Oh, dear. I forgot to write a thank you note, former procrastinators. I forgot because I positioned myself to forget by not writing it immediately. I put if off. I found my reminder in a small temporary pile. I should’ve dropped it in my hot file so I would find it on the day I planned to write it. I should’ve written a reminder in my planner.
Writing thank you notes is a gracious and meaningful thing to do. When we take the time to actually handwrite simple words of appreciation to someone, they know we value them and what they’ve done for us.
To make it easier, we can position ourselves to write notes by having a small stash of cards or paper, some stamps, and a pen in a handy drawer. We don’t need to be perfect in our words or penmanship. Brief is fine. We put off writing such notes when we wait for a quiet afternoon in front of the fire with a vase of daffodils and a cup of tea beside us. Actually, if I write the note standing at the kitchen counter, the thoughts are fresh, the thanks are real, and the job is done. Done is better than perfect, as someone reminded me.
Occasionally people give us gifts, bring us a meal, or treat us to an outing, and we are grateful. But there are other people who give to us on a regular basis and we often forget to even notice them. It’s unusual for us to speak or wave, so we rarely express gratitude.
How about clerks and receptionists, the mailman, recycle and garbage men, the hospitality committee at church, the paper boy, the shoe shine person, the bathroom attendant, the parking lot attendant, lawn people, housekeepers and maintenance men at home or work. Yes, most of these are in paid jobs, but they are folks like us whose hearts are warmed when they are noticed and thanked. How hard to feel invisible as you serve others. We can not only see them, we can express our genuine thanks by speaking to them or by also handing them a note.
Two groups I especially appreciate are bathroom attendants and garbage men. The ladies in the bathroom are doing a job most of us prefer to avoid, and they rarely get to look out a window. Yet their work makes a more pleasant day for every woman who passes through that space. Have you lived where garbage piles up inviting rodents and other disease carriers into the neighborhood? Instead, we are privileged. Rain or snow, our collection men are out there making our towns healthier and more attractive.
So let’s write those notes …and also notice the everyday faithful folks who serve us. Let’s develop a habit of expressing thanks.
Who will you thank this week for their service to you? How will you do it?