A year of giving thanks…

A little over a year ago I caught part of a news story on the TV while I was at the dentist…just enough to know that some guy had decided to write a letter of thanks every day for a year.

The idea intrigued me, so I decided that 2011 would be my year for doing that. I thought briefly about using email, but that didn’t feel right. If I was really going to focus on this project, I needed the discipline of actually sitting down and writing with pen in hand.

But 365 notes?!?! How on earth was I going to come up with that many names?

I made a list of people I knew I wanted to say thank you to–about 30 names. I figured I’d just have to really work hard on coming up with the other 330…or trust!

I’ve now finished this year’s project…and have been truly blessed.

Yes, I went through my initial list–but not in the first 30 days. Other names found themselves interspersed with that initial list. When I started really paying attention, it was surprising how names came to my mind–and why.

Some were people I’ve known for years–who’ve impacted my life in significant ways, but I’d never told them that. Some were coworkers–paid and volunteer. Some were simply friends. A couple were the children of someone who had died before my project started. But a number were individuals I met in the course of daily activities who did something that I felt needed to be acknowledged…some waitresses or other service people.

As I look back over my list, I’ve been surprised at another fact. I had assumed that probably there would be a number of repeats, and I was okay with that. But out of the 365, I think there are probably only between 5-10 notes that have gone to the same person a couple of different times.

I wasn’t looking for any response. That’s not why I started the project.

Some did respond, though–and let me know that the note touched them in significant ways, sometimes bringing healing…other times reminding them that they are people of worth.

Am I going to do the same thing for 2012? No, I don’t think so–at least not as intensely and intentionally. But I am going to continue to try to be sensitive to people who touch my life–and let them know, even if it doesn’t end up being every day.

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