Cards and Conversations

Observations about life, people and relationships from the card department.

The Wedding Card

In the card department the other day, a middle-aged woman looked up and down the rows of white and silver wedding cards, lined up in sparkly precision, reading them one by one. She took her time with each card, and after what seemed like an eternity, she picked out a special one and smiled. She finally found the perfect card for her son’s wedding the following weekend. Then she turned to me again. “Do you know where the engagement cards might be?”

“A wedding and an engagement too?” I asked, “You have a lot to celebrate.”

“Yes, my youngest just got engaged. Now all three of my children will be married within one year.”

Wow.

This woman with all her children being married is suddenly an empty-nester. I wonder how she’s doing with it.

Big events in life are expected, celebrated, anticipated. They’re not expected all at once, though. I still remember when I had multiple life changes happen in the form of moving five times in five years because of job promotions. It was all good, but certainly chaotic. Add to that the two children my husband and I had in the meantime and you get a woman wanting to find something solid to stand on. I found my rock in remembering who I was…and still am: a wife and a mom. My job was to hold on to the rock in a way so I didn’t forget who I was in the meantime.

Have you ever had multiple life changes happen in a short period of time? How did you hold on to your rock in the middle of the changes?

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The Thank You Card

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In the card department the other day, a woman asked me to help her find a pack of thank you cards. Not only did she need multiple cards, but they had to be large enough for her to include a recipe with her thank you notes. I wondered if she would then be receiving thank you notes for the thank you notes.

Gratitude is a trait which sustains itself. When I’m grateful and show it, there’s one more smile out there. Someone else feels noticed but it makes me feel good, too.

When I was a kid, my mom always reminded me to send thank you notes, the old-fashioned kind we used to send in the mail, for gifts I received. As a kid, I have to admit it felt like a forced sentiment, especially when it was for a relative I didn’t know very well. Over time, however, my heart grew to appreciate the discipline of the hand-written notes. They are a special treat in today’s high-speed, texting, email-note-writing world. When I personally pen a thank you note, the cover already says “thank you.” And in the interest of having a sentence or two to write, I need to think about why I’m thankful. Maybe that’s what my mom was teaching me all those years ago. Not only to say “thank you” but to know why I’m grateful.

Yes, I think it’s a good idea to send a thank you for the thank you. Sure, it would to create more business for the card industry, but more importantly it nurtures an environment where I focus on the good stuff to help deal with the rest. I think maybe we all could benefit from a little more of that focus, don’t you?

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