Saturday, August 05, 2006

Life's LIttle Pick Me Ups

You know how when you've just about reached the end of your limit, suddenly out of the blue something nice happens? If it weren't for life's little random pick-me-ups, we might never make it.

This is about the 5th week of non-stop aggravation at work. Add to that some home repair issues that I haven't had time to deal with, an infected eye that just won't give up the battle to the antibiotics, and concern over Xana's precarious state of health - well this just hasn't been a good summer so far.

So it was with some surprise one day a couple of weeks ago when I received something like 4-5 compliments on an outfit I was wearing. "How good you look today," was coming at me left and right on a day when I felt fat and frumpy. 'Okay', I thought, 'obviously deep purple is a good color to keep in the wardrobe. It's overpowering my frumpiness. Nothing to get excited about.'

A week later, out of the realm of the supernatural, one of our attorneys paid me a similar compliment on a day when I felt that I looked tolerable at best. Considering the attorneys rarely acknowledge the existence of anyone without a law degree, I was suspecting him of buttering me up for a special favor he wanted. However, I got another compliment on the same outfit from a lady on the other side of the office. 'Go figure," I said. Nothing special about a black knit top and white capri jeans. Must have been the accessories.

Then 3-4 days ago, one of the younger girls in the office caught my door open (I generally keep it carefully closed when I'm in danger of going postal at the slightest provacation) and slipped inside. "I just have to tell you what somebody said about you," she said. 'Uh-oh,' I thought. But she surprised me. "They were saying how nice you look these days. And they really like your hair cut. They wanted to know if you had a new boyfriend." Yeah, right. It takes more than twenty minutes of free time a day to deal with finding, snagging and hanging on to a boyfriend. And that's all I need to send me straight over the edge - an aggravating man.

It seems that I must concede my fashion upgrade is finally bearing fruit. It's taken almost a year, but folks are finally noticing that I jettisoned the tapered pants and men's shirts for a more fashionable persona. Nice to know that the effort is paying off.

And then Mother Nature gave me a small shot in the arm. About a year or so ago, I gave up on mollycoddling my orchid plants, purchased in a burst of enthusiasm when they were in full bloom, and which haven't done anything but sit and look green ever since. I fed them, I watered them, I changed their potting medium, I switched them around to various levels of light. Nothing. They refused to bloom again. When the canopies went up on the deck, I said the heck with the orchids. Forget the cozy air-conditioned house. You don't bloom, you go outside and live like an outside plant. You don't like it, tough. I kept them watered, but no special treatment did they receive. And then this week--surprise!

Plus, the orchid cactus bloomed twice this week. I wasn't quick enough with the camera this time, but the lovely white blooms greeted me on two different mornings.

And today I've heard from two people that have been out of contact for quite some time: a former co-worker who moved to North Carolina and a Kentucky Hodge cousin who, it turns out, has spent a good part of the last two years in Iraq.

Last, but not least, every day of the week I'm greeted with joyous abandon and wiggling butts when I come home. Dogs are definitely a girl's best friend and puppy kisses go a long way toward making life bearable.

Thank goodness for the unexpected moments that keep us going when we are in danger of becoming bogged down in life's drudgery.


P.S. Kisses are the only thing that kept a certain young man from getting pulverized when I found that he had chewed a hole in my new set of 600-thread count sheets.

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