I think everyone likes to feel appreciated, right? Sometimes that feeling is hard to come by, it isn’t something super tangible. You either are or are not appreciated, or you do or do not feel appreciation towards someone or something. It can be subjective. Like a person may really try to make you feel it, but you aren’t getting it, so it’s a tough thing to get a grasp on. I had 3 things happen yesterday that had me feeling it, appreciated. I noticed, so I thought I would share it.

First, we were in a training meeting yesterday. We are switching some sales software stuff at work, we used it in the past, went away from it, and are not returning to the one we ditched. Our little conference room has one window, in the door. I see our Operations Manager creeping out in the reception area. That isn’t all that unusual, it’s close to the kitchen, and where there’s a kitchen, JR isn’t far away. But he made a couple of sweeps nearby, knocked and asked if he could interrupt real quick. In his hands, he had 4 bouquets of flowers. He said that it was Employee Appreciation Day, and he handed them all to us girls. It was unexpected, and kind of sweet. We are very appreciated at work, we get lots of things like lunches bought for us, bonuses, department outings, and more. This was a really nice gesture, and I spent the rest of the day feeling that feeling, that they notice us, and what we do, and they appreciate it. Warm fuzzy feelings, all day on a Friday, not bad.

The next thing, an unexpected post on the Facebook, from my friend Shannon. She posted a picture of us, at the gym. She went on to shower me with a heap of love, about how she started at FIRE because of me, and my relentless posts about the gym. That I got her there, that she just appreciated me going to her first camp with her, and what our friendship means to her. We haven’t got to see a whole lot of each other the past 2 years, pandemically speaking. We stalked Todd at the Mile of Music last summer, of course, but it’s been a stretch again. She is married, has kiddos, a full time job, she’s on her local school board, and she is a part owner at her FIRE location. She is a busy girl! The fact that she took that time to post a really heartfelt and sweet post for me, well, I was the big old EFWB. Appreciated? Yeah, I feel it, and I give that right back to you, girlfriend. My heart is full.

More gym stuff. We have these camps once a month, on Friday nights, called Black Label. They are put together by a coach, and they are tough. They are also fun, and a good way to see some of the people you don’t normally get to see at our usual camps because everyone is on different schedules in life. Plus we get beer at the end. (I appreciate the beer, but that is not where this is going, at least not yet.) As we go around the stations, working hard and cheering each other on, we don’t really visit a lot, but we see each other. At the end, we take a group picture and drink that beloved and well earned beer. There’s a younger woman, she has been at FIRE probably about 2 years now. She works pretty hard at the camps. What I didn’t know was that last night was her first Black Label. I was surprised by that, as sociable as she is and her hard work at camp makes it seem like a natural thing for her to get to with the rest of us mentally unstable gym nerds. She made a big point to come up to me at the end, and ask for a picture and thank me for always being an inspiration. Yep, I got the feels again. It felt great to hear that, because that has never been my goal, it has just been a byproduct of the thing.

You can go a lot of days of your life not feeling all of this. I got all of that on a Friday in March. It’s a lot to process, it gave me a lot to think about and it made me feel good. We won’t always know the impact we make in the lives of others. We aren’t always supposed to know, I think. What it did for me was make me want to pay more attention. To the people in my life that are getting through it all, easy some days, tough on others. The ones that are watching, learning, and trying to get better each day. I do truly appreciate that, more than ever, because by paying attention, and appreciating what and who you see, can make you a better and stronger person. Give that praise, shower the attention, and give that love out, because you are made of it. You will get it back, and you will want to give it right out again.

I appreciate all of you that gave it to me yesterday, thank you for noticing. Whatever it is you saw, thank you. I am humbled, and I am in awe of all of you, too.

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