Gracious Gratitude
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Gracious Gratitude

Day 496


Lest you think I am being a whining entitled person by what I’m about to share — bear with me. There’s a bigger lesson. Also, I’m very aware that the “problem” about which I write isn’t a problem, really. Not unless you’re counting first-world-entitled-person stuff in that category.

Today I had a new cleaning person come to my house. She came highly recommended by a neighbor, who’d sung this woman’s praises up one side and down another. After exchanging some texts, we’d agreed on her coming today since it’s the day I’m in my home office sorting paperwork and billing and the like. She showed up on time, we did a walk through of the house and then I retreated to the office with the dogs to get out of her way. At one point early on I heard what sounded like a crashing noise from the living room, something falling down. I paused, waiting to hear if she’d call to me (as I’d expect if something broke etc…).


Back to work I went. A bit later, another crashing sound, this one from the bedroom and accompanied by a quietly muttered “Sh*t”. Again, I paused. Here, too, figured that if it were something of mine that had broken, she’d inform me. I guessed instead that perhaps it was just having dropped something on her foot or spilled something — nothing serious.

Through the day I popped out here and again — taking the dogs out, getting a cup of tea, and doing a quick scan to see how things were going. All seemed okay.

End of day comes and she wraps up. I take a wander around the house and immediately notice that my reading glasses, which had been nestled on the nightstand next to my bed, from where they never move, were gone. I called to her to ask if she’d perhaps knocked them over. Her first move was to get defensive and ask if I wanted to see inside her purse. I was aghast. I had not even thought that she might have taken them, instead figured that the crashing noise was them being knocked to the floor and maybe broken in the process. Not great, but not a big deal. I can replace them. I told her that wasn’t necessary but was quite perplexed that they’d just vanished.

I walked around the rest of my house and all seemed okay, but she was nowhere to be found. So I stepped outside to see if she’d gone to her car and stepped squarely into a thick cloud of cigarette smoke. She was sitting right on my front step, puffing like a chimney. Now, to be clear, I’m a former smoker and am not about to excoriate someone for still smoking; but to be sitting right on my step doing so rather than down by her car or at least away from the house (when it’s clearly a non smoking home), was quite off-putting.

But, the house was clean, and barring the glasses thing, the job was done. So I wrote her a check and headed back inside. That’s when I discovered the source of the other crashing sound. The damage was on the shelf in the living room — a LLadro figurine I’d received for my Bat Mitzvah. It now was headless. The head was next to the figurine, tucked behind it as if to hide it.

Am I sad that something I received as a kid was broken? Sure, but that’s not a big deal. It’s just a thing. It may be able to be fixed with some Gorilla Glue and even if not, again, it’s just a thing. The part that bothers me, is the utter lack of accountability.

Here’s the thing … in my experience it is far better to acknowledge an error and face the consequences, than to lie. I believe that lying, whether by overtly doing so or by omission, is far worse than any mistake that someone could make. People make mistakes — we break things, we don’t do what we’re supposed to, we forget. It’s not about not making mistakes. It’s about being accountable, owning them, stepping up and making right.

What’s really a shame is that her failure to be accountable resulted in her losing what would have been pretty consistent work, not to mention referrals. Instead, it’s a one time gig and if I’m asked about her services in the future, I’ll state that I would not hire her again and leave it at that. Anyone who knows me generally knows that lack of effusive commentary has a clear meaning.

Now to find the Gorilla Glue …

So glad that I made the kids two of these beds. All day, they curled up together on the one. Too cute.
Six years ago today — it was the last day I’d spend with my Princess. It also was the day when she finally deigned to allow my friend Lisa to pet her…after 20 years of Lisa trying desperately to befriend this utterly finicky and more than a little ferocious feline. RIP Princess. You still are missed.

Today’s Gracious Gratitude. I am grateful for:

  • Having lessons present themselves to me
  • My dogs
  • Having the resources to have someone help me by cleaning my house
  • Having a clean house
  • Having a house
  • The smell of cookies baking
  • Arugula salad
  • Knowing that next week I get to take an exciting trip
  • Looking up at my bulletin board and seeing a series of notes and cards from people I love
  • The inspirational poster over my desk



There are studies that show a simple practice of gratitude awareness can be a real game changer for productivity.

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