Be your own thank you

“Did you clean in here today?” is something that I’ve heard a couple times from my lovely husband in the last couple years. Since buying and moving to our house I’ve heard it a couple times more than usual. Moving to our very own house gave me an unknown need to keep the house clean and tidy. Now, I’m not saying that our house beforehand was akin to a sewer tunnel or anything, but it definitely wasn’t a contender for Homes & Gardens.

For the most part the house has been fairly tidy and put together for a good chunk of the week before doing a whole house weekly cleaning. Of course there are busy weeks and weekends where the dishes pile up, the laundry becomes an obstacle course for the cats, and the dust bunnies are asking for lettuce. For the most part it’s fairly under control. The theory that you clean as you go and tidy after you untidy is quite true and useful.

One day after I had done a weekly cleaning Tim walked into the living room and asked, “Did you clean today?” in a, “I can tell but not totally sure” kind of tone. It was an odd feeling after he asked it. On one hand it felt good that I was keeping the house together so much so that it was hard to decipher between just picked up and truly clean clean. On the other hand it was kind of frustrating that I had just sweated my patootie off and worked for hours to clean the house to almost not have it noticed. It made me wonder some things that I didn’t really have to wonder before.

Things like, was it crazy to have a need to have my husband see and acknowledge my work? I don’t tell him everyday that he did a bang up job creating new codes and software for his company (though I do try to say, “Thank you for working for our family” as often as I can). Isn’t it enough that I can say, “Bang up job, Amy. Bang up job. It looks awesome in here!” When I worked in corporate America I had to learn how to be my own thank you. I had to learn the value in my own work because someone isn’t always going to be there to tell me I did a awesome job on that report. Was this really any different?

My conclusion is simple. It’s not. I chose this life and this job. I chose to be home everyday, clean, take care of other beings, and be the 2015 version of Doris Day. I made these choices so why was I in need of someone else appreciating my work? Again the conclusion is simple. We all need it. Whether or not you are a kicky housewife, a corporate America worker, a free lancer, or an artist, we all need someone somewhere to remind us that we are in fact doing a bang up job in some fashion.

We all need a cheering section and sometimes you are your own cheering section. Now a days kids get ribbons for showing up to something, but we adults don’t get a ribbon for doing our jobs everyday. We choose to get up every damn morning and make to-do lists for that day. We choose to complete those listed items and in most cases, the company chooses to pay us for our efforts. Where is our participation ribbon for making positive and constructive choices for that day? We’ve become a world where you will say, “Your paycheck is your ribbon” or “Driving into your driveway every night is your ribbon” but I know for a fact I didn’t just show up and get those things. I had to make effort and do a bang up job for the last 29 years.

We may not get a ribbon for showing up to work everyday, but we do deserve a “You did a bang up job today” at least once an a while. If you don’t get it from a boss, a co-worker, a spouse, a child, or a stranger in the parking lot, say it to yourself. Learn to be your own thank you. Life is…life. A definition of a way of being all on it’s own. It’s difficult, challenging, stressful, and full of unknowns. Recognize the small things and life may not seem too daunting after a while.

…bang up job, Amy, bang up job 😉 (See what I did there?)


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