Friday, April 19, 2013

Thanks, my friend! (April 19)

It's hard to be positive in today's environment. Keeping pace with national news is exhausting, if not depressing, and even more so on an international level. Social media usage can then either be a fun escape outlet or perpetuate the ever-increasing intensity of things going on in the world. A slice of sunshine in the midst of it all is so refreshing.  

Some people seem to react well to chaos. Wouldn't that be nice to do? Every picture I see of a young friend of mine reflect that balance. She shows a smiling face or one with a great curling smirk, and not one of those insipid duck-lipped smiles. Either one she offers is perfect. Those facades epitomize what I think makes up Abby.  

She is a bundle of energy and a positive source of inspiration for the people around her. I met this young woman through my previous job, where she was a work-study student in our office. Abby matriculated through her program and is now working on a grad degree. What better person to work with college students? She is not that much older than them, so Abby provides a realistic role model in a setting so suitable to her skills.   

Abby was previously supervised by a co-worker and always accepted any new challenge presented to her. Trust me, it's hard to find motivated students to take on any additional tasks without complaints of how busy they already are. She worked, kept up with school, and had a social life to boot. Your atypical but favorite kind of student worker.

What is considered professionalism in the workplace is so different now than when I started working full-time back in the day (won't mention when). That's not to say that kids aren't learning how to act in a professional environment.  They are ... if they'll listen and learn. Abby is the type of person who takes her working life as seriously having a personal life. She stays relevant without being outwardly worried about being hip (even though she is) and is self-effacing, being the first to chide herself. It's a healthy, endearing sort of goofy, with the most delightful sense of humor.  

The biggest bit of praise I can extend to Abby is her grace under pressure. I once saw her shut down a Facebook heckler with such diplomacy I'm sure the jerk is still her online friend to this day. It might have been back in the DOMA period or perhaps simply an ongoing difference of opinion about political issues. Regardless, one of Abby's FB "friends" made a rude and provoking comment, and her reply not only defended people who are gay but most likely made the heckler question his/her own misplaced words. Anyone else would've started an online war of words, one which would've had an inevitable bad ending.

Not Abby. She's not that quick-triggered. She's a happy maker, not a naysayer. I admire her forethought before action, her cheerfulness and kindness to other people -- thanks, my friend!

I invite others to support the amazing the women in their lives by simply saying, "thanks." Someone deserves to hear it today.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Thanks, my friend! (April 12)

I have great memories of summer church camp when I was young, even though they are few.  It was some of the best times I remember ever having.  There were four of kids at home, so I was more than happy to get away for a few days - go under the radar, fade into the background.  Camp usually came with the bonus of new friends, too, and the fun of seeing friends made the summer before.

That's how I got to know my sweet, sweet friend, Jeanice.  She was the hot one in our cabin who always had first pick at the cute boys!  :)  She is a beautiful woman who is as "down to earth" as any gorgeous woman can be.  Jeanice and I used to visit each other in high school, even though we lived in neighboring town that were kind of rivals in a juvenile sort of way.  I'm lucky to have known her all these many years.  

It's amazing how many women I know who are so nice, especially as one of the first ways I'd describe them, and she is definitely one of those people.  

She and I haven't actually seen each other in person for a few years now.  But by the grace of Facebook, as I've mentioned before, we can still stay in touch.  It's not the miles so much but life that gets in the way.  People grow up and move in different directions.  We're within driving distance, though, and I'd love to spend time with her again some day.

Jeanice has raised a great bunch of kids, and she works hard for her family.  She still has a few children at home, and I get to see them all mature through pics online.  I so wish we'd been able to have our families be closer.  

I hope Jeanice knows how much she means to me, and I want to say, "Thanks, my friend!"  It's so important to me to have positive women in my life, and you are definitely a gem!