This is an odd day, the after-the-party-should-I-be-hung-over-now-what-do-I-do-how-about-clean-the-house day. For me, it is a day to begin clearing away Santa Claus, putting away the New Year’s Day dinner china, and tossing in a load of towels. It is a day to listen to the new music I received for Christmas while paying bills and writing any thank you notes.
That’s what I wanted to mention to you: thank you notes. I had company come by Dec 29, and our time was too short because these are folks we don’t know well but want to, whose company my husband and I have always enjoyed (he worked with her). We’ve gone on a cruise with them (and others) but never had the chance to know them well. Now, we’ve begun to expand that chance at friendship and we shared some wine and dessert at our house in that effort. Such fun! When they arrived, they brought the most gorgeous bouquet of sunflowers. In winter! Sunflowers! Well that was awesomely original and I was delighted. Am delighted.
Barely two days later, on that following Monday, I got a thank you card. In the mail, handwritten. That was more awesome than the flowers and I’ll tell you why.
The way my parent raised me, a person never went to anyone’s home (on an invite) without a gift. Flowers, a plant, a bottle of wine (if you knew they drank), even a good bottle of Scotch, a box of chocolates — something. Mother always said it was the height of bad manners to show up at someone’s home empty-handed. So, I never do. And here was a couple who did the same thing — and were decidedly thoughtful doing it.
On the reverse side of the coin, Mother always said good manners said you always wrote thank you notes for gifts received, visits given, or anything nice done for you, birthdays, Christmas, special times. Actually, a thank you was right any time.
And there it was, this lovely, hand-written note, bringing a warmth and a smile. I rejoiced.
I think our society has become lazy. Our youth have forsaken good manners because they think no one really cares and that thought is simply wrong and not true. People in the generations behind me tend to think that a text message saying “thx!” is enough or an email can suffice for giving thanks. They would be wrong. It isn’t. (I’m not bashing technology here, merely the lack of effort or attention.)
Now you don’t have to be Emily Post and write gold, gilt-edged parchment notes. But you do have to make an effort and nothing says effort like a small hand-tooled note, mailed. Aren’t you worth 46 cents? I think you are. I hope I am as well. The Post Office hopes we both are, too. Really, is it so hard to take five minutes to appreciate someone’s goodness?
So I’m doing my thank you’s today and making an effort to include some extra special thoughts when I do them. I want to give the same smile I was given to those who will receive my cards. That’s priceless, to me.
So maybe today is the day we should call Thank You Day. A little effort can mean so much. Manners dusted off and used can often become a good habit. It sets a good example for youth, and tells people they matter. According to my Mother, you don’t need money to show that you have been “brought up well.” Manners. Simple.
Moreover, you can’t hack a thank you card.
On another note, the Mint Hill Writers’ Group gathers on Saturday. I’m hoping to get more folks to come. We tend to have but two or three every meeting. Time to rally the troops and get writers to find joy in togetherness. Know why?
Because it is NaNoEdMo! That’s National Novel Editing Month! Time to take what you wrote and start hacking on it. Oh joy. But it must be done.
Do you realize that a truly well-done manuscript usually needs at least THREE full revisions? Yes, and I have a new box of red pens! Are you working your revisions?
Let us begin the New Year by connecting on Goodreads. I enjoy reading what others are reading and discovering new adventures. Currently I’m reading “Bellman and Black” by Diane Setterfield and “Game of Thrones (Book 1 of Fire and Ice) by George R.R. Martin.
Last year I completed my goal of 50 books and this year I’ve scaled that goal back to 35 because I will be spending more time writing and I don’t want to over-extend myself. What are you reading and what are your reading goals?
Brief Notes: Thank you to my new followers! I do appreciate your joining the list. Let me hear your thoughts and suggestions as we move along, please.
Join me on Twitter for my #DailyTwitamin (a daily bite of healthy information in 140 characters or less!), and on Facebook for pictures and other more personal things! I also have an Facebook Author page.
Don’t forget to pick up your copy of my new book, Paper Bones, at Authorhouse, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or other online book retailers. If you are in the Charlotte area, you can also rent it from your local library! Just ask for it.
I’m Yours Between the Lines,