In the beginning of November, I came up with a plan: To write and deliver one note for each day of the month, thanking someone who has made a difference in my life. The note must be delivered anonymously (I cannot hand it to them). With a handful of exceptions, the daily recipient will be randomly chosen. Exception number one: start with hubby – partly because he is the number one influence in my life but also because he will likely see the pile of note cards and wonder what I am up to.
Day one: note left on hubby’s pillow. He doesn’t notice it until after dinner, at which point he takes it into the bathroom to read. It stays there indefinitely. He says nothing. I question whether or not this is a good idea. Nevertheless, I begin to brainstorm a list of people to thank, and bust out our 12 sided die to help with the random aspect.
Day three: note left on co-worker’s desk. She gives me a hug and tells me it made her day.
Day four: A complete stranger gives me his raffle winnings (a portable grill and grill tools). I’m convinced that the positive energy I am putting into the universe is coming back around.
Day ten: Mom calls to thank me for her note and to ask if everything is okay. She’s worried someone is sick. Someone is, I tell her, the friend I told you about, remember? A good friend is battling serious health issues right now and part of the reasoning behind my endeavor is to make sure the people I care about know that I care about them. And I know that she knows that, but I wanted to make sure other people in my life knew too. Knew how the small things they do make a difference, especially when it feels like the day to day does nothing but wear us down.
Day fifteen: I blew off yesterday’s note and this morning my mom texted to say she’s in the ER. Okay, universe, I get it. Seriously though, I just finished writing yesterday and today’s notes and now I’m falling apart a little. One was to the friend mentioned above. And I hold my breath every time I see a message from her, because it’s usually bad news. Then there’s my mom. She’s battled back before, again and again really, so I don’t expect this time to be any different. But what if it is? What if dad calls to say she’s gone? Because hearts do that. They just stop. And hers has taken a lot already. What if the last thing I said or did was something mean and selfish? Part of this exercise has been to be a kinder, more loving person. But as I pull people closer to me, it only hurts more when something bad happens to them.
Day twenty-six: I haven’t written notes all week, and feel a bit like giving up on the whole idea. It’s my birthday, and I want to stay in bed all day and mope. Not about getting older, honestly it doesn’t really bother me all that much, more about the fact that once again I have set out to do something and failed. The list of uncrossed-off names stares at me from a post it note on my desk, and after seeing all the love pour in on social media and text messages from friends and family sending me birthday wishes, I decide to tackle a few more letters. Some of them make me tear up a little, thinking about the people in my life who have influenced me in one way or another, who have stood by and supported me. There is so much I am thankful for; sometimes it is overwhelming.
Day thirty+one (today): I wrote twenty four and a half notes, and one has yet to be delivered. There are uncrossed-off names left on my list, and more that I need to add. And while I’m disappointed in myself for not truly completing the task, it has been a heart-opening exercise and one that I vow to continue in one form or another. When I’m feeling down, discouraged, unloved – instead of wallowing in self-pity, I will pull out my notecards and write to one of those people.
Because everyone deserves to be appreciated.