The older I get, the more I appreciate certain things.
I’m not really sure why that is… it doesn’t make a lot of logical sense.
Example: The Little Things
I appreciate the people that make an effort, even a minimal effort. I used to be unhappy unless someone would actually do some kind of activity with me. People would do little things, but I didn’t really care so much. When I was 19, I had a beautiful girlfriend who was very thoughtful…most of the time. I remember how she would come to my work at 3 AM when I got off so she could warm up my car and scrape the windows. A nice gesture. I didn’t think much of it then.
And people would write little notes to me. Nothing fanatical… just a couple of sentences. In the information age, a handwritten note is almost as rare as a woman that can cook. I didn’t really think much of that either.
But as I get older, that kind of thing is more important. I think part of it stems from knowing how difficult it is to keep a friendship going in the midst of hectic lives. There are times I feel like I can’t even do the minimal “maintenance” on a friendship because I’m just so stressed out. So knowing that someone took the time to sit down and write something personal… it’s really an amazing thing.
Example: The sun.
I spent roughly umm… 100% of my time indoors from age 16 till 23. I was completely convinced I hated the outdoors, and “that’s why we invented indoors!” as I would always say.
Then I met Jenny, who happened to be a sun-worshipper. She would rather lie in the sun than just about anything. I grudgingly joined her. And a strange thing happened. I enjoyed it. The fresh air, the warmth… I could hardly believe how nice a non-climate controlled environment could be. Had it not been for someone pushing me out of my comfort zone, I might not have found out how much I liked it. Now, I willingly spend time outdoors. I look for excuses to go outdoors.
I grew up in a stuffy, arrogant, annoying neighborhood full of pedantic old jerks. I would try to sell candy bars for a school fundraiser and get the “I don’t buy crap from stupid kids” response. We had good old fashioned feuds with several of our neighbors. And that was fine, because they were losers.
But as I moved into my own house, I suddenly realized how important it was to appreciate and befriend your neighbors. It isn’t a mere social exercise, especially for someone living alone. My neighbors watch out for me.
For instance, last year when I went on vacation, I asked “Lynne” to pick up my mail for me, since she lives just a couple miles away. My neighbor called me to let me know “some tall brunette was in my house.” You couldn’t pay for a security system like that. Since I knew it was “Lynne” I told him not to worry about it. If I hadn’t asked anyone to pick up the mail, I would have been coming home ASAP as soon as I heard the words “tall brunette” come out of his mouth.
Yeah, I spent 25 years of my life spouting hatred for dogs. My family had an evil demon possessed dog when I was little, and the experience scarred me. I assumed that all dogs were insane, smelly hellhounds.
Once again, Jenny wore me down over time. She lives and breathes dogs. When I moved into my house last year, I ended up not liking the empty house feel. Since I couldn’t pay $95 and adopt a girlfriend, I took Jenny’s advice and got a dog. Then another one.
Now, I can’t imagine not having them. They are so much fun, and they always put a smile on my face. I can’t even get mad when they destroy everything I own.
Sappy, yes. Important, yes. So if you don’t like it, then roll it up real tight, and shove it in your notebook.