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Old 09-16-2011, 03:11 PM
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Appreciation

I've always tried to make it a point to appreciate the things and people in my life that make things brighter. I have two cuddly kittens at home who love to spend time with me (I can't sleep without becoming a kitten-pillow, either), I have a manager who appreciates my contributions and has stuck his neck out for me upon several occasions, I have great friends now and wonderful co-workers and a lovely apartment with a thriving garden on the balcony. I make enough at my job to not only stay on top of my bills but also slowly pay off the debt that accrued while XABF was still here. My neighbors are not only quiet, but lovely and friendly people.

And yet somehow, with all of that, it never occurred to me that some people might actually appreciate me. It's been so drilled into my head by my parents and XABF that I'm not good enough, that there's always someone who is more preferred than me, that I can't carry my own weight and that nothing I say or do will ever be good enough.

Sure, I expect my friends to appreciate me, because they are friends, and that's the definition of friendship, or at least part of it. But it's always shocked me when it's come from someone else, and yesterday's I think was the sweetest thing anyone who I don't consider "close" to me has ever done.

There's a small group I work with involved in a particular project as my place of employment. We have a group meeting most Thursdays to coordinate, and sometimes I'll bring in cake.
I just enjoying baking. It relaxes me. I didn't even think that they might enjoy the fact that I periodically bring in these things. Until yesterday, anyway.

Yesterday was our intern's last day. He wanted to bring in a gift for everyone he worked with, and decided that the perfect gift for me would be homemade zucchini bread made using his mother's recipe. This also happened to be his first time baking anything.
He presented it to me yesterday just before leaving.

What a sweet gesture. What a heartfelt gift.
I drove home with a car smelling of fresh baked breads full of cinnamon, and a heart full of joy for who I am, and all the things that make me grateful.

(He didn't need to worry. The zucchini bread is delicious, and this is one baked good that is not going to end up on my desk at work for my co-workers to enjoy. This one I am keeping for myself.)

<3 I feel appreciated. I could get used to this. <3
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Old 09-16-2011, 03:17 PM
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What a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing.

I read a book several years ago called "What Happy People Know." In it, the author says that appreciation is the purest form of love because it expects nothing in return.

L
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Old 09-16-2011, 03:22 PM
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Your post made me cry. That was so sweet of him. Sometimes I think that we are so locked into the negative, that we can't even imagine some one just being kind or appreciative.

I don't even, or didn't even expect appreciation from my friends. I had many friends who just used me. I finally have friends now that don't.

I wouldn't give that bread to anyone else either. I would just eat it slowly and just remember that some one thought so much of you, that he would bake something for you, and I would savor every delicious bite of it.
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Old 09-16-2011, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
What a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing.

I read a book several years ago called "What Happy People Know." In it, the author says that appreciation is the purest form of love because it expects nothing in return.

L
Now that is food for thought. I never thought of things that way before, but it is so true!
That also sounds like an enlightening book. Maybe I'll have to add that to my list to purchase (once I finish reading the ones I've recently bought, that is!)


Originally Posted by amy55 View Post
Your post made me cry. That was so sweet of him. Sometimes I think that we are so locked into the negative, that we can't even imagine some one just being kind or appreciative.

I don't even, or didn't even expect appreciation from my friends. I had many friends who just used me. I finally have friends now that don't.

I wouldn't give that bread to anyone else either. I would just eat it slowly and just remember that some one thought so much of you, that he would bake something for you, and I would savor every delicious bite of it.
I started crying thinking of it again. I'm quite grateful I didn't cry when he gave it to me, although I did come close to that, as well.

I've been told by someone else in the group that he was so nervous I wouldn't like his bread, he even went out and bought another loaf of homemade blueberry cinnamon someone else had made, to ensure I had bread that I would like. (It's true, he gave me two loaves, one purchased and one he made himself).

I suppose the story could go both ways. Little did he realize that I wouldn't touch the purchased one, because I appreciate the homemade one so much. (I'll eat it, eventually, sure! But not until the zucchini bread is gone.)

So here I am, completely stunned to tears by his gift, and here he is, so self-conscious and fearful that I won't like it.

Food for thought (no pun intended!) - how do we really know how much others will appreciate us or our gifts, either for what they are, or for what they mean?
I really did appreciate his thoughtfulness, more than he will ever really understand.

I also have his mother's recipe, so I can make it myself whenever I want.
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Old 09-16-2011, 04:46 PM
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I appreciate you Starcat.
You are a thoughtful and considerate person.
Since I am getting a little weepy too, I will say a heartfelt thank you for sharing your journey with me.

Beth

Cake on Thursday?
I am there!
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Old 09-16-2011, 05:09 PM
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You planted a seed and it grew! It is the little things in life that matter, your friend/coworker wanted to do something special for you, just to say "Thanks, for being you".

How nice....ain't life grand?
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Old 09-16-2011, 05:38 PM
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I'm so glad that you have the recipe also. This way whenever you make it, you can remember and think about how one unselfish person wanted to really thank you and show their appreciation for you. How one person, really thought that much of you, and didn't make it about them. It was about "you".

I don't think that I can have zucchini bread again, and not think about this. Thanks for sharing this.
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by wicked View Post
I appreciate you Starcat.
You are a thoughtful and considerate person.
Since I am getting a little weepy too, I will say a heartfelt thank you for sharing your journey with me.

Beth

Cake on Thursday?
I am there!
Beth, you are too kind. Thank you so much for your sweet words.
And thank you, for sharing your journey with me! You always have some lovely words of wisdom to add, and I appreciate them, and you! <3

Originally Posted by dollydo View Post
You planted a seed and it grew! It is the little things in life that matter, your friend/coworker wanted to do something special for you, just to say "Thanks, for being you".

How nice....ain't life grand?
It is! When I was baking I did it just because I liked doing it.
When he sent me the recipe for the zucchini bread, he sounded really excited that he baked something, so I sent him the recipe for my German Pound Cake, which was the favorite I'd bring in.
He replied back with a really excited email about how now there were two things he could bake. Wow, that's really cool.

I guess it just goes to show, when I go and do what I enjoy and take care of myself, I'm not the only one who benefits. Which just proves yet again that taking care of myself is not selfish.

Originally Posted by amy55 View Post
I'm so glad that you have the recipe also. This way whenever you make it, you can remember and think about how one unselfish person wanted to really thank you and show their appreciation for you. How one person, really thought that much of you, and didn't make it about them. It was about "you".

I don't think that I can have zucchini bread again, and not think about this. Thanks for sharing this.
And thank you for sharing these thoughts, amy...
I'd never had zucchini bread before, but now I really like it, not only because it takes good but because it's taken on a whole different meaning than bread alone could have.

...speaking of which, it's lunch time, and I have some remains of zucchini bread calling my name.
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