Thank you letters

 

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image from pixabay.com

Remember when you were a kid and your parents had you write out thank you letters after you received a gift for your birthday or a holiday like Hanukkah or Christmas?  Have you ever gotten a thank you note from someone out of the blue for something you did at your job, and you’re like, “I was just doing my job, wow!”

 

When I was at Harvard, I kept all of the thank you notes I received, even via email, and posted them on my wall near my desk.  I liked to think of it as my wall of positivity. When I was having a very bad day, I’d look at the wall and remind myself, “THIS is why I do what I do.” Sometimes students would see the notes and remark on them, and tell me that it made them feel even more comfortable meeting and talking with me.

I had a great Zoom meeting with my faculty advisor this morning and felt really inspired afterward.  We talked about how I can use my writing skills in humane education and she gave me lots of ideas and suggestions.  I remember a comment she made on one of my assignments – had I ever thanked the Creative Writing teacher I had in college?  And I thought of my work study job I had in college, where a true gentleman by the name of Carl G. Martin was my supervisor and ran the Office of Student Services.  I’ve thought of writing to him and thanking him for the influence he had on me in my college years.  But I’ve not done it. So, that ends today.

There are many people I want to thank for how they have positively changed my life.  But today, I’m going to start with just one, and I would like to encourage any of you to send me your thank you letters and I will gladly post them here.   Maybe you want to thank someone who is no longer with us, or someone you have no idea how to find or reach.  You will receive all the credit, of course.  I won’t edit them, I promise.

So here it goes, my first thank you letter, to my friend David B.   

Dear David,  

Thank you for having been my friend for the past 12 years.  Thank you for always being such a calming, positive influence (even when you didn’t think you were.)  Thank you for always be willing to sit and listen and then answer probing, thought-provoking questions in a non-judgmental way.  Thank you for being “that poor bastard who had to deal with you for more than eight hours a day for two years, sharing an office with you!” (That’s what my now ex-hb said at one point, and I remember telling you, and laughing about it.)   

Thank you for being that friend who was willing to sit across a table from me the night before I left my marriage.  You held my hand as I sobbed, hysterically at times, not being able to catch my breath.  I remember you giving me a key to your apartment in case I needed a place to stay.  You didn’t say much that night, and I suspect you knew you didn’t need to.  I just needed to know I wasn’t alone.  I needed to know I wasn’t a horrible person, and that I was loved, even though what I was contemplating doing was ripping me up inside. And you let me know that I would be okay.  It might take time, but I would be okay.

Thank you for watching me grow these past several years and for supporting my newest quest to start a master’s program at the young old age of 44, and not calling me insane for doing so.  Thank you for understanding that like you, I need to constantly be learning to be happy with my life.  Thank you for writing one of my recommendation letters for that program and for talking with me for quite a while beforehand, again, asking those great questions you always do.  

Thank you for being that type of friend, who, when we talk, it’s like we just saw each other yesterday.  Thank you for loving me as only a friend like that would. 

Love, Terri

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If you would like to email me a letter or write one as a guest post, you can email me at chasingsimpledreams AT gmail.com.  Or, please feel free to drop a comment on the blog with your email (the email is not shared or shown publicly), and I will gladly post it for you. 

It’s my hope to get an atmosphere of gratitude flowing around those of us interacting here or reading the blog.  When you’re grateful, it colors your whole world in a very positive light.

Thank you for reading.

 

Off the Prozac!!!!

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The pic of my beauties, Osito and Max, has nothing to do with Prozac of course, but what would a blog post be without some of my furballs??!!

That’s right, folks, as of yesterday, all the Prozac is out of my system! Gone! Finito! Out of here!!

Those of you who have read my blog for a long time know how important this is to me and what a long road it’s been. I know my last post on the subject said that i was going to stay on it. And at the time, I did. But about five weeks ago, I just decided, “you know what? Maybe my occasional down-ish feelings right now are just situational. Or, just normal down periods, like everyone has. I wonder how I would feel if I were to just stop taking it for a day, and then maybe two. You know, see where it goes?” So, I did.

You see, 20 mg is usually the starting dose that they have you take. I remember the difference in the beginning – how that one little pill would make a subtle (but noticeable to me) difference in my alertness. It was if things were a bit “sharper.” Maybe heightened is another word to use to describe it. At any rate, that’s the best way I can describe it.

So, when I started my new regimen of no Prozac on a daily basis, this time I didn’t say anything to anyone other than my friend Dan, and one person here in UT, my friend, M. Dan isn’t local but he knows my struggles with this in the past so he was there to check up on me since we text/facebook message almost every day and he would notice any mood swings, if they occurred.  Same thing for my friend here in Utah. They’re both people I trust a lot to tell me things straight up, No Bullshit. I think it’s important we all have at least one or two awesome people in our life like that, don’t you agree?

As I went for a run earlier today, I thought of how my life has changed in the past five years since I’ve been on Prozac. About how I’ve changed, internally, and what has gone on during that time, externally. It’s been quite the ride.

In five years, I’ve gotten divorced, and began volunteering with animals. I’ve had one serious long term and long distance relationship with someone who was completely different from my husband, and I learned I did have the capacity to love and be loved again. I was not completely broken and wouldn’t have to spend the rest of my life alone, as I feared when I first began thinking of leaving my marriage.

Back in Boston, I met some wonderful women who quickly formed a great circle of friends, and whom I miss greatly now. There is one in particular who even became a sister to me, Sarita.  I call her family my “Massachusetts family.” While I knew I was lucky to have her and them in my life back then, as the saying goes, you never truly know what you have until you don’t have it anymore. I can keep up with all of them on facebook and the like, but it’s not the same when you can’t just call them up and say “hey, do you want to come over and hang out?” Sarita and I used to do that a lot – we just “got” each other, from the very beginning. I call her my sister by another mother. And I really miss her.

In those five years, I realized that working at a job that pays you well monetarily is not the end-all of life. I’ve given up a good paying job that just didn’t fulfill me anymore to move across the country to a place where I didn’t know a soul, and to where I could work with animals full-time. I thought that move was my dream come true, but have now realized, it wasn’t. I’m still figuring out why that is the case, but I’m confident in deciding it was not the place for me to stay, long term.

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Yep, another picture of Zion, this one taken last week while I went with a friend! Btw, there are absolutely no changes made to this pic – the sky was actually THAT blue!

And again, I’ve made one very good friend here who I know I will miss seeing on an almost-daily basis, M.  I’m using that initial for her first name and for the fact that many of us call her “Mom” at work. Seeing her makes me smile because she always tries to get through every day with a positive attitude. She is the one who taught me to start the day with a hug from someone who cares. I’m comforted by knowing she will only be 75 miles away or so, rather than the 2500+ distance that separates me and Sarita, but it’s scary to think of starting over again, you know? Once again, being the new person in town. However, while it’s scary, it’s also exciting. I get to see things again for the first time. And this time, I do have a friend who already lives in town, J.

These friendships have made me realize I was not really living and trying to be my authentic self when I was married. I was going through the motions of life, carrying out what I thought was supposed to be my dream life. Having a house and a dog and a husband to come home to every night. Having friends in the form of other couples (who were really his friends and not mine) to hang out with. Having a healthy(ier) bank account and less worries, knowing there was someone else to lean on. I didn’t work so hard to create friendships of my own. There were a few individuals I was friends with, but those friendships, while one or two may still continue on today, were not as strong  or intense as the ones I made afterward, while on my own.

 

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It was beautiful to see the Virgin River flowing and looking so clear, compared to how it looks in the summertime.

While I was running, I was also thinking, how I feel like I’m a different person, or a bit of a different person, than I was five years ago. It’s weird though- physically, I’m still the same (if not wanting to be in the same shape as I was in after the divorce) person, but mentally and philosophically, there have been many changes. And I think there are many more to come.

What is that saying – if something doesn’t scare you, then it’s not worth doing? Well, then I guess this move of location and job is worth doing.

 

 

 

 

 

Little Things for Which I am Thankful

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I know these posts usually come out on a Friday, but I wanted to be able to write this post from a place of gratitude, you know? And that’s how I am feeling today. Yesterday, well, in the words of someone who commented on my blog recently, I was just “waiting until Friday.”

1. I was lamenting with a colleague how it seems like libraries have changed so much over the past few years. To me, they seem to have become very corporatized (well, some of them, anyway) and I look at my own library and see how it’s changed. When I started there, I was by far, the most inexperienced person. And I mean, BY YEARS, I was the least experienced. And knowledgeable. Now, I’m the one who has been in the department the longest. It’s scary, and it’s sad.

But, someone decided to make my day yesterday, and it came in the form of one of the reference librarians with whom I worked in the very beginning. Naomi came into the library yesterday for the first time since she had retired, back in 2006. She’s the only librarian in our library who has a plaque dedicated to her near the reference desk. At first when she walked in with her family, I asked “are you here for the reunion?” and then I looked at her and was like “oh my God, Naomi!!” and immediately ran at her.

That woman has probably forgotten more than I will ever learn in my life. She reminded me of a time in my job when I was always, always learning. You’d think you had exhausted every avenue you knew of, and every resource, and you’d go to one of the more senior librarians and ask, “is there anything I’m missing?” and inevitably they would come up with something. (I still have that today in a colleague or two, but it’s just not the same. When you add up all the years of experience in my department these days, we probably add up to about 1 to 1.75 of the library reference librarians’ experience before, and that was a big department of about 7.

When she left, her husband turned to me and said “you made her day,” and I said “no, she made mine.”  We just kept giving each other hugs.

2. I may be dating myself by bringing up this movie, but does anyone out there remember the movie, Legends of the Fall? Back from around 1994? You may remember it had Aidan Quinn and Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins? Well, there was a line in the movie where the old Native American says something about Brad Pitt’s character, Tristan, coming into the “quiet stage” of his life. That’s kind of how I felt earlier this week when we had all that rain, and the shortness of the daylight seemed to be strikingly obvious to me, much more so than normal. It made me really start to think about things and get some things sorted out in my mind. And I have felt kind of “quiet.” It’s kind of like the feeling that comes over me when all I can hear in the apartment is the sound of the bubbling pet water fountain and maybe a snoring animal or two. Like right now, as I sit here typing this, every single furball in this place is sound asleep. It’s a feeling of contentment, of just feeling like everything is right as it should be, right now.

3. I am grateful for having good friends and for having good friends who give me good advice. Not necessarily what I want to hear, but good advice in that it comes from a good place inside of them and because it’s honest.  One of them told me to think of my dreams or life as a sentence that you diagram – think about the big picture, and then see the parts that make up the whole. Think of what you want the end result to be, and then you’ll figure out how to get there.

4.  I am grateful that the weather today is absolutely gorgeous. The sun is out, and lots of people are walking and running around the reservoir out back. It’s one of those days where I wish we could just freeze the calendar and not move forward.

5. I am grateful for quiet, peaceful days like today, where there is nothing on the schedule unless I want it to be. So, I’m going to the movies tonight with my best friend and her husband. We’re a movie watching trio – Gone Girl is what we will be seeing. I’ve read the book, so I can’t wait to see how it translates to the big screen. Definitely one of those books that is hard to put down.

6. I am grateful for young adult fiction about vampires. Yes, I said it. There, I admit it!! It’s what I like to read! It allows me to escape into another world and reminds me of what I loved about reading as a child. I used to lose myself in books, and now I”m doing it again.

7. I am grateful for views like those pictured above. And for coming home and seeing my two boys, Max and Sebastian, curled up on the loveseat (see below.)  I wanted to sit there, but I don’t have heart to make them move. Could you??

Sleepy boys...
Sleepy boys…

What are you thankful for this week? Please drop me a line below. And if you’ve liked this post, please hit like or subscribe! Thanks for reading.

Little Things for Which I am Thankful

If you know Boston at all, you know where this was taken.
If you know Boston at all, you know where this was taken.
  1. I am so thankful for my friends, both new and old, in person and online. You know who you are. I’m grateful for all the questions you throw in my direction when you feel I might have my head stuck in the clouds about my dreams, because they keep me down on this earth. And I’m grateful for your ability to make me smile and laugh.  You teach me that it’s ok to dream, and not be like everyone else. And that if you work hard enough at it, your dreams CAN become your reality.
  2. Air conditioning, folks, plain and simple. Yesterday, there was 93% humidity in the Boston area at one point. In case you live in a climate where you never see those kinds of numbers, well, let me just tell you, it’s GROSS. You basically walk outside, take a breath, and wonder why you ever bothered to shower that day already.
  3. It has actually been really nice to have a roommate these last few weeks. While it’s been an adjustment to having someone else around, she’s pretty respectful, and so is her partner, and when I walked into the apartment last night, she was doing some exercises, so I got to teach her a few things and correct her form on some others. It was nice to see her doing something which I love so much, and to realize, you know, I really can help people with this. I may feel like a fraud some days, not having the hands-on experience yet, and I definitely don’t know everything there is to know (and won’t even claim to do so), but it’s something to work on. When you know everything there is to know about a subject, then it gets boring. Luckily, my current field, and my next one (notice I didn’t add in the word “hopeful” after next…I AM going to make it happen) are fields where lifelong learning is involved.
  4. Baby geese!!!
    Baby geese!!!

    I came in late to work on Monday because of an appointment and because our policy is either you make up the time or have to take an entire half day off, I took the half day. It allowed me to spend time on my way home just gazing at the Charles, sitting (and laying part of the time) on a park bench, as if I didn’t have a care in the world. And I truly didn’t for that short period of time. I was still enough that even the baby geese felt safe enough to walk right past me.

  5. I am so very grateful for the view below and the cloudy skies. A lot of people don’t like having an overcast day. But for me, I enjoy them. First of all, I LOVE running in overcast skies. In sun, I literally feel like I am going to wilt. And also, they make me appreciate the sunny days all the more. I’m grateful for this realization because it has really helped me to focus and decide on an area of the country where I want to move. At least a state and a few regions of that state anyway. More on my decisions in a later post…..dum dum dum….. (by the way, I was touched with how many of you responded to my request for information on WA state. Thank you…)
  6. I think I have made a few decisions this week about the direction of my life over the next year or 18 months and while they are a bit terrifying, they’re also exciting. Might involve slowing down some of my paying off of debt so I can bank a lot in savings, but I’ll keep at both goals. I”ll explain in a later post.

 

:-)
🙂

 

As always, thanks for reading, and I hope you will all have a great weekend if I don’t post over it (although, I’m in a writing mood so you never know…)

If you’ve liked this post, please hit “like” below or subscribe or drop me a line! Thank you!!

 

Little Things for Which I’m Thankful

Been a very busy week, so no writing until now, and yes, I’m even a day early! Please enjoy the pic of my little HoneyBun taking a big, BIG yawn!

HoneyBunster!!
HoneyBunster!!!

1. Been working extra hours at the gym this week and since I had a lot of time saved up at my full-time job, I took some half days and full days off this week. But I still get paid!

2. With all I’m juggling, to say I was amazed that I got a good performance review at work is an understatement. But it was even better than last year’s, so I am very happy with that. I am usually at my most productive when I have the most on my plate.

3. I have a roomie for part of the summer and my animals are totally loving her! I’m sure they get lonely during the day. When I came home from working out this morning, one was on her lap, another was right next to her, and yet a third was at her feet on the bed. It was super cute. It’s nice to have someone around since I’ve been on my own for about 4 years now, in July. Her mom is helping me with some rent for her, so I’m planning on taking that and throwing it at my student loan. (Truth be told, I would have let her stay with me even without the money, but like I always say, every little bit helps!) And it forces me to clean up after myself a bit more, which is always a good thing. I also realized it makes me more productive in the mornings, as I don’t lollygag as much as I otherwise would, because I don’t want to wake her up. (I tend to take my sweet time waking up in the mornings.)

4. I’ve been cat sitting this week to make some extra cash. The lady lives super close to me, so it’s not a hardship, and her kitty is super cute. Within three days he was super snuggly with me, and she said that’s amazing because it took months for him to warm up to her like that. I guess I’m the “cat whisperer!” LOL  (Either that, or more likely, he is just super lonely without his mom being home.)

5. The corrective exercise science stuff has finally started sticking in my brain. Which is great because I need to take the certification test soon! I get three tries before the end of July. And my online physiology and anatomy class ends soon with a take home exam. Only thing is, I’m behind so I’ve got some work cut out for me to do this weekend. Thankfully, it’s the holiday so I have two days off.

6.  Got another chapter to work on for my author!! And this one is a good one, for sure. So, I definitely have my work cut out for me when I take everything into account that I have to get done in the next five or six weeks, but as a friend reminds me, it’s “all a means to an end.”

And that is as good of a segue as I can come up with to end this post! Have a great holiday weekend, everyone, if you are in the US!

As always, if you have liked this post, please drop me a line, or hit “like” or subscribe! And, thank you!

 

A Little Bit Stronger

I thought that the first three years after my divorce were really hard. Especially the first one, when at first I tried to fight depression completely on my own without medication. Then, I met someone and fell in love and felt my heart open up a little bit again, and thought, hey maybe I can be happy with someone again. Then, it ended. Read more

Little Things (or not so little) That I am Thankful For

My "colleagues" for this afternoon - luckily, they're quiet so I can get a lot done. :-)
My “colleagues” for this afternoon – luckily, they’re quiet so I can get a lot done. 🙂

This has been a really unique week. While everyone else had a three day weekend last weekend, I worked Sunday and Monday, but the end result is that I have Friday off and the weather this weekend is supposed to be on the warmer side. Dare I say, even “tropical?” because it may even hit 50 degrees here in the Boston area. Woohoo! So you know what that means ?? That’s right, RAIN! Read more