small awards

“…things you do that you think should earn you a reward.”

Before I spend too much time getting hung up on the semantics of award and reward, the first thing that came to mind simply because I first read the prompt as “reward” is how some days, not very many, and especially not now that I’ve shelved my crockpot for an Instapot, 6pm me used to be very happy with 6am me (let’s be honest now, my 6am days have dwindled in recent years) 7am me when I plan ahead well enough to have thrown a pork roast and some Liquid Smoke and a generous amount of Pacific sea salt in the crockpot before I went to work.

But if we are talking about small awards (and by “small” I mean postponed and by no means small and by “award” I mean extra stars or whatever awards they hand out in the next life for those moments when the battle is internal and you conquer the sometimes natural impulse to defend yourself and instead choose kindness), I would have to say every time I return unkindness with kindness. It isn’t easy. And it’s not to say there are not times when the right thing to do is to speak up and defend yourself, which, I fully believe, is possible to do kindly.

It’s more about the times when you take it on the chin for something that was not your fault, or even worse was an error on the part of your accuser, and often, despite your very best efforts to be a team player and to support people and to give them what they need.

Even if they sometimes reject it like a magnificent block in volleyball or basketball. You know. The ones that make the highlight reel because they seem to shove your shot or your hit right back down your throat as if it never even happened.

Those moments take courage. And I don’t always have courage. But when I do I feel good inside my heart knowing I’ve been true to my best self.

And on a good day, that’s really all the award, or reward, I need.

[Day 71 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]