Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Importance of Thank You

I needed to take my laptop into the store today to get some bugs worked out, but the Heavens decided to drop down buckets of water instead.  I opted to cancel my appointment and reschedule it for tomorrow. I'm glad I did primarily because I wanted to write this blog and am fearful they may have to take my computer overnight to get everything worked out.

The nonexistent beauty of saying "Thank You."

This is a huge pet-peeve of mine.  Probably my biggest pet-peeve ever:  not saying "thank you" or writing a "thank you" note.

"A personal, handwritten, thank-you note is the finest form of expressing gratitude," according to Advanced Etiquette.  I couldn't agree more.  Take the time and effort to show genuine appreciate with a handwritten note card, as people have done for hundreds of years.

The first known greeting exchange was in the early ancient Egyptian and Chinese cultures. The letters were written on papyrus - a thin paper-like material made from the pith, or center, of the papyrus plant. By the 1400's, the European's were not only writing notes but these letters were also hand delivered!  How even more extraordinary!  Can you imagine how even more special of a gift that was?  To receive a hand-delivered, hand-written thank you note??  I'm swooning.  I can only imagine that upon delivery, opening, and reading of the kind gesture that it was followed by tea and conversation under the veranda with a cool summer breeze sweeping across the two friends' faces.  The intimacy of such friendship was valued so much that the thank-you note was more than just something that was a forced gesture.  It truly was a heartfelt reciprocation of the gift or service that was given.  Thus, the gift kept on giving!

The postage stamp came around in 1840 which made giving thank you letters easier and to a broader range of people without having to travel long distances, and just a few years after the postage stamp was invented, a German immigrant brought the idea of thank-you notes to America.  As emails and texts replace letters as our primary source of communication, thank-you notes have become all the more valued.

I was raised properly to always say thank you and to always follow the verbal "thank you" with a thank-you note.  Gratitude should never be assumed, especially if a gift was given via mail.  Never should one give with the expectation of a compliment, but it should at least be acknowledged so that it's noted it was received.  I have in particular noticed this more so with people over the age of 60.  They want to know that the gift they gave (i.e. for a wedding, birthday, anniversary, just because...) was received and not lost in the mail.  Personally, I have seen both sides of the thank-you note:  the one that is right on time, and the one that is way too late (like over a year late... but I guess better late than never?)

In this virtual, fast world we now live in, it is easy for an email to be lost and buried among the thirty emails that will follow it.  However, a hand written thank-you letter is one that is usually saved, hung on a wall, or placed as a keepsake.  It makes you stand out in a crowd.  It makes you memorable.  The uniqueness of your own handwriting and the time you took out of your day to sit down and thoughtfully process a well crafted letter is endearingly beautiful and rewarding to the receiver.

I am constantly learning in so many ways that not everyone was raised the way I was, therefore I should not expect others to reciprocate in the same way I do.  However, I believe that thank-you notes are a lost art and should be something that should be continued and ingrained in our society.  If you don't like the gift or it's the wrong size, etc, there's no need to negate the fact that someone thought enough to send you something.  A simple "thank you" can go a long way, and if for no other reason to acknowledge that you received the gift and appreciate the gesture.

Don't be the person that has to apologize for being late to say "thank you."

"May the LORD now show you kindness and faithfulness, and I too will show you the same favor because you have done this."  2 Samuel 2:6

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Stronger Every Day

There was a time not too long ago I thought I was somewhere between here and there.  Maybe I still am in that place, but I sure do feel a lot stronger about myself both physically and mentally.

My birthday ended up being filled with exciting surprises and blessings from dear close friends and family.  It had nothing to do with my blog, because I didn't publicize it to everyone.  It was out of the pureness of their heart which means more to me than anything.

I broke my leg back in January (which has been one reason I haven't blogged much).  I know.  "You broke something again?"  Yes.  Though this break was a hard one to recover from due to its placement.  Good news is that I have been in physical therapy for awhile now and should be good as new in a few more sessions.  I'll still have to wait until July until I'm "fully" released to be my adventurous self again, but it's nice not to feel dependent on people for help.

I've spent several years thinking about certain things, most of which I will not reveal to the public unless it comes to fruition, but I know that God gives us our hearts desire if it's in His will.  Some of the things that have been on my mind could be ordained by God, and others... well... they will just happen, according to the Bible (though we do not know the day nor hour.)

Judy Garland once said, "For it was not my ear you whispered, but into my heart.  It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul."  It's easy to feel that way metaphorically about so many opportunities I've had in my life.  I hold each moment and memory close to me.  People, experiences, conversations, my own "ah ha" moments, and journey's all around have made me a better person, even if the experience (at the time) was negative.  And at this moment, I am re-evaluating the people in my life who I call "friends."  It's saddening to me that for my own sake I am letting some of them go - and they don't even realize it.  Friends I've called "good friends" or "best friends" for years.  But at the end of the day, they aren't that friend that I need.  It's hard when one doesn't even acknowledge your birthday except via Facebook.  Really??  So, that's going on.  There's another big opportunity that could be happening in the near future for me and would throw me back into the public eye again, but I'm ready for the challenge if that happens.  I also have a huge prayer request that will not be mentioned right now but the Lord knows.  He knows my hearts desire and knows exactly how to make it happen.  So for now, I must wait and trust as I've done as much as I can do on my end thus far.

I'm preparing myself as best as I can for that which I will hopefully receive.  That preparation goes much further than just my prayer request.  It goes for all things from today until the end of the year.  It would be negligent of me to not say what I believe is coming, but I will say that there is going to come a time very soon that we are all going to need to stick together as Christians.  That should be something we do every day, but I believe we will need each other even more soon.  Watch the news.  Keep yourself informed.  And keep an eye on where this country is headed.  Be prepared.

So on that happy note LOL... I wish you all a good end to May and a bright start to June!  Summertime is here and the sunshine feels grand.  A warmth that reminds me that I am not forgotten. :)