Bragging is kin to those too-busy or lazy people who "forget" to affirm or appreciate people in their lives (you hear, I'm speaking to you, Dolores!). Several weeks ago, as I looked up books at my library to read to children on thankfulness, I discovered a world of adult books too. I picked out an interesting looking one to begin with. It was called "365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life." By John Kralik. New York; Hyperion, 2010.
In the beginning of this venture, Mr. Kralik was an overweight lawyer and definitely clueless. His life was a mess -- his business was failing, his 2nd marriage had failed, his girlfriend broke up with him, and he had lost contact with two of his three children. He lived in a tiny, dingy apartment and all his dreams were dust. One day, during a hike, he decided to focus on what he had and be grateful for it instead of focusing on what he didn't. Inspired by a simple thank you note from his ex-girlfriend for a Christmas gift, he set a goal of sending 365 thank you notes in the coming year. He said it changed his life.
I liked some of the thank you note samples he included in the book. To me, nothing says "careless, not much thought put into it" when I get a generalized thank you note -- I like handwritten notes that specifies what I'm getting thanked for. For example, a generalized card says "Thank you for all the work you do in church." A specific one says "Thank you for teaching my child, Susie, about God faithfully every week." It tells me the person writing the note really cares, knows what I do and appreciates that effort.
I was intrigued by this book because I'm a rubber stamp card-maker. I would say this was Mr. Kralik's form of a keeping a gratitude journal also, because, he kept a spreadsheet on his computer of all the cards he sent, eventually using it to write his book. He said it was his exercise in good manners, a custom his grandfather had attempted to instill in him when he was younger. When some people received a thank you note from him, they were in shock as they said "Really, who writes thank you notes anymore." What Mr. Kralik discovered was, it made his world a much better place and he a better man.
1. I'm thankful I found this book to read before I became ill. It inspired me to create some thank you notes that I'll be sharing with you in the coming weeks to send to those people who comforted and prayed for me while I was in the hospital and recooperating.
2. I'm grateful for the occupational therapist who visited me in the hospital. She gave me resourceful tips and tools that helped me to cope with some issues I've been struggling with such as putting on or removing clothing. She also told me about the safety devices I should have installed at home. And we're getting there!
3. Our car is fixed! Yeah! Thank you God for helping us find a new-to-us engine with a 3-year warranty! I love my PT cruiser -- when we went car shopping, I told my husband that I didn't care what make or model of automobile it was as long as it was easy for me to get in and out of and this one fits the bill just perfectly. Even has a little rail in front of my seat on the dashboard that I can grab to hold myself steady as I slide out. And my husband likes it, cause it looks classy and the seats fold over so we can haul larger loads if needed.
4. I'm thankful for our neighbors Larry & Dorothy. Being the nice neighbor that Larry is, he has helped us many times out of a fix or by mowing our backyard voluntarily when our mower was broken down. And I'm thankful that Dorothy's leg is on the mend. She fell in her garage while I was in the hospital, broke her leg and I'm sorry I missed all the excitement when the ambulance arrived at their house! *smile*
5. I so appreciate Donna's efforts because she is struggling to regularly join me by typing up her gratitudes too and learning how to post them here. She will eventually "get it", I know!