This week was to express gratitude to three people. I was all prepared to talk about 3 people, but then, life happened, and brought me to this naturally. I have said this many times before, I believe in letting people know what they mean to you while you can. So, I very often express gratitude out of the blue. This week, there were things in my life that led me to telling people what they meant to me and how I appreciate them or things they do for me. It's important to say thank you and actually mean it. While I found out some discouraging news this week, I still took a moment to thank someone who I now know is not my friend, or even nice. But that doesn't matter. She took the time to help me with something, and I appreciated that and let her know. I don't believe that we should just expect things out of people. Alright, I say that, but I do expect people to be decent, and I'm very often let down. But I digress. I believe it's important to understand that every part of life is a gift. Whether it be someone's help on a work project, a shoulder to cry on, clothes that are handed down, or just joy that someone is in your life, they are all important and deserve recognition that is heartfelt. I try to teach this gratitude to my children each and every day by pointing out something nice someone has done or how blessed we are to have particular people in our lives.
I'm not going to go into detail of the three people I expressed gratitude to this week. I will say it was more than three, and right there, I'm lucky to have so many people in my life to be grateful for. I think this week's challenge was sad, really because, well, if you don't express your gratitude to at least three people a week, you're taking an awful lot for granted. It doesn't have to be a huge a gesture. Expressing gratitude can be as easy as a "Thanks!" in an email, as long as it comes from the heart. It doesn't even have to be to people you know. When it's -5 degrees out and I'm walking my kids to school, the person who stops to let me cross the street gets a heartfelt wave because I truly appreciate not having to wait longer than I need to get my kids to school in the frigid temps. The cashier at the grocery store who carries on a conversation with my kids and makes them smile when she doesn't have to gets a heartfelt smile from me because I appreciate her taking a little extra time to bring smiles to the faces of my children. These are forms of gratitude. Anyone can say the words, "thank you". It's different when you actually really mean it. When you mean it, it's gratitude. When they are empty words, that's just feeling entitled. If you can not think of three people every single week to whom you express your gratitude, then I truly feel sorry for you, for you are the one who is missing out on life's gifts.