In general, I tend to think that if polyester ribbons are going to take us down, it's probably going to be as a result of the noxious chemical waste spewed forth from the polyester ribbon factory, and not because we recognized a 5-year-old's participation in the tee-ball league.
Because, as I've said before, I don't think there's anything wrong with honoring participation. Showing up is a big deal. A lot of people don't show up. If you show up and try to do your best, I think you deserve a damn ribbon. Or at least the virtual ribbon that I am awarding to you, right now, in this blog post.
You didn't have to do anything newsworthy to get this ribbon.
All you had to do was show up.
Wake up earlier than you wanted to.
Do your work.
Care for your loved ones. Change diapers. Listen to your husband talk about the traffic and make appreciative noises. Send an email to a friend saying "just thinking of you."
Do the damn dishes, when you know that's the last thing you wanted to do with that 4 minutes.
Smile at your co-workers, whether they're children or adults. Ask them questions. Be kind. Fake interest if you have to.
Make time to have a private bathroom experience. Luxuriate in the secret bathroom on the 8th floor, or turn on Daniel Tiger for a few minutes to paralyze the restless natives.
Continue to work after you clock out. Vacuum. Fold laundry. Write emails. Hit the gym.
Think about next month's Saturdays, whether you can find time for a nice hike. Think about the budget. Think about the menu for dinner tonight. Think about whether you'll fly across the country next Christmas. Think about if it's time to call the dentist about that tender bicuspid. Think about whether or not the word "guido" is offensive (still not sure. Come back to that one tomorrow.) Think about how much you're dreading dealing with that d-bag tomorrow (d-bag could be anyone from your nap-striking toddler to your smarmy regional manager.)
All of these things are just taken for granted - of course they'll get done, every day, forever. But it's still hard work, and it still deserves the occasional hip-hip-hooray. Or if you're me, hip-hip-chardonnay. Or, if you're feeling sultry, hip-hip-Robert-Goulet. Or if you're fabulously wealthy and in need of some sun, a hip-hip-St. Tropez.
Whatever your pleasure, I hope you take a few minutes today and honor yourself.
Yes, just for participating.
Yes, just for showing up.
Yes, just for getting out of bed and giving your time and energy to this day -
this day that was just as hungry for you as yesterday was,
and just as hungry as tomorrow is going to be.
THIS CRAPPY VIRTUAL RIBBON
FOR EXEMPLARY PARTICIPATION
Just because your work is routine does not make it easy.
You do hard things every day.
Keep on keepin' on.