I used to hate receiving cards growing up. I thought they were a waste of paper. My mother used to (and still does) give me multiple cards no matter the occasion. It’s your birthday? Have five birthday cards. It’s Christmas? Have six. Easter? Have two while we’re at it. They all said the same thing inside, “Love, Mum”. Never an additional note. Just “Love, Mum”. It took me until my teens to realize that people actually wrote more than a signature inside of cards. So that year I wrote a note to my mother inside her Christmas card. I told her how I wanted us to have a better relationship. I nervously gave her the card and it sat on the mantle with the other cards. She never mentioned what I wrote. Practically 20 years later, I still don't know if she ever read it.
I started to hate cards even more. I rarely gave them and I threw away the ones I received. Then things took a turn when I hit my 30s and joined The Lady Project. There was no getting away from cards. I started receiving cards in the mail. Thank you notes. I never got those before. Quickly scribbled sentences letting me know that someone was thinking about me. I started putting them up on my fridge. Then I found myself buying blank note cards (that Target dollar spot gets you every time). I would give handwritten cards for every gift I gave. I would mail my friends surprise notes just because. I found joy in giving handwritten cards to friends. Little notes to say that I’m thinking of them and that I’m grateful they’re in my life.
I remember my theater teacher in high school telling us in the theater if someone says Thank You to you, you respond with Thank You. Showing gratitude both ways. Now I have no idea if that is an actual practice in the theater world but it stuck with me. I usually respond to someone’s gratitude by giving it right back to them, even if the situation didn’t call for it. To me, I lose nothing by responding with gratitude. I only gain. Showing gratitude is a daily practice, not just to other people but showing it to the world. Letting the universe know I am thankful for everything it sends my way.
This month on The Lady Project Blog we will be talking about how we live a more grateful life. I hope you find some inspiration throughout these posts. If you are interested in sharing yourself, send me an email at email@example.com.