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I consider myself a person with a gratitude attitude. Most evenings before going to bed, I write at least five things I am grateful for in my life. I have a dear friend who hires me twice a year (or more if work is available) for freelance work. I make a point of taking her to lunch once or twice during the year to express my gratitude. I’m pretty good at writing thank you notes for gifts I receive from family, friends, and students. And, if my family and I receive excellent service at a restaurant, we make a point to show our gratitude with a great tip and a compliment to the manager about the service. I believe these actions can make an impact…maybe small, maybe big.

Recently, while waiting for my car to be fixed, I thought about extending my gratitude to people who help me in other capacities. Our society tends to focus on complaining more than complimenting. When I taught 2nd grade, I use to tell my students to try to receive compliments rather than complaints. Every time my students received a compliment from me or from another adult, I would write a letter on the board until it spelled out COMPLIMENT. Once the word was complete, my students voted on their reward. It could be an extra 15-minute recess or switching places with another student to sit by a friend for the day.  Even as a teacher, I received more complaints than compliments. The compliments I did receive whether in person or in writing, I cherished because they were rare. In fact, I use to keep happy notes from parents or administration in my desk, so on bad days when things were not going well, I would stop and reread those notes. They provided comfort. I try to write happy notes to my son’s teachers to pay it forward for the ones I received over the years.

Granted, people are paid to provide a service or do a job; however, people like to be acknowledged when they do something well or go above and beyond their normal duties. So, I have decided to express my gratitude to those people who sincerely make an effort to make my life more enjoyable and more manageable.

First, I have to thank YOU, my reader. Thanks for subscribing to my blog. I appreciate you allowing me to enter your inbox periodically to share whatever I have to say about my life. You are NOT taken for granted. I consider you a member of my tribe, and I am grateful to you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read what I have written. One day, I will figure out another way to express the gratitude I feel towards YOU, my reader. For NOW…Thank You

Next, I will mail out three thank you cards tomorrow morning. One will go to Rae, the service advisor at Toyota. One will go to James, the service tech at Toyota. Both of these gentlemen helped get my car back on the road. I love my little car. It is important to me, as well as my family. It is necessary for me to have it running properly. The last card will go to the owners of an athletic shoe store where I buy running shoes. I have been a customer since I was in high school. The store is about an hour away from where I live, but well worth the drive. The last time I went to the store, they did not have the shoes I needed in my size. First time this ever happened. Henry agreed to order the shoes and mail them to me at no charge. Happiness! 

So, the next time someone does something to make your life a little easier or even a little happier, demonstrate a gratitude attitude. I bet it will bring some positive energy into your life.

“Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.” ~ Randy Pausch

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