Thursday, November 26, 2009

What You Need to Remember This Thanksgiving...and Every Day

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. I'm writing this post from my couch right now with a stuffed stomach, which means I took full advantage of the one day each year that we are expected to over-eat.

I love Thanksgiving because of the food (who doesn't?), but also because it's a holiday where we reflect on why we are thankful. I've been participating in the 30 Days of Gratitude challenge this month (I won't lie, I've missed a few days). This post expands on what I touched on in that post when I introduced the gratitude project.

The daily themes have helped me dig deeper to reveal gratitude for things other than what's usually top-of-mind - family, shelter and health. This project has reinforced that expressing gratitude as often as possible is a must. I've discovered that while I'm grateful for countless reasons, I'm really, REALLY thankful for friends and family who show care and appreciation. These are people who care about others just as much (if not more) than they do for themselves.

It's important to be successful in life (I realize success is defined in various ways), but it's just as important to make others happy. The most minimal expressions of care and gratitude can go a very long way. Here are a few personal examples:
  • A client at my agency who I don't work with on a daily basis but who I have connected with on and off line mailed me a congratulations card after I got promoted. I would have more than appreciated a congratulatory message on Twitter because that's how we frequently communicate, so I really appreciated him taking the time to mail me a card.
  • I did something nice for a friend/neighbor recently that probably only took up a few minutes of my day. As with the above example, I would have been satisfied with a text, phone call or e-mail to say thank you. Instead, my neighbor gave me a card and small gift. He wrote in the card that what I did made his wife and kids so happy.
  • A friend who recently went to Europe sent me a postcard from Italy. I'm Italian, and she knows Italy is on my short list of cities I want to visit. I was really touched that she thought of me on her trip and made sure to send me a little piece of Italy.
The moral of the story: Find a way to express gratitude and show people that you care. This doesn't need to be in the form of a card or a gift. Words are powerful. And please, don't wait until next November when you're surrounded by reminders that Thanksgiving means it's time to show thanks. :)


metrogal84 said...

I am VERY thankful to have you in my life, Nikki. You are a wonderful and inspirational person...and my head might literally fall off if you ever leave me! ;) Love you!

Anonymous said...

This is great. I know some people who need to read this. I suppose that's not the point though :)

EstrellaBella10 said...

L-Dubs, you KNOW I'm thankful for you, too. :)

Thanks for reading and commenting, Ezra. No worries - I know some people who could use this post as a good reminder, too.