collective, Lifestyle

On thank you notes and other grown up things.

January 10, 2015


rosa-merci-thank-you-greeting-card-01_1How is everyone doing with the fresh start of 2015? We are now just over a week in and this would typically be the time when people begin to fall back into the old rhythms, habits, and routines. Are you?

As I stated in a previous post, this year is different. I’m never too crazy about making resolutions, but the start of this year came with a deep sense of anticipation that I have never experienced.

I need newness. We all do, really. This year is the year of JOY and new life! And I am bound and determined to stick with it! Whatever your goals and aspirations may be, I encourage you to join me in holding onto the hope of a new year and all that is in front of us.

One of the many items on my list for this year is thank you notes. Yes, those little cards of gratitude. Those little cards that most adults send to each other as a way of saying ‘thanks, you’re great!’

I love thank you notes. I am actually very particular about them. From the design of the card and the color of the envelope, to the pen that I use to write them (it has to be black or some sort of metallic gold and it needs to not bleed or smear), I have very specific preferences. I am equally as persnickety when I write a thank you note. I’m careful to use my best handwriting, taking time with each letter. I also work really hard to not have a thank you note be filled with something generic that you could buy from a store. If a card is blank inside, it means you are supposed to fill it with really, really good stuff (or at least that is the pressure I put on myself)!

rifle-paper-co-wildflower-postcard-01-nSo after picking the perfect stationary, pen, and crafting the most personal and sincere note, written in the most beautiful handwriting, the next step SHOULD be addressing and sending, right?! Just stick a stamp on there, and address the card and drop it in the mailbox. Simple. Or is it?

I’m embarrassed to say this, but if I had a dollar for every thank you note I’ve written and haven’t sent, I could probably buy a really nice Cole Haan bag to store all of my beautiful, unsent thank you notes in.

I am not completely sure why, but somewhere between signing my name with a ‘xo!’ and getting the card in the mail, there is a strange and mysterious break down. Maybe it is just that I suck at follow up. Or maybe I don’t have the correct address and then the steps it takes to get the correct address seems daunting to my non-task oriented self. Or maybe I only have Christmas themed stamps and you cannot send a thank you note with a holiday stamp. Or maybe I drive around with them in my car and forget to drop them by the post office box for weeks and then they seem irrelevant and I am embarrassed by the tardiness of my note, so I just never send it.

Whatever the reason, I have a stockpile of unsent notes. Please allow me to take this moment to apologize to anyone who has felt the brunt of this or has wondered where your thank you note is. I promise I have the best of intentions with this, and I am extremely thankful for your gift, or kind words, or caring action … I just seem to be missing some important muscle or brain cell that helps people send these stupid things.

So, after my long and cathartic rant/public confession/overdue apology … one of the things I’m working on this year is sending thank you notes. I’ve already instituted a couple new systems to help achieve this goal. I purchased stamps I love, and have stocked up on cards from my favorite Rifle Paper Co. I even went so crazy as to actually start an ADDRESS BOOK. Have you heard of such a thing? It is an actual book where you keep addresses, so when you want to send a card, you don’t have to text the recipient and ask them for their address for the 109th time. (side note: I need to extend a specific apology to my mother in law for how many times I’ve done this to her)! I’m actually proud to report that I’ve already sent TWO thank you notes in 2015. TWO! It’s a record … Casper even said with a tone of shock in his voice, ‘wow! I’m so proud of you!’

I know this has been a long post about something so simple as thank you notes. But it is more than that. It is a confession of something I stink at. A confession that I’ve been unwilling to make because as silly as it may sound, I feel super embarrassed by how much I stink at sending these notes. Like I was failing at being a grown up woman because I didn’t have an address book, and running to the post office after work is just too much for me most days. I have been unwilling to say this seemingly meaningless crap out loud, because it actually isn’t meaningless. I felt like a failure in this small thing, but it represents that I actually am really hard on myself about a million other teeny tiny things like this that we think we are supposed to be good at.

We do this to ourselves all too often. Don’t we? We put on others expectations or assume that we are supposed to do certain things really well just because we are adult women. Like baking (which I also suck at), or having a hot meal on the table every day when our husbands get home (which I never do), or always having mascara on, even when you’re at the gym, so you look finished, and put together (again, does yesterday’s mascara count)?

What are the things that you put on yourself that you feel you’re just SUPPOSED to do? Where are you feeling like a failure because of unnecessary, unspoken expectations? I really believe we all do this.

2015 is the year of many new things. The year of joy. It is the year to decide to do things that you may have stunk at before, OR to decide you do not want to do those things, and shouldn’t have to do something just because you think you should! For me, thank you notes are something I actually love, so I’m working at figuring out how to make them a part of my life. But, more importantly, I’m working on having GRACE for MYSELF and not walking in GUILT or SHAME!

We’ve got too much on our plates. Let’s free up the nasty space that guilt and shame and expectations take up, so we can allow for more hope, love and JOY!

Where can you find some freedom today?

thanks-a-bunch-thank-you-greeting-card-01(all photos are from rifle paper co.  I promise I wasn’t paid to advertise for them, I’m just a huge fan :)!)


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