Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just say it already!

I am so pleased and excited to introduce my first guest blogger! She is a lovely human being and I love her to pieces....take it away Sarah!

So, while my cousin Melanie swirls, smells, swishes and swallows copious amounts of wine in Napa Valley I am guest blogging in her place. To my utter surprise, I might add. What do I know about exotic travels and beauty products? I’m the one who offered to give up my spot as my sister’s Bride’s Maid because I knew nothing about clothing, parties, and accessories. (Request denied!) Melanie writes about Kiss My Face and I, Kierkegaard. But, she did ask, and I am grateful. Thankful. And, that of course, has to be my topic on Thanksgiving—thankfulness.
Rather than listing the hundreds of things, people, situations I am thankful for, I’d like to propose something else. Why don’t we just start telling others that we are thankful for them and what they do? It seems so obvious, yet so few of us express our appreciation. Whether we are talking about a banal thank you in a retail store or a heartfelt thank you between friends, so few give thanks for the small kindnesses in our lives. And it makes a difference.

Here’s an example: I’ve spent the last five years telling my children what to do. The results were sometimes positive, but most often grumbling reticence. Then I began saying thank you in advance. “Thank you for bringing your dish to the sink!” And wouldn’t you know, they began to remember to clear the table before I had to remind them. They feed off the positive reaction. Now, we are talking about children, but I hold that adults aren’t more mature-- psychologically speaking anyway. It works with them, too. My adult education GED class is filled with people who have “college dropout” hanging overhead. In a society that values education and titles and degrees, this is a tacit marker of failure. They occupy the lowest job positions and spend hours in underappreciated work environments. Last night I gave them a class assignment. When I told them how much I appreciated the work they were producing for class, you should have seen the brightness in their eyes. Some reddened, some squared their shoulders, and others looked down. They finished the task beautifully—better than if I hadn’t said anything. And all I said was thank you.

And there are so many wonderful ways to embellish our thank yous.  We can say it, send it with flowers or say it in cards. For many, sending out the obligatory thank you cards after a shower or wedding is the most tedious part of the event.  Not for me though-- it is one thing I love about the US.  We have a million places to buy cards.  When I lived in Mexico I couldn't find a thank you card (or a gracias card) to save my life.  And when I wanted to send them out-- forget it! The mail system is rudimentary at best, in shambles at worst.  We take for granted how easy it is to communicate gratitude by snailmail.  And how nice.  Don't you love getting cards in the mail?  Or flowers?

So, say it. Or send it. Spend a moment to tell someone you appreciate them. It doesn’t have to be mushy. And you might be surprised at what results you get.

As for my beauty choices: I like St. Ives Soothing Oatmeal and Shea Butter body moisturizer, Shi Seido face wash and my ion flat iron. That’s it.

1 comment:

  1. I like this... I'm going to follow your lead with the preemptive thank-you. My daughter's much too young to impress her with that, but my husband will make a good guinea pig!


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