or didn’t respect (at least most of the time), but I certainly didn’t feel the need to lavish them with phony compliments.
But, to be fair, that’s a trait that can actually be very beneficial. Personally, my lack of it has cost me dearly at times. Because what I figured out was that the people who give such compliments simply want to keep the peace. It’s more important to them than being self-righteous. That’s very admirable.
Not that I’ve been able to change my ways all that much, but at least I understand.
What I’m still trying to understand are the compliments that come from my own family.
I didn’t grow up in a family that threw compliments around. And I didn’t marry into one either.
That’s not a bad thing at all, because the compliments that I did receive are definitely memorable…not necessarily ones to treasure.. but definitely memorable.
Take my husband.
Nearly 20 years ago, before we were married, he told me that I was “a worker.” He then explained. “That’s the highest compliment you could receive from my mom’s side of the family. ”
The effect of this compliment was short-lived when I realized that, while his grandmother may have appreciated “a worker,” my husband had higher regard for people who can sit back, relax, enjoy life, and watch the same episodes of a favorite television show over and over and over.. AND OVER again. Based on that, I’m surprised he married a woman who has a hard time sitting still for five minutes and feels guilty if she’s not accomplishing something 24 hours a day.
More recently, I was confused by what, I think, was intended as a compliment from him.
We were discussing why married couples complain about their spouse’s personality traits. My comment was that personality traits don’t change no matter how long you are married, so they shouldn’t have gotten married to begin with if they were that annoyed.
This led to the question as to whether people can and do change and inevitably to my asking “have I changed?”
My husband thought about it a minute, then told me I had. When I asked how, he said “You’re more mature.”
To put this in perspective, my husband has complete disdain for women whom he considers “immature.” I’m not exactly clear what his exact definition of immature is, but I think it has something to do with people who get upset when the world doesn’t revolve around them, or who expect life to constantly be exciting or who put their own wants and desires above all else. That’s based solely on my keeping a list of all the people, mostly women, who he has identified as “immature.”
Logically, one would think that the definitions of mature and immature would be exact opposites.
But, in this case, I’m not so sure. Because after considering if I had ever been one of those women, I realized that, for the most part, I hadn’t been. So his definition had to mean something else. But when I asked him what he meant, he couldn’t explain, and I was a bit worried.
Maybe because when I hear the word mature, I immediately picture a matronly woman buying clothes in the “old lady” section of the local department store.
I’m not there.. yet.
So, I gave up trying to figure out exactly what my husband meant and just decided to take it as a compliment. After, all, as I said before, compliments say a lot about the person who gives them. And my husband is a great judge of a character, so he had to mean something positive.
At least I’m pretty sure.