My Compliments to You! 

I don't take compliments well. Someone tells me my hair looks nice, I say I need a haircut. If I'm told how petite I am, I say no, I'm just short. If you like my outfit, I reply that it's at least a hundred years old. I have a comeback for everything. Recently a friend called me out on this, asking me why I can't just smile and say thank you.

Compliments make me uncomfortable and I do my best to divert attention away from myself. I know that I do have good hair days and that I am petite because I shop in the petite departments, making my clothes not quite a hundred years old. I just don't like people to notice.

So while I do appreciate the acknowledgement, I have a comeback as well for those who compliment me for a job well done. My flip response is "that's what I get paid to do" . . . a good job. And you should expect no less. But honestly, the quality of my work is reflective of the incredible support system that surrounds me.  January 8th marks my 10th year  anniversary at Holy Comforter. As we begin this new year together, one filled with anticipation and a bit of anxiety, I‘d like to thank those who help me get my job done on a regular basis. At the risk of leaving someone out (and to avoid this article looking like the parish directory), I will generalize and categorize - and there is a lot of overlap in these categories:

The junior and senior high school leaders. How fortunate I am to work with you. (I think most of your arms have healed after I did a bit of twisting!) And to the members of AIM and WHAM: the saying "if you build it they will come" certainly applies here! You are my pride and joy!

Those who help with fellowship events. What fun we have and it's hard to call it work! The ideas, the decorating, and the attention to details do not go unnoticed. We certainly know how to throw a good party!

Members of our parish ministries. It's amazing what a quick phone call or an email can accomplish. Without hesitation, you scurry into action in a moment's notice, whether it's to contact a newcomer, host a reception, or prepare the church for a special liturgy.

Outreach volunteers. I can offer all the outreach events in the world, but without your participation, I'd be reaching out all by myself.

The copy machine. What beautiful bulletins you print!

My co-workers. You help me implement my wild and crazy ideas, and allow me to have input into yours.

The Vestry. Your open-door policy and leadership not only motivate me to do my best, but also encourage me to think out of the box.

My parish friends. You lend an ear or a shoulder to cry on; you provide moral support and honest feedback. And you often become, much to your dismay, some of my most valued volunteers.

My boss. Ten years ago you saw potential. Your trust in my judgment and confidence in my skills encouraged me to push beyond what I thought I was capable of doing . . . and thinking. You rarely questioned "if" I could do something; rather you helped me figure "how" to do it. You are my #1 cheerleader, my friend, and the main reason I am good at my job. I hope I have lived up to your expectations. I still can't imagine not having you here.

My compliments to all of you and thank you for making me look good.

And I don't want anybody complimenting me on this article because you'll only get my usual comeback: I write the way I speak . . . and I speak from my heart. Happy New Year.

Patti Pateros