Thursday, April 1, 2010

The importance of thank you

Sometimes my life seems to be out of control. Other times it's stuck in a rut and nothing I do seems to shake it around. But no matter how my life is going, no matter how busy or bored or crazy I get, my family and friends stick around. I take them for granted. I assume that they'll always be there. Some people say you treat your family members and those who care about you worse than you would treat anyone else. How true that is and how sad.

It's terrible that those we love the most tend to be the first to get pushed aside. It's sad that we'd rather put on a happy face for people who don't even know us and don't give us a second thought and then get so stressed out, sometimes because of this wonderful facade, that when we walk through the door at home we can't even great our significant other or child or friend with a smile. How easily we forget how they comforted us with a hug, a caress or a helping hand when we were hurting. We shove aside the little things they do. A note on the mirror. Clearing away supper dishes. Picking up a treat, all just because. Sometimes, the easiest and most rewarding thing you can do for someone you love is to say thank you.

I learned that from my significant other. I barely noticed it when we started dating. But two words kept coming up. After a while I couldn't ignore it anymore and I had to start appreciating it. He says thank you. Thank you when I give him a five-second foot rub. Thank you when I unexpectedly give him a hug. Thank you sometimes when I just smile at him for no reason. Those two words can calm my soul. They can turn a bad day into a good day. They make me feel appreciated, respected and loved. And they make me want to give more to him, to make him happy and to make him feel the same way he makes me feel. He doesn't do this just for me. I see him say thank you to his father. To a server at a restaurant, to a friend and to a stranger. It's a measure of respect. And it's slowly becoming lost in society.

We may fight, we may blow up at each other (or I may blow up) over small and insignificant things. But I can't describe how amazing it makes me feel to hear two simple words, unsolicited, sometimes unwarranted, in my day-to-day life. It makes me realize that some things should never be taken for granted, no matter how much I love someone. If he clears my plate at supper every night for ten years it doesn't mean that he deserves a thank you any less. If he gives me a kiss when he comes home from work for 365 days straight it still matters. It makes me remember that I love him. It makes me appreciate other people more because I notice some small things they do. It makes me a better person, just by saying thank you.

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