Letters of Appreciation: #1 Mid-Columbia Library

Dear Mid-Columbia Library,

Though the first letter is a lot of pressure, I have chosen you to start with because you're at the top of my mind. I must mention that despite writing to you first, my letters will be in no particular order; I do not appreciate your organization and services more than I do, say, my family. It's just that I was thinking of you and it seemed as good a time as any to express my appreciation.

Thank you for your services. Thank you for being convenient, both in location as well as offering so many books for digital checkout. You have saved me hundreds of dollars both in book costs as well as gas, and so many measures of frustration and probably quite a few hours, too. Being able to go online to request a book, to download it, and loading ebooks onto my Nook or audiobooks onto my iPod, for free, is amazing. Not having to go to the actual library is a bonus, as it allows me to spend my already limited time reading the books you offer, not running annoying errands to pick up or return (or keep track of) your tomes. You have given me the ability to do more of what I like (reading) and less of what I don't (driving unnecessarily). This is invaluable to a grad student whose recreational time is relatively nonexistent, so thank you. I am grateful that you exist.


Appreciation and Gratefulness.

In general, I'm a negative person. I'm a hopeful pessimist, and I am bitter more than I am grateful. These are things I would like to change about myself, but it seems about as easy as changing my feet into fins, or my hair into leaves. You might remember that I'm getting my Masters in Social Work degree, and, as a requirement of this program, at my university, at least, a Social Work and Religion class is required. Another thing that I am not is comfortable with discussing religion or spirituality, particularly with a room full of relative strangers. Thankfully, for the most part, this class is broken up into smaller, more easily tolerable pieces like forgiveness, callings, and gratefulness.

Yesterday, the topic of discussion was gratefulness. Appreciation. And I realized that I don't appreciate as much as I should, and I express appreciation to those around me even less than that. So, as a way to notice more often the good in life; to find something, even small, to appreciate about the day or week, and train myself to be more positive, I'm going to write letters. One hundred letters, over however long it takes me to write them. One hundred letters of appreciation on this blog, and shared, when applicable, with those about whom they are written.

Nine Things About New England:

(I am spending three days in Massachusetts and Connecticut this week for work. This is my first trip to New England, and it has been informative.)

1. In the Boston Metro Area, I can't not think of Julianne Moore on 30 Rock when I hear women speaking. Particularly when she says, "You're a wackadoo, Donaghy."
2. We have driven all over MA and CT, and I have seen not a single Starbucks.
3. I have, however, counted as many as six Dunkin' Donuts locations in a five minute drive on the same street.
4. Scrunchies appear to be in vogue here, though I'm not sure if it's a trend resurgence or a holdover from the acid-washed days of yore. I have seen countless examples, including many young and apparently otherwise fashionable women who turn around to reveal ponytails in scrunchies.
5. It is much, much colder than I was expecting. I brought a thin fleece with me. This was a mistake.
6. The hotel clerk who was asked for "good, close" restaurant recommendations last night included McDonald's in his list of options. I think he needs a refresher on the definition of the words "good" and "restaurant."
7. I have absolutely no idea where I am at any point in time, geographically. This part of the country is, embarrassingly, just a jumble of tiny states, in my head. I have made a mental note to remedy this.
8. The only thing I have purchased, souvenir-wise, has been a Bruins jersey for Chris. This is another thing I have added to my "To-Remedy" list.
9. Tomorrow I leave for home at six a.m. Because I am still on Pacific time, it will feel like three a.m. Ouch.

Currently... 4/7/11


See's Vanilla Lollipops

Adele, 21

Marking (up):
Post-it Super Sticky Gridded Note Pad

Mio Water Enhancer

The Difference

...between then and now is, surprisingly, a lot. If I were to give you the condensed version, I'd tell you that I graduated in December from my BSW program, and that I'm signed up to begin an MSW at another university in June. I'd tell you that aside from hockey scrapbooking and bedroom redecorating, I haven't been very creative. I'm mostly okay with that.

I'd confess, in a whisper, after you were sworn to secrecy, that I started Weight Watchers in September and I've lost 37 pounds as of this writing. I'd say that I started, after years of doubting whether I could actually do it, the Couch to 5K program, and that I surprised myself by actually enjoying the running part - the walking part of the intervals is the part I dread.

I would squeal as I said that my husband and I are finally going on a honeymoon: just after our three year wedding anniversary, we'll be taking off on a seven day cruise to Mexico. This will be our first vacation together, and as I am wont to do when something I'm excited about is very far away, I have been obsessively planning. For example: I have researched, chosen, and purchased some motion sickness medication (Marezine), found the bag we will take onto shore (Ameribag Healthy Back Bag), and made a Google Document listing things to pack (A surge protector! Dryer sheets!). It's entirely possible I'm ridiculous.

So now you're caught up on me. What's new with you?