When my dad entered a nursing facility in the last year of his life, I fretted because I lived 800 miles away and only visited during the holidays. What if he passed away and I didn’t have a chance to be with him?
It was a comfort when a friend asked me whether I felt there was anything I felt that was left unsaid between my father and I. To my great relief I realized, no, that I believed my dad knew how much I loved him and what a positive influence he had been for me. This was because my dad and I had always been close and talking had always been easy for us.
But the easy rapport I shared with my dad is the exception not the rule. There are plenty of people for whom too much time goes by and so much goes unsaid. We think we have all the time in the world when in truth we never know how much time we really have.
Appreciating others has always come easily to me. I can identify what it is in others that are unique to them and that I value. I thought why not share what I appreciate with those people in my life? And do this now. Don’t wait because you don’t know how long you’ll be in the world nor do you know how long the people who matter to you will be in this world.
So I’ve begun creating I Appreciate You cards. I have a list of people to whom I want to express my appreciation and I send 2-3 cards each week.
Despite the fact sharing appreciation seems to be an easy thing, it is not always easy for me to sit down and write a card to someone. Although I keep my words simple and straightforward, expressing myself in this way feels vulnerable.
I worry how my words will be received by the person to whom I’m sending the card. I worry that they’ll think I’m stupid or uncool. This has never happened but it is a tender act to write a card which is unexpected and unsolicited.
But my guidance has directed me time and time again to keep writing these cards. That writing these cards at this particular time in my life is my most important work.
And so I continue to write cards to express appreciation to the people on my ever growing list. My goal is to send 100 I Appreciate You cards by June, 2018 and to write a book about the experience.