I've been thinking a lot this past year about feeling appreciated. You either like your job or you don't, insofar as you enjoy or loathe or tolerate the constellation of activities that makes up your particular galaxy of employment. (In the case of one of my jobs: manipulating small children, filling out forms, entering data, emanating a general odor of schoolmarm. In the case of job # 2: practicing, schlepping, shamelessly promoting oneself, occasionally performing, haggling over calendars, calculating tax liability, begging.)
But how you feel about the day-to-day grind of your job can only take you so far. What you really want -what most people really want- is to be appreciated. This is why musicians lap up that post-concert schmooze while pretending mightily not to. This is why people in some positions -jobs that require you to give and give more as par for the course- burn out. This year I had one parent out of 40 tell me they appreciated what I'd done for their kids. The praise was searing, almost painful, as if I'd quaffed ice-cold water after a month in the desert.
So I've been trying to do more appreciating. I have become fulsome in my praise of reference librarians. I sent my exterminator a thank you note with a Starbucks gift card. I emailed our secretary, thanking her for keeping us from exploding in a fiery ball of disorganization. I want you to know you're doing a good job.
You're doing a good job, readers! Now go hunt someone down and tell them the same before I vomit from the cheesiness of it all.