Archives For appreciation

I watched someone in my office building being whisked away last week by EMT on a stretcher to the nearest hospital. She had come into work like any ol’ normal workday and, a few short moments later, had her chest exposed while random strangers were doing rhythmic compressions in an attempt to save her life.

I don’t personally know this woman as we work for different companies, but I recognized her because she and I eat in the same cafeteria on the first floor of a multi-story building. I’ve had her on my mind for several days. As of Friday, I had learned she was breathing on her own after having been without oxygen for an extended period of time. And after this weekend, I’ve learned she is able to sit up in bed.

While I have no doubt she likely faces a long road to recovery, it seems that miracles do happen.

Prior to this incident, I planned on sharing my thoughts about a school assignment given by a third grade teacher in Colorado to her students. It’s been passed around through various social media platforms under the heading “I Wish My Teacher Knew.” If you haven’t already heard about these powerful testimonies, check out the story here and here.

I wish you knew

There are a lot of things that I wish the people close to me knew. There are things I wish the people I barely know knew.

I’m not a big fan of funerals. In fact, I really detest them. But the one thing that I take away from every funeral I attend is the feeling of love. Love from the people who gather to memorialize the deceased. It is both beautiful and gut-wrenching to hear people talk so fondly of the person who is no longer here with them in physical form.

I know I’m not the first to think these thoughts, but why do we tend to wait to tell the people we care about how we feel about them until they aren’t with us to receive the message?

Below are some of my I Wish My (fill in the blank) Knew messages if you’d like to read them. If you feel so inclined, I would encourage you to add your own in the comments section or just share them directly with those you care about.

Don’t wait to tell people how you feel about them. Nothing in life is more important than love and relationships.

I wish my husband knew that I feel grateful and not always deserving to be loved so deeply by him.

I wish my oldest child knew that I think he’s a lot like his dad, which explains why he both inspires and infuriates me. And that I know without a doubt that he can surpass his goals. I wish he knew how much his future excites me and how I enjoy watching every second of it unfold.

I wish my middle child knew how brave and kind I think he is for always thinking about others before himself (his siblings being excluded from that general rule of course). And how I fight back tears knowing he will always give me a genuine hug and smile no matter how old he gets.

I wish my youngest knew that when people say that she looks and acts just like me, it fills me up. I wish she knew that I look forward to her loud, unapologetic laughter every morning when I first wake up and her soft, deliberate storytelling every night before I fall asleep.

I wish my dad knew that I still look up to him to this day and always will.

I wish my mom knew that not a day goes by when I don’t count my blessings that she is still in my life to guide me.

I wish my sister knew that I love her for introducing me to rock music, snow skiing, and softball. (But I still don’t forgive her for chasing me around the house with her clarinet while blaring the theme song from Jaws.)

I wish my grandparents knew that I still miss them and everything they stood for.

I wish the entire family I married into knew that I had no idea when I said “I Do” how much they would shape my life for the better.

I wish my super close friends knew that I don’t tend to have that many of them and that they are one of the rare few because they are understanding, funny, patient, kind, and have pushed me beyond my limits.

I wish my dog knew that I never want her to cross the rainbow bridge, but when she does, I want her to look after our other dog because I have no doubt he’s still stupid in heaven (and I say that lovingly).

I wish my coworkers knew that I want them to consider me a good, reliable colleague. And that I recognize there is more in each of us than the professional hats we wear and more that defines us beyond the four walls in which we interact.

I wish my children’s teachers knew this.

I wish my kids’ coaches knew how much of an influence they are leaving on every young life that they touch and that I am thankful for every moment they’ve chosen to invest.

I wish those of you reading this right now knew that I write as a way to release my thoughts when I can’t always verbalize them. You taking time out of your day to read this means a lot to me.

I wish God knew I still rely on him.

I wish the woman who suffered a heart attack last week knew that I am thankful she survived to live another day.

Written by Heidi Woodard

This was the view I had last Friday.

melted snow

and my mind tricked me into believing that spring was almost here

This was the view taken from the same camera angle just two days later on Sunday.

snow returns

you are an evil deceiver, Jack Frost

My mindset went from incredibly upbeat to completely ticked off in 48 hours. My mood fell as quickly as the thick snow came down.

I am left to wonder, will THIS be the final snow fall of the season here in Nebraska?

I. Am. Over. Winter.

My kids have a slightly different perspective.

snow day

yet another day off from school

Why can’t I have the same level of appreciation as they do for snow days?

It’s painfully obvious I’m not a kid anymore. Sure, on the surface, it would seem like a nice thing to experience a three-day weekend. And perhaps I would enjoy it more if it didn’t take me 30 minutes to warm up from the time I get out of my bed in the morning. If I wasn’t thinking about letting yet another running workout slip by because I hate the treadmill more than I hate math. If I wasn’t stressed about staying on top of everything in the office without physically being in the office.

This upcoming weekend will mark the end of my boys’ basketball seasons. They played 75 games between the two of them…and neither are ready for their seasons to end.

Guess what? I AM READY.

I am ready to switch to the equally (if not more) insane season of baseball, because those games are played outside and not within the confines of a gymnasium.

I am ready to run outside with a familiar group of colleagues over my lunch hour instead of dragging myself onto a hamster wheel.

I am ready to walk my dog on familiar trails and hear the neighborhood buzz as kids play in inflatable pools and run through sprinklers.

I am ready to blind people with my pasty white legs and wear flip flops as often as possible.

I am ready to take our vacation to Great Wolf Lodge, where my four-year old can experience (for the first time) what all the fuss is about.

I am ready to bid farewell to frigid temps and my perspective. Both are getting a little bitter this time of year.

Created by Heidi Woodard

Soak it up, soak it in

September 30, 2012

Oh, Sunday night. You bring me such conflicting emotions.

I used to dread you. Because you marked the end of the weekend and the beginning of my return to corporate America.

I am no longer anxious about the week ahead; rather, I am grateful for the week behind.

Scratch that. I am grateful for the hours, the minutes, the seconds to soak up everything this world has to offer.

I went out running today. Not to escape my reality like I’ve been guilty of doing before, but to appreciate the realness of little things.

The world will move on…with or without me. I’m either in the moment or I’m not.

I don’t always pause to recognize the beauty that beckons me every step of the journey.

I did today.