The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life.
–Robert Louis Stevenson
For the beginning part of this year (okay, through most of grad school too) I forgot to be thankful. The above quote stood out to me because I really did feel like I was just going through the motions, checked out of really paying attention to what was going on around me. I know that it’s not only related to being ungrateful, but I think my attitude greatly impacted that feeling of sleepwalking.
Since the beginning of this month, I’ve been making progress on writing 100 thank you notes in 100 days. It’s been a little slower than I anticipated, because it takes longer to write each note than I expected.
When I’m writing a thank you note for a specific purpose, like “thanks for the birthday gift,” the note almost writes itself. It’s genuine, but more straightforward than when I write a general expression of thanks to a person for being themselves, even though I’m writing about specific reasons I appreciate them. There’s a big difference between the two reasons for writing. While I’m writing a few of the first type, the second is much more meaningful to both me and the person to whom I give the note.
I now realize that as a part of this goal, I originally thought that I would suddenly become a more grateful person. It’s still a challenge to not complain. How about that! Changing habits takes time. Who knew? ;P
On the other hand, I notice that I’m slowly starting to focus more on things I’m grateful for. Expressing gratitude helps me put things into perspective. It also helps me value people more and I’ve been taking time to pray for each person to whom I’m writing, so they’re benefitting apart from simply knowing that I’m grateful.
If you’ve been doing something similar, please leave a comment and let me know how it’s going for you. I’m looking forward to continuing with this goal and to bringing you some stories of how gratitude has changed people’s life, maybe an interview or two, and some more updates on this goal in general.
Resource: How to Write a Thank-You Note
Want to join me in this goal of writing 100 thank you notes in 100 days? If you do, please let me know in the comment section below, or by using the contact form. Let’s support each other in intentional gratitude.