My Beautiful Imaginary View
I know it must sound foolish, but I had the greatest time sending out that email every week. I was the timekeeper in an office of approximately 30 employees, and I had to make sure to meet my deadline to get everyone's time for that pay period submitted to the powers that be.
I had a large office on an outside wall, but didn't have a window to see outside, and had no natural light at all. No one in the entire two-story building had a window! It may not have done much good to have one since I probably would have been staring at a bumper of a large pickup truck in the parking lot anyway. But I digress.
As I said, I would send an email to all my coworkers to remind them to turn in their time sheets. When I first started the reminder emails, it would be very plain and to the point. "Don't forget it's Thursday! Please turn in your time sheets to me by 2:00!" After a few weeks of that, I began to get reply emails encouraging me to be more friendly. Okay, I can do that. I'm a friendly person. Does putting a smiley face at the end of the same phrase make it friendly? Apparently not. Time to change it up a bit and have some fun with it.
So the emails changed drastically. I went from a two or three sentence email to one that was a few paragraphs. One of the attorneys there quickly dubbed it the "weather report" even though I'm nowhere close to being weather savvy.
What a Beautiful View
I would begin by writing about the lovely view I saw from my office window. Some days I would describe a perfect spring day, complete with green freshly mown grass, park benches, and parents blowing bubbles while the children raced to pop them all.
Other days, like in the winter, I would tell of how the wind was whipping the treetops, causing them to appear to shiver in the frigid air. Or I'd write about how the parking lot may look like a small lake from all the recent rainfall we had received.
Everyone there knew the truth about our pea gravel parking lot. There was no beauty in it at all. It was big enough for all of us to park, but no larger. Behind the space where we parked was an RV park. Not quite the view I wrote of, which is what made it even more fun.
Although the nonexistent scene changed from one week to the next, one thing remained constant: how beautiful the view was at that moment.
Joy in My Heart
Over the next couple years, I was able to make some coworkers shake their heads at me, quite possibly whispering behind closed doors how I must have lost a few marbles somewhere along the way. Maybe I have.
Others would email back and tell me how the description of my "view" had helped them smile a little, making it through a tough day. The job was in a state office where the stress level was high all the time, so taking the time to be a little silly in an email made the task of having one more thing to do than they had time to accomplish a little easier to bear.
The very first day I sent my "weather report" to everyone, one lady came by my office and poked her head in the doorway. "Where in the world did you dream that up? Did you overdose on some "happy pills"? Nope. I smiled, shrugged my shoulders, and replied that I had so much joy in my heart I couldn't contain it all!
Being Yourself is Freeing
I've always been a little different from others, but not in a bad way. I've been told that I still have the joy of a child, being amused by simple things. I've also been told I'm very naïve. Yeah, I will probably argue with them about it, but I am. They're right. I hoped to grow out of all these characteristics, but I'm 39 now, so I have a feeling they're here to stay. And I'm perfectly fine with that.
Years ago, I tried to change parts of myself to be more accepted by my peers, less made fun of for being the nerd that I am. As I got older, I still rarely let everyone see my true colors.
For the last few years, I have learned that I'm a good person, by golly! It's good to be able to let your guard down and to just be yourself, whoever that is to you. It's so freeing! I no longer am concerned that someone doesn't like the color of my nail polish, or that I'll look like an "old schoolmarm" when I go to a restaurant by myself and bring a good book for company.
Be you! As the genius children's book author Dr. Seuss wrote in his book "Happy Birthday to You": "Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You." Yes, it's a children's book. But if we are going to teach our children that, shouldn't we, as adults, do the same?
Try it, starting right this instant. If you have to, do little things to be more yourself. Be a good person. Think of others before yourself, but take care of yourself too! You are more important than you believe you are!
© 2017 Diana Majors