Selling it backward

Okay, so I can’t sleep. It’s like one of those things where you cannot locate something because you are looking for it. I’m trying to sleep and so it evades me. Bastard.

I’ve been coughing and sniffling. There’s already some crust in my eyes as if it cannot wait to glue my eyes shut when I try to open them in eight hours. Nasty visual, I know. This stupid cold has settled in my poor eyes. I should have downed some NyQuil three hours ago, but after this cold is gone I know I would still be taking it to help me sleep. I’m trying to stay off sleeping aids.

Lack of sleep brings on the thinking.

Here is something I have realized about myself: I am constantly surrounded by ungrateful people. The sad part is, most of the time it’s by choice. 

One of my favorite things to do is to buy/make gifts for people. Each Christmas I squirm impatiently. The reactions my gifts receive send me soaring for weeks (especially last Christmas when my mom and I ended up giving each other the same exact book).

That being sa–written, I also love to put together goody bags for the people I love when they are sick. Grandma and Papa used to do this for my brothers and me, and I’ve kept up with it when I can.

My senior year of high school, I popped into my then-best-friend’s house with a goody bag full of treats when she had been out sick for days. I even wore a doctor’s mask as a joke and adorned rubber gloves when we played cards (cards from the goody bag, of course). She loved it. It floored me to put a smile on her face and to hear the laugh that I so loved.

During February break of my senior year I was sick as a dog. The aforementioned friend texted me and asked how I was feeling. She also asked if she could come up to my house to retrieve the sunglasses she’d left in my car. I, of course, responded with a “sure!”, thinking maybe – just maybe – she was going to return the favor I’d done for her. I grew excited to spend time with her – this friend never failed to make me laugh.

She didn’t show up until night had long since fell.

It turns out that all she really cared about was getting her sunglasses back so she could wear them on her sun-filled vacation.

It didn’t hit me at the time, but it has since. By granting her with a care package, it was not my intention to ensure she returned the favor down the road. But I had paid it forward, and I thought maybe – just maybe – she would do the same.

I got my hopes up and was let down.

Last Christmas, I spent hours making jewelry and knitting scarves for some of my friends as gifts. I wrapped them, they opened them, they loved them; all was well in Emily world. I hadn’t expected anything in return and I didn’t get anything.

But what hit me the most were the months that followed.

Not once did I see any of them wearing what I had made them. It especially hurt when I noticed one scarf hanging up, left behind for the entirety of Christmas break.

I look back and wish I would have kept the necklaces I made for them – I certainly would have incorporated them in my daily wardrobe.

I like to make people feel good. I know from experience that one nice comment, a little note or even a small gift can turn the whole day around. Pay it forward.

My friend got me a model of a vintage Volkswagen Beetle for absolutely no reason at all. I absolutely loved the spontaneity. Now, whenever I see something small that she might like, I get it for her without even hesitating. I know she’s someone who will appreciate it.

Not everybody does.

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