I try to express my gratitude for the little things in life every day. Be it a new recipe that worked out just right, a book I was able to read, a few dollars I could save or the fact that I have a husband, 2 dogs, friends and a family that all love me, I'm blessed and I know it. I like to share the things I'm grateful for in hopes that someone else can know how much the little sometimes overlooked or underappreciated gifts mean to me. I don't want to take my happiness for granted. If you add up the little joys in life, you end up with a total happiness that can outweigh the depression and anxiety that like to creep around in corners. I'm working every day to dust those cobwebs of fear and worry away and concentrate on the big beams of sunlight shining in my window.
Lately I've been thinking about how much happier I am now that I'm no longer working in retail. It didn't seem like such a big deal at the time, but I am so much more content working for a small company. I enjoyed my retail job, but it wasn't nearly as challenging or interesting to me as I thought it was. I was much better at spending money than making it when I worked in retail. I'm also grateful to be away from an environment that encouraged my overspending and helped me be trapped in the drama of it all.
Sometimes the work at my new job is frustrating because I'm a perfectionist and I'm still learning. I'm not quite sure when I will stop calling it my "new" job either - I've worked with this group of folks over a year now, but every single day I am discovering how much of a newbie to this industry I am. Still, every day I'm engaged and improving. It's exciting that I have plenty of opportunity to figure out new challenges or work at improving my techniques or speed. It is crazy hard at times. But also kind of cool.
I'm also so thankful that I could share my excitement in this new path with my dad. I think of him every day as I work on small electronic components. He would be amazing at the job I'm doing because of his focus and love of details. I hope that someday soon I'll be half as good as I am confident he would be.
As I come up on the second Black Friday that I will be enjoying at home because my employer has given us the day off in reward for our hard work and contributions, I feel like a million bucks. When I worked in theatre we worked a lot during the holiday season because we were opening A Christmas Carol or The Nutcracker or some other holiday show. The season would be filled with rewarding work also, and I miss it at times, but I'm lucky that I have been able to have success and achievements in a variety of fields and that I can find happiness and content in many places.
I feel for my friends who will be working Black Friday in the retail world. It is a thankless job and sometimes people can be overzealous in their search for the best deals and they can be rude or unfeeling. I've encountered wonderful folks on Black Friday in my many years as a retail clerk too, but for every expression of sincere thanks or cup of coffee proferred by a well meaning stranger (this happened to me twice!) I have an equal amount of stories where shoppers were less than nice.
My hope is that the retail staff in stores you frequent are always polite and professional, but that isn't always the case either. Stress gets to everyone and this gigantic shopping day cranks the volume up to 11 on tension and extreme behavior in retail workers too. It is my sincere hope that anybody who is hard at work on the day is appreciated. This includes the folks who don't get to take a day off like the nursing staff and employees of the home where my parents are living or other service industry employees. I'm grateful that they're dedicated to their jobs too.
Last but not least I'm thankful I have the opportunity to work overtime. It's hard to adjust to the early start to the mornings and to the extra Saturday hours, but it feels wonderful to be necessary. When the overtime earns me two days of vacation next week it will be even more worthwhile. I am lucky to have my job, and I never want to take it for granted.
I hope you all will be having fun this weekend. Mine will have an early start, but I'm glad I'm right where I am.