Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Art of Gratitude

Have you noticed that it's SO much more pleasant doing nice things for people when they are gracious and grateful?  

From an early age my mother tried to instill in me the importance of giving thanks and being grateful. In fact, in our stockings every Christmas, Santa left us Thank you cards, a tradition that lives on in my little family now.

I often think to myself, "I should write them a note," but just as often that thought gets lost in the muck of my mind and forgotten. I think of my grandparents who faithfully gift myself and my children thoughtful cards for birthdays, the speaker who gave a powerful talk in sacrament meeting a few weeks ago, the friend who though I haven't seen in over a year, I am so grateful to have.... the list of unthanked people in my life goes on and on. It makes me feel like a bum. Like I am being an ungrateful brat. The fact is, even if you are grateful for someone but fail to express it, your behavior is pretty much synonymous with ingratitude. Ouch. I don't want to be unappreciative. I don't want to be mistaken for someone who thinks she's entitled.  I want to be like the type of person who people don't mind serving. The kind of person who notices the little things one does and expresses genuine gratitude for it.

I finally decided I needed a "Thank You Spot."   I had Husband bring this secretary desk upstairs from the basement.  I love this piece. A dear friend of mine was redecorating and de-cluttering and she was ready to haul it away to Goodwill. I confessed my love for it and she hauled it to my house and even had her teenage son lug it to the little upstairs of our cape cod in Chicago.  It has since journeyed across the country and I love it even more because it reminds me of my friend.  It is where all my cute stationery, stamps, pens, gift cards and  address lists are tucked away and ready at will for me to use them. The reality was if the desk was in the basement, rarely would I get cards and notes sent out.  I decided the main level just off the kitchen was a very good spot for it.  Strangely, the children aren't curious about the contents of this desk and leave it be. We'll see how long that lasts. In the box I keep old Christmas cards and other sentimental notes.

I also keep a little notebook here so I can keep a running list of people I want to thank. When I have a moment, I can jot a note. Or if I have a chunk of time, I can write several.  Who doesn't like receiving real mail?

A closer look. Because I know you want one. :)

Now hopefully if I owe you a thank you, you will get it before my hair turns silver.

Need to change your frame of mind to prod you into a more grateful mood?  

I recommend these two books to get you started:

"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."  


Megan said...

Love it Michelle. I definitely lack in expressing my gratitude. I love having such a spot and will have to figure out how to make one in my home.

Lisa Michnick said...

Hi Michelle! I love your post about this darling desk. I caught the furniture redo bug recently, AND joined Pinterest, where I'm inspired everytime I browse. I love this (
use of a "secretary". You might file it away under "Might maybe want to considerer this some day."