I remember the first time I heard the charms of an ice-cream truck beckoning all in earshot to come and choose from the pictured ice-cream cones on the laminated poster taped to the side of the truck. It was a melody I longed to hear but didn’t come across a truck until age 6, when we were on vacation. Oh the excitement and the joy that made me want to scream for ice-cream! (Had to 😉 ) I was so happy that the ice-cream guy came down my street, I asked him if he was going to come back the next day. He said yes and I recall that night writing in my new vacation diary that the ice-cream man came in the ice-cream truck and played the ice-cream music. I was so excited and so happy… I wrote the ice-cream man a thank-you card. Yes, yes I did. Of course, it had a drawn picture of a two scoop ice-cream cone on the front, with capitalized letters spelling T H A N K Y O U with probably one too many exclamation points!!!! What can I say? I was really grateful for this ice-cream truck experience!
I think back to when I was 15 1/2. I went to test drive my first car, a bright red 2001 Honda Civic Ex, 2 door, spoiler, sunroof, with pin stripes down the side! The day before I helped dad mow the lawn with the pusher and remember my sore hands the next day gripping the steering wheel. “This is going to be my own car,” I thought as I carefully drove the car off the lot with dad in the passenger seat. Tanner was our dealer and he gave my dad and me a great deal on the car. Two days later, that beautiful car, now named Roxy, was my baby. I sent Tanner a thank-you note that next day.
From an early age, mom taught me to send a thank-you note within the week (and certainly no longer than two weeks) after receiving a gift. She drilled, “If I couldn’t take the time to write a note of appreciation, I wouldn’t have the time to enjoy the gift!” That’s probably in the top three lessons she’s ever demonstrated to me.
Showing appreciation for a gift, or even friendship, meal, or encouraging words gives life to the giver. It might be silly to give an ice-cream man or car dealer a thank-you note…but honestly, I wonder if anyone else has ever thanked them for their job? Sure, it’s their job…but doesn’t everyone want to hear that they are valued and appreciated for simply doing their job…and a job well-done at that? What about the postman/woman who delivers our mail on a daily basis (and in the midst of this heat!)?
Here’s what I’m getting at: show gratitude. The older I get, the more I realize it is fundamental in life…and a happy one at that. These past two years of life have surely been the hardest in my life. Choosing to focus on the good aspects of my daily life probably saved me from a deeper depression than I experienced.
Everyday I try to list ten things/people/meals/experiences/etc. that I am grateful for. It helps me to connect to the day and the experiences I had and further, it redirects my attitude of entitlement. We all have that attitude, but I’m convinced that the epitome of entitlement is ingratitude, which often comes out in the mask of complaining.
We’re all guilty of it. It’s hot as hell outside. Be thankful for the AC humming in the house. I’m starving and haven’t had a thing to eat all day. Remember the food sitting in the pantry. I’m so sick of school. Hallelujah for the opportunity to study and learn in this season of life.
I’m convinced those who show gratitude will go much further in life than those who insist on complaining. So here’s a challenge…show appreciation to one person each day for an entire week. Call up your role-model and say “thanks” for showing you another way. Bow your head and utter a prayer of thanksgiving for the meal you’re about to eat. Send a card to a friend, just because she’s awesome. It just takes eight letters to say, “Thank You.”
And by the way, thanks for reading my blog. You have no idea how healing this website has been for me. A place to express creativity is one thing…but then for you to actually read it and support me…seriously thank you.