You Better Recognize

Posted on January 15, 2008

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Given that I am almost 30, and have checked off several of the traditional “accomplishments” of life – high school graduation, college graduation, marriage, etc. – I try to control my expectations of recognition these days. I go about my work, completing tasks without a “thanks” or “nice job”. I long for a break from the incessant need for acknowledgment and attention. I consider it yet another sign of achieving adulthood, like being able to get up early or change the oil in the car on time (neither of which I am able to do). To have some zen-like satisfaction in the face of ingratitude, the perspective to realize that life is work, so I should just get over myself and get busy – ah, that would be nice.

Of course, there are still days when I regress to the 2 year old version of myself and am thrilled with my own shit. And I want people to recognize. Did you see the eggs I made you honey? Were they the best eggs ever? Did you see I did the dishes? Look, I’m writing an email! And so on. And it is on these lonely days that I turn to a good friend, one who always provides support and appreciation. My dog Doodle.

Doodle gets excited the very moment I stir in bed when I wake up. Turning down the covers and sitting up is rewarded by leaps and licks from my furry friend. Morning pee? He’s right there, cheering me and waiting his turn. Sheer pandemonium breaks out once I start putting any clothes on. Doodle is blown away by this. He jumps in excitement nearly to my shoulders. While others expect me to do things like be on time, or return calls, or finish projects, Doodle is happy if I manage to make it out of bed. And frankly, so am I. After years of anxiety and pressure and perfectionism, I enjoy Doodle’s standards for celebration, and take my appreciation when I can get it.

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Posted in: aging