Archive for July, 2010

feet, really?

Just an ordinary Saturday morning at work.  Then a coworker made a comment that was about the last thing I would have unexpected to hear.

“By the way, I meant to tell you this the other day. You have nice feet.”

Seriously? Nice feet?

I have to admit I have never given much thought to my feet. Sure, I keep them clean and sometimes remember to use lotion, but that’s about it. Oh-and I think in my lifetime I have gotten a total of 4 pedicures. Right now my toenails are a ridiculously bright pink from the last one.  It’s probably the pink that got my coworker’s attention, but the comment wasn’t about my toenail color. It was about my feet.

I have nice feet. Why does that make me laugh and why would it perk up my morning?  I don’t know, but it did. Maybe because it was totally unexpected.

Now I bet you will notice someone’s feet today.  If they look nice, tell them. It might bring a smile to their day, too.  🙂


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you go ahead

I was already late for work, but I had stopped at the grocery store on my way to pick up coffee for the office and two other small things.  As I approached the one and only open checkout line another customer was there unloading her cart which was half full. Seriously?  It’s 6:30 in the morning.  Who goes grocery shopping at that hour of the morning? (Apparently she does.)    Oh well, there was nothing I could do about it, so there was no point getting impatient. She had a right to be there just as much as I did.  And it’s certainly not her fault that I didn’t leave home earlier. Take a deep breath.  Wait.

 Then she said those three wonderful words.  “You go ahead.”  A thoughtful gesture.  It didn’t delay her a whole lot, but it saved me from getting to work even later.  Another customer came up behind her with 2 or 3 things and she said again “You go ahead”.  You might have thought the woman had offered her a winning lottery ticket. She was quite grateful.

By now this woman has probably already forgotten that she let two customers go ahead of her in line at the grocery store.  But her thoughtfulness made a different to the two of us.  It was another reminder that a small gesture can make a big difference in someone’s day.

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Years ago I was planning a move to California. I had given notice at work. I had even shipped a few boxes out ahead.    The wheels were set in motion. Just before Thanksgiving I was in the computer lab at work (this was before we had internet at our desks – hard to imagine now!) and one of the residents was in there. 
As we were both checking our email, we chatted a bit about Thanksgiving.  He commented to me “One of the things Cynthia (his wife) and I are thankful for is the staff here at Beaumont.  We really do feel treated like we are extended family.”   It was a simple comment,  but it really got me thinking about what I would be leaving behind when I left for California. There was a lot to look forward to in the move. A fresh start.  Living closer to my brother who had lived on the Left Coast for decades.  That was the biggest plus.
This resident’s passing comment made me think about how meaningful my job really was to me. Would I find another job where I had this kind of connection?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  More than crunching numbers – much more.  How much of that was the environment and how much was what I put into it?  The line blurs. I think I have always made more of a job than just the job.  I could do that again somewhere else. But at Beaumont it is so much more and that’s because the environment is set up that way.  I think we all (employees) take that for granted sometimes  and forget how much we really have.
So I started rethinking the move. I was torn.  I love my brother and his family. It would have been great to be able to spend more time with them.  But in the end I decided to stay.  That was about 12 years ago and I am still at Beaumont. Any job has its ups and downs, but I still think Beaumont offers a little “extra” in regard to the work environment – for anyone who opens their eyes enough to see it.
It was just a passing comment.  The resident wasn’t trying to convince me not to leave.  He didn’t even know at the time that I had plans to move. I did tell him, later on, how much of an impact his comment made.  It literally changed the course of the next segment of my life. 
Would moving to California have been a good idea?  Absolutely.  I have no doubt about that.  It would have been great.  Who knows what the future might hold – maybe eventually I will make that move.  But for right now, this is the right place for me. I’m glad for where I am.
And I’m glad for that resident’s passing comment. 

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I really don’t know what I’m doing with this blog. It started out as one idea and then kind of turned into another.  I guess I’ll just let it evolve and see what happens as time goes by.  For now, I just wanted to share this quote. I saw it on a magnet (yes, Sandy, at WholeFoods, lol). It’s related to the “one glass of water” idea, so I’m sharing it out here today. It’s a reminder that we can always do…something.

“I wanted to do something – anything – but I didn’t know what to do.  So I did this.  This is my something”  – Jason Watts

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The other day a coworker stopped me in the hallway to ask how my vacation was.  Vacation…hmmm. Vacation isn’t exactly the word I would use to describe my time away.  Although it was fun to see family and friends in North Carolina and there WAS a lot of laughter at times, it was also a challenging time for me, emotionally.  I guess it’s probably true for many of us that family brings mixed emotions, but this time there were added elements to it as we were dealing with some health issues that arise as parents grow older.  I’ll spare you the specifics.

So when coworkers asked me “how was your vacation?” I wasn’t quite sure how to respond.  I’m not usually that “hi-how-are-you?-fine-how-are-you?-and-move-on-without-really-connecting” type of person. If I ask someone a question, I want to hear the answer.  And I’d prefer to be able to give a real answer, but for some people I just said “It was good, thanks” and left it at that. It’s true – it was good.  Even the most difficult things in life are inherently good because we can learn and grow from them.

But when this one coworker asked the question, I felt tears welling up.  “Why now?”, I was thinking. I don’t know why I was getting teary-eyed, but I did know that this coworker was the type of person who would want to hear the real story – the answer behind the answer.  And so I stood there in the hallway and fought back tears as I told him about the ups and downs of the week.  He simply said “it’s okay to cry sometimes, you know”.    And with that, the floodgates were opened and a lot of the emotions from the past week came out.

Did he have any amazing answers for me?  Any great healing words for the emotions I was expressing? Any wonderful words of wisdom?  No. He just listened for a few minutes.  He let me be me and say what I wanted/needed to say.  No judgments, no criticism, no cliche answers. He just listened.  It brings a lump to my throat just writing about it.   In the middle of a busy day for both of us, he asked a question and took a few minutes to actually hear the answer. 

He just listened and it made a difference for me.

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So simple and yet so very tasty!  I started out by sauteeing some onion and garlic until they were browned and then added some thinly sliced carrot, broccoli, cabbage, red bell pepper and zucchini and let them cook until they were a little softened.

In a piece of foil I put half the vegetables, a portion of fresh salmon, sprinkled a little bit of McCormick’s salt-free seasoning and then added the rest of the vegetables.  I closed up the foil, baked this all at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.  A small green salad and a slice of bread rounded out the plate and I had a really tasty and satisfying dinner.  🙂

I’m not saying I’ll eat healthfully every day for every meal for the rest of my life.  This isn’t about extreme changes – it’s about the “one glass of water” changes.  It reminded me that taking care of myself really doesn’t need to take a lot of effort and it is quite satisfying.

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meals and health

Well, I have to start out by saying that I don’t exactly have exemplary eating habits. I’m a “wing it” kind of person.I don’t have a menu plan and when I go grocery shopping it is usually a matter of picking up what catches my interest at the moment.  One might think that by my age I’d have something more organized in place, but…that’s not the case. Until now.

A recent illness in the family became somewhat of a wakeup call for me. My sister and I recently spent some time helping our mom figure out how to plan meals for her husband, who requires both a diabetic diet and a renal diet after a near-kidney failure hospitalized him.  As we did research and came up with lists of what foods are okay and which are not, it made me think about how very little I typically think about what I’m eating in regard to nutritional value.

Sure, I know like everyone else that we “ought to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables”, but as we examined which foods are high in sugar, sodium or potassium for the sake of the renal diabetic diet, I started to realize how little I really pay attention to eating what I need rather than just what I want.

In the week that I spent with my family, I enjoyed the well-rounded nutritious meals we prepared. (I say “we” although I actually did very little of the work!)  And I decided I want to continue this for myself.

So yesterday I went to Giant and did a healthy food shopping. I admit that I often don’t prepare my own meals, but utilize the convenience of takeout.  That’s changing. My kitchen is now stocked with healthy options. I’ll still do takeout sometimes, but it’s time to grow up a little and start taking better care of myself. I don’t want to wait until some health issue makes this mandatory. Instead, I’d like to do my best to ward off any of those kind of issues as long as possible.  No radical meal plans – just a healthier assortment of choices.

Grocery shopping for a healthier assortment of foods was my first step. Now my goal will be to make use of those good foods and not let them go bad in my refrigerator!  🙂 

One meal at a time.

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