WHY NAKED THANKS? - As an American girl from the “me” generation, I realize that sometimes I take many of the good things in my life for granted. For the next 365 days, I will attempt to put aside my entitled attitude and give a nod to those that help me along the way. I’ll bare my soul via pink plaid stationary and quippy thank you notes for the goal of becoming a more appreciative human being.
Plus, research has shown that being thankful can increase personal happiness and improve overall health. So for the small price of postage and pretty note-cards, I can let other people know how much I value them and be all the happier for it. Um, yay!
HERE’S THE PLAN - Every day, for the next year, I’m going to write a new thank you note (but I can write to the same people as many times as I wish).
- I will express my gratitude sincerely and without pretensions or airs.
- These won’t be the typical generic thank yous that are generally written for things like birthday gifts or wedding presents (although it may include a few of those too). I’m going to try to lay it all out on the table and some notes may fall into the TMI (too much information) category, but that’s okay.
- Responses will be published (unless they are unfit to print!).
The Bottom Line: “WHY AM I DOING THIS?”
In the last year and a half, two events have taken place and made me realize how important it is to appreciate my life.
First, the birth of my son, Oliver, monumentally changed my life for the better. I have so much more to be thankful for now. Every night when Ollie wraps his little arms around my neck (or more accurately, tries to stick his fingers in my nose), I think: “I am so lucky.” I’ve never before had such a distinct marker of time; Ollie grows and changes a little bit every day and the saying is true — kids do grow up way too fast. I want to take time to appreciate everything in my life, and by doing so, ultimately live in the now more than ever before. I don’t want to wake up at 80 and think — where has my life gone? I think being thankful for the little things on a daily basis will help me stop and smell the roses, err, um, diapers.
The second event was the death of my brother-in-law. His passing reminded me how much there is to lose. I think the death of a loved one can work two ways: either it can take a piece of you away forever, hardening your heart, or it can allow you to appreciate all the people and things in your life in way you never could have before. I hope to follow the latter route.
My goal in this blog is to write thank-yous as small daily gestures aimed at recognizing the good in my life; little reminders to myself to open the gratitude floodgates. Part of appreciating what you’re given seems to be finding the positive in any situation. My way of doing that is to find humor in the little things, so if these thank-yous can bring a smile to their recipient’s face (or yours) then I’ll be smiling too. And what better way to go through life?