I am a sucker for praise. A sucker, I tell you. I love getting a gold star at the end of the day. Almost as much as I love getting flowers for a job well done. Pink, please. And lots of them.
You know what stinks, though, is that people do not pat you on the head or send you flowers for the million assorted jobs that make up a day. When I hand-letter my envelopes to the electric company, the person who opens them doesn't care about the perfect slope on my Copperplate, they just want me to pay my bill. The flowers in my garden don't care that my watering can is antique zinc with just the right patina, they just want to be watered. Neither do my children care about how long it took me to cook dinner, that I have made a Martha Stewart recipe with hard-to-find ingredients and artful presentation, they just want to eat it (or not). And that sort of stinks, because sometimes what gets me through a project is the idea that everyone will be so grateful once I've finished, and when they aren't, I feel resentful.
Since I am a grownup and not a cocker spaniel, I am going to stop feeling bad when I don't receive the praise I think I deserve and not expect either praise or appreciation, but to send myself flowers and learn to love doing things for other people just because I'm doing them for myself. I have to start doing things because they are fun, not because anyone will be grateful for my hard work. Maybe the kids won't say thank you for my artfully frosted cupcakes, but I will know that they are beautiful and I will enjoy eating them that much more. And since I'm not expecting a gold star, when I do actually receive one, it will shine just a little bit brighter.
Follow my other projects inspired by Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Challenge at posts filed under Happy Mondays.