Good Luck Chucks…

When I got ready for work yesterday, I felt like a little kid as I excitedly put on my brand-new, on-sale Chuck Taylors. I have bought many pairs of shoes in my life, many fancy, expensive styles, but I don’t think any of brought me as much pure joy as these $20 shoes. I literally found myself dancing around, recreating scenes from Footloose in my head.

The minute I threw them on, I felt 9-years old again, ready to take on the world and whatever it laid down in front of me to walk on, and I was determined to make the most of the day because you can never fully recapture the feeling you have that first day you break out your cool new kicks.

This nostalgia-fueled bliss carried with me for most of the day, which altogether was a good one, despite my failed attempt at an exotic instant lunch. I had stocked up on some creative, easy-to-make lunch options at Wegmans over the weekend knowing that I probably wouldn’t feel much like cooking this week. I indulged in their selection of natural, international insta-meals, including 2 Indian curry dishes and an easy-cook miso soup mix.

Oddly enough, the issue I had was not with the curry, the option I was most skeptical about, but instead with the miso soup. First off, instant soup should have no more than 2 steps. This one was so complicated, I actually needed to read (and re-read) the box instructions to prepare.

Their version of miso soup was also questionable: udon noodles and freeze-dried tofu and spinach (instead of seaweed). It also came with a package of gloppy, unidentifiable “seasoning,” which I used cautiously and conservatively. The end result basically equated to a bowl filled with a mish-mosh of 4 equally unsatisfying and bland ingredients. Fortunately for me, I found one of my almost-forgotten pudding cups still in the fridge. Here’s to healthy eating!

As remarkable as all this is, the rest of the day was even more ordinary. It was a good day, but nothing particularly exciting happened. I got a chance to talk for awhile with a coworker who I haven’t had the opportunity to talk much with, which was cool, and joked around with a few others who I interact with more regularly.

Yesterday morning also included a nice pick-me-up when I received a few emails notifying me I had received “Cause for Applause” points from coworkers. Cause for Applause is this peer-recognition program that my company participates in where each employee is given 15 points each month to “give” to fellow coworkers to acknowledge a job well done. There are different point amounts you can award, for different categories (team focused, excellence, resilient, and a few others I can’t remember offhand). There’s also the option of submitting a comment to explain why the person deserves the recognition. It’s all done anonymously, so you can acknowledge someone’s work without feeling silly about it, which I like, plus it adds a level of fun/mystery because you’re never quite sure who recognized/appreciated something you did.

So it was nice to get the emails this morning with sweet/funny messages from coworkers, welcoming me to the team, acknowledging the work I’ve done so far, and congratulating me for fitting in so well with the group. That especially made me feel good, since, as noted before, I couldn’t help but feel like an awkward panda the first few weeks. I definitely feel like things have gotten much better, especially this week and last, but it’s always nice to have a little reassurance.

The added bonus is that after you accrue certain point amounts, you can start redeeming them for gift cards for restaurants, the movies, and certain stores. I’m already debating where I should cash my points in at, but honestly, that’s secondary to how good it feels to be recognized by my peers. Have I mentioned I love my job?

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