Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Thank Yous

Tonight I went to Target to get a few necessities like toothpaste and deodorant. I was with BK who was looking for bulk birthday cards to send to the 100+ people in our parish who celebrate October birthdays. As we approached the stationary aisle, I saw a wash of red clearance tags. This is our lucky day, I thought to myself.

Have you ever really thought about how ridiculously expensive cards are? The average Hallmark greeting card costs between $2.50 and $3.50, and we complain about gas that is selling for $3.50 a gallon. (Actually, we filled up for $3.18 a gallon tonight. Gas was on sale too!) Whay are we willing to pay so much money for something that is more than likely going to be thrown away in 24 hours or less? At least with the $3.50 spent for a gallon of gas you can travel a few miles. Even a $3.00 cup of coffee at Starbucks seems like money that is better spent. This is all a whole other issue. Back to the birthday cards . . .

So we got close to the wall of cards and the massive number of red clearance tags and began looking for the best deal on birthday cards by the gross. OK, they didn't come by the gross. They came 8, 10, 20, even 40 to a package. As I surveyed the bargain cards, I realized that none were birthday cards; they were all "thank you" cards. What's up with that? I was suddenly struck with the realization that most people don't send thank you cards or notes anymore. If you are lucky, you will receive "a short email to say thanks for . . .", but most of the time, it seems like thank yous are forgotten. This is a sad deteroration of society today.

I can remember as a child having to sit down on Christmas afternoon to write thank you notes for my Christmas gifts. I never questioned the fact that I was being asked to do this. To this day, I still feel the need to convey thank yous, but I must admit that I am guilty of sending the quick email more often than not. I'm sure this is why there were so many thank you cards on clearance; nobody uses them anymore.

Several of you have commented on my absence from blogging in the last month. It is confession time. I have been a journaler for a long time. Prior to becoming a blogger, I handwrote, not typed, all of my journal entries. What I noticed about my own journaling practice was that when the going got tough, I stopped writing; I stopped writing at precisely the time that I probably needed to be writing most. Seemingly, that habit has carried over into my blogging as well. Life is a little screwy for me right now and I have backed away from writing, something I really don't like having done. I need to be writing and I want to be writing. I must say that what may follow in the posts of the next few months may not be the most insightful or profound material that has appeared here, but I will try to be consistent, or at least inconsistently consistent, with posting.

I owe thank yous to those of you who have taken the time to ask if I am OK and to tell me that you miss the regular posts. I probably should have invested in some of those clearnace thank you cards and hand written each of you a personal note. I didn't. However, please accept my heartfelt thank you here. Your care and concern mean a lot to me.

I also owe thank yous to many friends, both close and not so close, who have offered me care and support. "Thank you" seems like so little to give them in return, though these words always seem to evoke a sincere smile or a "your very welcome".

I am reminded on a daily basis how important it is to acknowledge the things in our lives for which we are thankful. Perhaps if we had to sit down and offer thanksgiving by sending a handwritten personal card for all in our lives that we are thankful for, even the gloomy and seemingly empty days would not seem so bad. Every day brings with it something to be thankful for, even if it is just waking up in the morning. Think about what things today deserve a thank you note from you.

Thanks for reading!