Saturday, March 28, 2015

A SIMPLE "THANK YOU" MEANS SO MUCH

By Mary Kennedy                                 
 
 
In the middle of the night, it suddenly occurred to me that I'd forgotten to thank someone for a favor. (Yes, some of my best thinking/planning/worrying time is done at 2:00 am. I bet a lot of you can relate.). The person who helped me is an acquaintance, not really a close friend, but she was incredibly kind and went out of her way to help me with a project. We only cross paths every few months, so sad to say, her kindness slipped my mind.  My bad! What did I do?  I jumped up out of bed to write her a quick note before it slipped my mind again. 
                                                        
 
Could I have e-mailed her instead, or waited until morning and called her? Yes, of course. Chances are she has completely forgotten the favor she did, and being a generous soul, she wouldn't expect a thank-you note. There's something about taking pen to paper that seems more "significant" than just tapping a few keys for an e-mail. At least, it seems that way to me.
 
I'm always thrilled when someone takes the time to write to me, and one of my most treasured letters is from a former colleague.  I was leaving the practice and she had organized a lovely good-bye party.  She wrote to tell me how much she had enjoyed working with me and she insisted that I'd helped her find her path in life. Wow. I was floored and didn't expect that. I had helped her with a few things here and there, written a letter of recommendation, suggested a few contacts, that sort of thing. I had no idea that my words had had such an effect on her.
 
I started thinking of all the people over the years who have helped me and how they have made my life so much easier and more pleasurable. Knowing them has been a joy.                         
                                                        
 
Do you have people like this in your life?  Sweet friends who are invariably kind, happy to see you and always have a word of encouragement for you? People who will put aside their own busy schedules to help you out of a jam or meet you for coffee to mull over a difficult situation. I have been so blessed that I do, and I hope you have, too.
 
So the next time you experience a "kindness" from someone, think about sitting down and writing them a quick note. I promise you they will treasure it.
 
 Mary Kennedy

16 comments:

Lynda Turpin said...

I totally agree Mary. A written "thank you" is so nice to receive - especially when my mail usually consists of bills or ads. Technology has made it easy to have immediate contact with people, but sometimes the old fashioned methods are so welcome. And - yes - I can definitely relate to the middle of the night revelations. I actually keep a notepad by my bed, in the hopes that I will be able to put the thought down and actually go back to sleep. It doesn't always work, but sometimes it does.

mary kennedy said...

Hi Lynda, it's 4:00 am and I'm at the computer! We are both night owl. Love the idea of keeping a notepad by the bed. Sweet dreams! Thanks for stopping by.

Gram said...

My handwriting is so bad that reading a thank-you note from me might be an exercise in puzzle solving. My fingers don't work as well as they used to.

Barbara T. said...

My last thank you note was to a friend who had her son-in-law deliver cookies to me. What an unexpected and pleasant surprise.

mary kennedy said...

Hi Gram, I know what you mean. "Back in the day," the nuns always insisted we do hand-written thank you notes, but writing is really difficult as well all get older. Remember that scene in the Woody Allen movie? A bank robber passes a handwritten note to a teller, It's supposed to say I have GUN. But the teller can't read his writing and says "You have a GLUB?" And then she passes the note around to other tellers and they all try to decipher it! LOL

mary kennedy said...

Cookies! That is a wonderful surprise!! Thanks for stopping by, Barbara.

Linda Kish said...

Have you tried Calms Forte? It's homeopathic, made by Hylands and available at most pharmacies now. I started using it years ago when it was only available at Sprouts and other specialty stores. It works much better than melatonin, non-habit-forming.

Annette Naish said...

I do try to write Thank You notes when people do me a kindness. When I have received books from authors, I have sent notes to let them know I have received the book and how much I appreciate their kindness. I am going to look into Linda's suggestion of Calms Forte. That kindness deserves a" Thank You, Linda".

mary kennedy said...

That is so nice of you, Annette! I know the authors really appreciate it. Thanks for stopping by!

Lynda Turpin said...

It's really sad to me that so many younger people do not feel that a formal "Thank You" is even necessary. I have been to a lot of wedding and baby showers in the last few years, and probably 80+% of those times I did not receive a personal "Thank You" note/email/message. Some of the people posted a FB group thank you (i.e. Thanks everyone for the wedding/baby gifts) and some of them just never even acknowledged the gifts. To me - with the way I was raised - I think that's the epitome of rudeness - even though the people are not what I would think of as rude people. In many instances it's just how they were raised - their parents don't say Thank You either. I've often spent over $100 on gifts and never even got a Thanks in return. Personally, I think it's a shame, because I believe that it does both the sender and receiver good to make that effort. There are some habits from the "old days" that I hate to see die.

ceblain said...

I would love to write notes to many of the authors and bloggers that have been so kind to me over the past 16 months with my medical problems, but for most of them, I don't have their addresses and don't want any author to think that I am asking them for a reason other than to send them a note. So, that is one of the reasons that I end up writing a thank you note via e-mail or a PM on Facebook as I don't have their address. Otherwise I try to write to as many people that have been a help or have done something nice for me. So, Mary, thank you for this reminder and I am sorry but I don't know where to send a note and I do agree that people just don't do enough written thank you notes or thinking of you cards anymore. Loved this posting very much.
Thanks again. <3
Cynthia

mary kennedy said...

HI Cynthia, you are such a sweetheart and I know your friends are happy to hear from you in any format--e-mail, whatever! You're the best! Hope you are feeling a lot better and continue to improve.

Mary Jane Maffini said...

This is a lovely reminder for all of us, Mary! We are all so rushed, yet a little hand-written note means a lot. Thank you!

XOXO

MJ

mary kennedy said...

Hi MJ, thank you so much for stopping by! I think that writers tend to be better at keeping in touch/

Mary Jane Hopper said...

I try to send a thank you via email when I can, but once in a while I just forget! I think my age is showing!

Linda Rima said...

Handwritten notes if I have snail mail address, emails, the FB message as last resort.