I’m A Fraud…And Grateful

Yeah, you read that right. I’m a fraud. A fake. A poseur. It’s hard for me to admit, but like I say on my JUST WHO IS THIS KELLY WOMAN? page, I reserve the right to modify it as soon as I figure out who I really am. And friends, today is a dark, dark day in the realm of self-awareness.

So, here it goes.

Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day was January 27th this year, and I missed it. Major fail for the woman who counts bubble wrap as the best mindless stress reliever ever (and an unintentional rescued wire fox terrier torture tool. Sorry Maisy! Mommy loves you, really).

Are you kidding me? Enough with the bubble wrap already.

Are you kidding me? Enough with the bubble wrap already.

When I learned I’d missed my best bubble buddy’s big day, I hopped on over to Wikipedia to see who or what else I may be ignoring. You know how many other unofficial observance days there are each year? A LOT. And this list doesn’t include all of them—they dissed my bubble wrap so now I call into question its validity (the list, not the bubble wrap).

Anyway, these are the annual days when we’re supposed to take a moment to conduct a ritual of appreciation in honor or celebration of a person or thing, for instance hobbits, moles or monkeys. And of course there are the official holidays, like the most recent one on March 17th—Submarine Day.

You know what this little oversight taught me? I suck at appreciating people. I’m not talking about saying thank you—I do that 99% of the time and mean it every time. No, I mean I’m a classic “take it for granted” gal. I won’t subject you to some rambling rationale for why I am the way I am. It’s a character flaw and not something I’m proud of.

For a while I worried I was the kind of person Paula Deen described herself as during her Today Show interview with Matt Lauer last summer: “I is what I is and I’m not changing.” But then a generous person granted me a second chance, although I’m sure others questioned whether I deserved it or not, including the grantor…and me. In that moment of human grace, a change took place in me—I stopped making it all about me, all the time.

I may be “what I is,” but I am capable of change.

But just as I say that, I have to say this: appreciating people also makes me feel good. And I got the facts to back that s**t up.

Here’s a video describing what scientists discovered about how much happiness you can milk from appreciation and gratitude. Please take the time to watch it…you won’t regret it, promise (especially around the 4:25 mark).

Bottom line take-away: You’ll get the most happiness juice if you physically milk the appreciation/gratitude cow. Jotting your thoughts down about the people you appreciate will give you a tweak. But you’ll get an extra jolt of happy if you open your mouth and tell them. And the best news? If you’re having a crappy day, doing this will give you the biggest kick in your happy pants.

So try it. Make it your mission every day, especially on the days you’re feeling the least grateful, to tell one person how much he or she means to you and how your life wouldn’t be the same without him or her. And see how damn good it makes them, and you, feel.

So how about it? Who don’t you appreciate as much as you should? Tell me about that person and why you appreciate him/her, and then tell them. What’s the one thing about you that you wished others appreciated more? Share your thoughts…I’m listening.

11 thoughts on “I’m A Fraud…And Grateful

  1. This is a great message. And probably one I could use today. I feel like I’ve been pretty under-appreciated lately. I get lumped with everyone’s admin, everyone’s accounts, everyone’s issues because I’m able to do the paperwork and unable to say ‘no.’ I hate that I’ve been so frustrated in my own head but unable to tell these people how I’m feeling out loud. I hate confrontation. I don’t want to be the rat that complains I always deal with their work but never get anything back. But it’s partly my issue over theirs – if I can’t handle it, I shouldn’t just keep taking everything on. I should learn to say ‘no.’ And I should definitely be taking a moment – lots of moments – to appreciate the people who support me and are there for me and actually Do give back. Every day. Like the partner who has to listen to me moan about everyone else. And who takes the brunt of it when other people put me in a stressy, frustrated place. To one of my best friends back home, who fits in illustrating for me alongside the ridiculous hours she works and gets me excited about our projects. To the dozen beta readers who are reading my novel and providing me feedback, just to help me make a better book. I don’t take them for granted and I do show my gratitude. But I need to ensure that no one feels under-appreciated. And if I don’t want to feel that way, I need to decide why I do things for the people I do, and make it for the right reasons. Because it’s generally the people who Don’t ask you to do their work that need the help and would appreciate it when given freely.

    Sorry you missed Bubblewrap Appreciation Day – but at least you know when it is for next year 🙂

    1. Wow Sara, your work situation story sounds very similar to mine, or at least like it did a few years ago. It was to the point I wanted to quit a job a loved because of someone I worked with. Luckily she left and things improved a ton.

      Isn’t it funny how we can feel the sting of not being appreciated yet don’t often do as much as we could to make sure others don’t feel the same way? It really stops me up short when I see my daughter express her appreciation, many times without any prodding from her dad and I–I think if a 12-year-old can do this, why has it been so hard for me?

      1. Absolutely.. You read about those psychic vampires! I’m glad your PV was the one to leave so you didn’t 🙂

        And even if you do have a fleeting, appreciative thought, you don’t always write it down. You’ve inspired me to do that today 🙂 so I have a wee love letter waiting for my bf tonight. Thanks for the reminder to be grateful for who and what I have!

  2. Why, you ungrateful… ha! I kid. It’s always nice to have a reminder to be have and SHOW gratitude. I love how it’s such a drug for both parties involved. How could anyone NOT feel better after hearing how much they mean to you and how much you appreciate them and what they’ve meant in your life? And how could you not feel the same in giving that gift to someone? Win win!

    PS This video makes my face leak, like a lot. Of course, tampon commercials do too, so I suppose that says something about my particular state of mind right now (or mostly always).

    I shall tell my awesome boyfriend, (I usually try to once a day or so) how awesome he is and how much I love him for everything he is and how important he is to me. Also, I’m glad I’m not the only one who celebrated Submarine Day. Whew. Thought I was alone in that boat. 😉

    1. Yeah, I was a bit wet-faced myself after the first times I watched the video. But, like you said, I can cry at just about anything. When I was pregnant with our daughter, there was an Office Max (or Depot) commercial that got me every time it was on—and it was on a lot back then.

      “Alone in that boat…” tee-hee, that was good. 🙂

  3. That was an awesome post AND video. Made me get all teary-eyed and emotional and almost made me forget your utter disrespect of Bubble Wrap and the sacred Bubble Wrap HOLIDAYS. ((HUGS)) Thanks for making my day. I love seeing new bloggers bloom to life. Is a great joy to see you share your life and thoughts.

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