Failing to Appreciate

City utility trucks setting up.

I tend to marvel at how we can experience so much in life, and fail to stop and ponder just how fortunate we are.  Whenever I made a face because we were having butternut squash for dinner instead of my usual favorite, mashed potatoes, my Mom was always good to remind us there were starving children in Vietnam who would love to have the meal set before us.  As a kid, I never gave thought to the time Mom dedicated to planning, cooking and cleaning up our meals.  I was, like many children, simply expecting that dinner would be ready at certain times and completely ignorant of the planning and work involved.

Cable company disconnect.

Earlier this year, in the wee hours of a morning, an intoxicated person drove his car into a utility pole in the alley that borders our south pasture.  I would not have known except I was up early to let the dogs out.  I saw a city truck and two police cars parked along the alley.  Two city workers were attempting to shore up the leaning pole and the police hung caution tape around the area.   A few days later the utility crew supervisor came to our house asking permission to come on our property to set a new pole.  I granted them access and grabbed my camera and zoom lens, glad for an opportunity to watch them work.  Of course after a couple of hours the sun was getting mighty hot and I got on with my daily tasks and chores, but I looked over every so often to check on their progress.  I understood it wasn’t just a matter of putting a new pole in the ground.  The process took several individuals, organizing and communicating every step of the way.  Each doing their part, each having a specialized job, and working as a team to complete the project safely.

Setting up the new structure.

When the utility and cable crews pulled away, I drove out in the buggy and noted some small ruts on the property from where the bigger trucks had anchored down.  I noted some of the car parts from the wreck discarded along our fence line.  FD and I filled the low spots over the next couple of days, and we picked up the debris from the accident.  I know people who would have called the city and complained about the ruts and debris, expecting the city to rectify the situation.  We assume it’s their job and that’s what they get paid for.  I have heard people complain about the refuse company too.  When they dump a polycart of trash in their truck and trash goes flying in the wind, it’s those “careless trash guys” that get the blame.  Are we not the individuals who are supposed to bag the trash so it stays contained?  Of course FD and I didn’t crash into the utility structure and we didn’t leave the mess, but it’s a small thing to fill the depressions left by the trucks, and an even smaller task to pick up trash in the alley.

City utility workers hooking up.

How many times do we take for granted, the people who serve us all year long?  Do we thank the person who delivers our mail without fail?  What about the person who cuts our hair or grooms our pets, or babysits our kids?  Do we wave at the refuse persons who take away our trash every week and say “I appreciate you”?  What about the co-worker who worked by our side to complete a project? And, what about the utility workers who get out in the wind, rain, sleet, snow and stormy weather to restore our power?  We may even neglect our own family members and friends, failing to give an appropriate thank you for simple things taken for granted.  We fail to appreciate.  And yet we have all of these high expectations of people.

Who can you thank today?

We live in a time where finger-pointing, blame, and negativity stem from our expectations of others.  I think it’s a better idea to create positive in our world.  I know I am more likely to go the extra mile if I know my work is appreciated.  Being cognizant of all that surrounds us and finding just a little time to say thank you can brighten just one persons day!  Just who is it that contributes to the happiness and comfort of your day?

© Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…

2 thoughts on “Failing to Appreciate

    1. Yes, I try to be appreciative… I worked in customer service most of my life and a “thank you” or a pat on the back always felt wonderful. I’m not sure many employers do that anymore. People go the extra mile with a few kind words! Tipping helps too, eh?


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