This time of year, I always notice how frantic people seem. I don’t get it really because I am one of those plan ahead Martha Stewart-ish people that decide their holiday menu sometime in late September or early October. I plan my Christmas tree and cookie baking about that time and start loading my freezer with banana and pumpkin bread. I work all year on shopping using my free cash for gifts for the children so that I don’t have the stress of what to do at the last minute. Being a graduate student, this year, my budget was unusually restrictive. There are people that I would like to do things for but what I could afford would not be reflective of how I feel about them. After much thought, it occurred to me what to do one night watching people running in and out of the mall while they were looking so miserable (waiting for Middle Monkey to get off work gives me a lot of extra thinking time). What I most would like to give to people is gratitude. We have a serious lack of gratitude in society today. Every time I have to go somewhere inadvertently during rush hour, I am consistently surprised with all of the angry people on the road. It seems like its getting worse. It was echoed in my mall observation and then when I was nearly run down by an angry shopper welding a cart specifically aimed at my shins so she could get the last ham, I realized my mission. I have to fix this mess.
Interested? This is what I started this week. Choosing the Christmas theme, I decided this year for Christmas, I am delivering 12 letters of gratitude to people that have inspired me or taught me lessons over the years. If this is too much for you, you could do one letter a month; I am only asking that you consider the option. While I have started and mailed letters, if you are so pressed for time, you could theoretically email them. I say theoretically because I think you should put some thought into it and put it on paper because rarely does anyone use snail mail any more. I am keeping track of the ripple effect, both of the folks that decide to undertake their own letter writing and the unintended effect of what happens when a letter is received. I am not sure what every reaction will be but pretty sure that I will be documenting this on a new blog as this evolves as a creation of its own. Please consider sharing and definitely let me know if you do. ALSO, if you reach out to someone from your past and have an interesting experience you will share, please feel free to let me know at qoftu AT yahoo DOT com. I hope this gratitude gift gets carried on and I am hopeful for wonderful results for everyone. Now I am not stupid enough to think I can reach the entire world, but at least affect my little part of it. If so inclined, others could join in and then like that diagram of how fast STDs spread in sex education class, POOF, we collectively change the world.
My greatest wish for each of you this time of year is the unexpected happiness that just takes your breath away. May your new year be full of hope, peace and gratitude!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
12 Letters Project
*Might I plant a seed now? If you like the idea, consider writing a letter or two, even better, do so and click to share with your friends encouraging them to do the same. Just a tiny pebble in the lake can make a great many ripples.