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Hope Forward: Surviving and Thriving through Emotional Pain: Good Old Fashioned Thank You Notes

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Good Old Fashioned Thank You Notes

A friend of mine told me recently that she keeps a stack of note cards on her desk and that every now and again she takes pen to card and hand writes a note to someone.  Sometimes it's a thank you note, sometimes it's to say she is thinking of them or misses them.  She recently sent such a note to her boss who had taken some extra time out to help her understand a difficult new project.

She was musing to me about how she remembers how it used to be that snail mail was the only way to send a note, and even in the tech age, the still preferred way.  Then email began to gain ground, then texting, Facebook, and other tech mediums.  And now, even in many business practices, email has become not just an acceptable way to send a thank you note, but preferred. 
Her boss was amazed.  Thrilled that my friend sent a thank you note at all, but moreover, that it arrived by mail, written in my friend's messy but intentional and thoughtful scrawl.  The idea that my friend took the time to write it out, address it, stamp and mail it, not just click, - (not that click thank you's don't count) - meant a lot to her boss.  It created a good feeling, a bridge between them.  Her boss picked up the phone to tell her this.
Her story came on the heels of her telling me something very sad that was on her mind.  She had been sitting with the sad for a while, and feeling it, but needed a little breather.  The note did the trick.  It created a little distraction from her pain, was a nice gesture toward her boss and brought a better feeling in the door for a bit, which helped her bear her sadness a little better.
It brought to mind the ideas that taking the time to say "Thank you" or "I'm thinking of you," can build a bridge, that noticing someones efforts takes us out of our own pain, even if for a moment, that a little extra effort can make a big impression. 
There are not often simple solutions to our problems, emotional pain, conflicts, but while we are working out our problems, tending to our inner life, there are little things we can do along the way to bring life in and keep us moving forward.

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