But lately, with World Gratitude Day just around the corner, I’ve been reflecting on all of the people who make my life tremendously awesome in subtler, less tangible, non-gift-and-opportunity-oriented ways.
And most of those people? I’ve never, ever thanked ‘em. Not really. Not out loud. Not in writing. Not even in my own mind. That’s got to change — because they deserve unbridled expressions of gratitude, too.
Here are 5 people I’ve always forgotten to thank (until now).
(And I’m willing to bet that you might’ve forgotten to say “thank you,” too.)
1. The garbage collection guy (or gal).
Once a week, hours before the sun cascades across the horizon, my diligent local garbage collection guy (or gal — I don’t even know!) drives a monstrous truck across town to clear thousands of sacks of filth from streets, sidewalks and alleyways ... for me and thousands of people like me.
I usually grumble when I hear the truck — why does it have to be sooooo loud? ugh! — and then sink back into my pillow, annoyed by the disturbance.
Good grief. Never again. Thank you, thank you, thank you, garbage collection friend.
How to say thank you: Next collection day, I’m going to haul my butt out of bed at the crack of dawn, and greet my garbage-gathering friend with a hot cup of coffee, a sweet breakfast treat and a big smile.
Honestly? I may only do it once in my life. But it could change someone's whole day.
2. The first person who ever said YES to hiring me (for a job I really, really wanted).
Her name was Jen. She’s now a dear friend. She saw potential in me and hired me for my very first “real job” in public broadcasting and communications, and her vote of confidence changed my life and career.
I’ve enjoyed countless dinner parties and coffee dates and inspiring email exchanges with her since then — but I don’t think I ever looked her straight in the eye and said, “thank you.”
How to say thank you: I’m going to record a Vocaroo message for Jen. (It’s like a voicemail, but delivered to your inbox!) And since she’s an environmental crusader, I’ll send her a zero-waste Kiind gift certificate while I’m at it.
3. The last band that changed my life.
Music is my pulse, my sanctuary, my world. I’m rarely not listening to music. And yet, like most fans, I assume that my favorite musicians are “too fancy, busy and famous” to need validation and encouragement.
Um, not exactly.
The last band that changed my life? Rhye. Their sultry, broken-open-hearted lyrics and smooth grooves carried me through a major break-up, this summer. I need to show ‘em some love.
How to say thank you: A simple “thank you” tweet — like this: