Gratitude through the hard times

A few weeks ago, I was greeted by the bartender at a local restaurant, who remembered me from when I worked in the battered women's shelter in the 90s. At the time, she was a teenager with a couple of sisters and, even though her mother had left their father, she struggled with the years of abuse that were behind them. I ran the children's program at the time and spent many hours with the kids and teens in support groups, playing games and just hanging out.

It was lovely to talk to this -- now -- woman and see how happy she is in her life. She told me that I was the best thing about having to stay in the shelter. She remembered the activities we did together and how I made it fun for them to be there.

One of the sad things about working in the shelter is not knowing what happened to your clients after they left. If I see a woman on the street who I knew at the shelter, I do not approach her, as a confidentiality issue (if she's with others) and out of respect for the possibility that she doesn't want to acknowledge that time in her life. It's up to her to decide if she wants to approach me.

It means so much to me to know I helped people. Every couple of years I'll run into a former shelter client, a woman or one of the now-grown children. I love knowing that I was a part of such a transformational change in their lives, even if only for that short time.

Today I'm thankful for everyone who's been there for me during the hard times in my life. And I'm also thankful to have had the opportunity to be there for someone else.

Happy Thanksgiving!

New book: What to Do When You Are Fired or Laid Off

This book is a how-to guide for getting back on your feet after losing your job. I was interviewed and my "case study" appears on pages 26-27.

I was laid off three times in four years, so I have learned a thing or two about bouncing back! Find it on Amazon here.


Falling behind

I'm sorry I've fallen behind lately on this blog. I find that, while I'm still noticing and enjoying the little things, I sometimes forget to acknowledge them when I'm busy and rushing around. The whole point of this blog was to make me bring those little happy moments to the forefront. So let's try this again!

My friend, the hummingbird. I wish I could say I had taken this photo, but the little guys are too quick for my slow reflexes with the camera phone.

On my way to the stadium, there's a stand of agapanthus plants where the hummingbirds like to hang out. I love just standing and watching them for a couple of minutes.

Image by Maria Corcacas



Look at that pink tongue sticking out and that fluffy foot. Need I say more?

Read my tribute to Baby here.