November is the perfect time to be thankful in all things. Gratitude is the perfect gift anytime and every time but November claimed thankfulness as its tagline. Thanksgiving is November's moniker so thankfulness is as natural as turkey and cranberry sauce.
One of my most favorite things to do is send mail. Not email. Actual for real notepaper-envelope-stamp mail.
I send handwritten, personal cards, notes and postcards for just about EVERY occasion and for reasons that I make up. The thought HAS crossed my mind that I should've worked for Hallmark or American Greetings but then in the same moment, my brain races to the finish line with quick rationalization that I'd miss the joy of personalizing each sentiment - which to me is the most awesome part.
I love cheering people on so much that I should've been a cheerleader. But that's as likely as our Jack Russell helping the kids with their homework. The tongue wagging enthusiasm is there but the skill set is vacant. So my brain races within nanoseconds to remind me that the enthusiasm does not match athletic ability. (Dog cannot help with homework but makes itself available for pet therapy stress relief.) I love encouraging people. My heart is leaping through a field of sunflowers featuring Oprah saying "You get a card and YOU get a card! I love letting someone know that I think that their new job or promotion or recent move into their dream house is the best thing ever. Birthdays and anniversaries are super easy reasons to send actual for-real mail. They're like the easiest task ever. Not a task at all. Writing a note on someone's wall because Facebook reminded you does not count. Have we lost all sense of decency people? A Happy Birthday" and a confetti cake emoji will never replace the personal sentiment of a card. And while we're at it, there's a reason people put RSVP at the bottom of invitations. It's French for "I'm trying to plan and budget for people coming to my party so let me know if you and your plus one will be there....please."
I send cards and notes to show empathy and encouragement on sickness, disappointment or sympathy of a loss of a loved one. I thank people for any and all acts of kindness, gifts or just being a friend, or a boss, or a pastor. I'm not exaggerating when I say that writing notes IS my mojo. Sending love via the United States Postal Service in any format and appropriate amount of postage is my happy place. I've been doing it for years and in my own way expresses gratitude for the life I have through that person receiving my mail. I am grateful for you if I am thinking of you to send a note. No matter the reason why.
My point is this: I may not be great at working at American Greetings or flipping backwards on a football field, but I can write notes and be appreciative. Every week I find a reason to send at least one piece of mail that is personal and meaningful and I've recently challenged myself to find even more opportunities. I love seeing the little red flag in the UP position on our mailbox.
And look, I know that cards can be expensive, but they can also be free! My Mother-In-Law donates to nearly every charity available and for some reason they send all-occasion greeting cards as a thank you for her contribution. She couldn't possibly use all the cards she has stacked up in her cabinet and she allows me to pilfer through her collection like I'm robbing the card store at the mall. Sometimes sentiment is only the cost of a stamp and the time it took me to write it - which doesn't seem like cost at all! Do what you love.....and I love sending cards. I have a friend who tore a sheet of notebook paper, wrote one sentence of encouragement and mailed it to me in the most boring, plain white envelope. That sheet of paper and its sentiment has a push pin through it and hangs on my office work board. It's the thought people - not the pretty paper.
Whatever you're good at - do more of it...God gave it to you for a reason - because the world needs more of it. I'm good at mailing stuff, balancing our checkbook and loving my family.
What do you do that's great?