A tiny toddler sat on my lap and looked up at me with sparkling eyes and what she said next truly struck me. “Thanks, Miss Nicole,” her little voice said. “Thanks for what?” I asked her. “Just thanks,” she said as she bounded across the playroom after a rolling ball.
As I left work that day, I had a completely altered view on giving thanks. I began to take inventory of all the thanks I fall short in giving. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how easy it could be to forget about the impact of just saying thanks, like the tiny toddler was able to understand. I continued my drive home from work, racking up a list of people and items I wanted to thankfully address.
The person who seemed to be at the forefront of my mind in my consideration of thankfulness was my sweet boyfriend, Matt. I realized that the closer I let someone get to me, the easier it is to take for granted how thankful we may be for them. Sure, in moments of gift giving or fight mending, I always thanked him for whatever he did, but I knew I had lost sight of all of the “just thanks” moments. At the end of the day, I wanted him to know how thankful I was that he was mine.
Just as I began to mentally lecture myself on ways that I needed to show greater thanks for my boyfriend, my phone rang. Matt’s face appeared on the front of my phone and I smiled at the universe’s ironic timing. I answered and immediately after our usual greetings and check-ins, Matt paused and said, “Hey, I appreciate you.”
I laughed loudly into the phone. “I was just thinking the same thing about you,” I replied. We continued on talking and that moment of thanks quickly passed. I smiled to myself about the coincidental timing of his call. It seemed that everyone around me understood the great impact of unsolicited thank-yous.
The rest of my drive home, I continued to take inventory of my thankfulness and how I can express it moment by moment. My heart felt overwhelmingly thankful for the guy in my life and I knew that I needed to shift towards thankfully dating him every day. It’s those moments of tiny thanks and appreciation that truly stand out.
The little toddler and my sweet boyfriend were tiny moments that passed quickly, but a huge lesson was carefully packed within each. For each of us, giving thanks is a way to show love and service towards others. How easy it is for me to forget to just thank my boyfriend for his love and instead jump into the daily details of life. As a way to refocus ourselves, we each agreed to keep a list of what we are thankful for this month. Yesterday he asked me what I was thankful for, “I’m thankful for someone like you to write about,” I responded and my lesson seemed to finally be sinking in.