Monday, September 20, 2010

A Discussion of Flaws

For some reason, I feel compelled to write about one of my character flaws. Not that I couldn't fill a book with them all. But I had to rethink the title. At first, I was going to call this Character Flaw-No. 1. But I didn't want to send the message that I believed this was my Number One Character Flaw, The Worst of a Long, Bad List. Clearly, not writing thank you notes is no one's Worst of a Long, Bad List. It's just the first one I've felt inspired to discuss.

Thank You Notes.

I don't really understand this lack of courtesy on my part. Like the road to hell, I am full of good intentions. And it's not that I'm not thankful. I am very thankful. There are amazing people around me doing amazing things for me. But I have a hard time following through with my feelings in the form of a note, addressed, stamped and mailed. Not to mention I tend to pour my little, coal black heart into my thank you notes, as if I were charged with convincing someone exactly how thankful. I really strive to make them meaningful. And as a person who owns her own papercrafting supply business, I also feel as if I should send a card made by my own hands. Which I never do. Another problem I have is with elapsed time. Once I have failed to properly thank someone in a timely manner, I think it's too late to thank them at all. So a lot of the time, my gratefulness just stays in my coal black heart.

It's pretty embarrassing because there are some people who do pay attention to whether or not they received a thank you note. When you don't send them, those people often rethink whether or not they want to send you a gift or do you a favor ever again. Oh, how sad. Sometimes, they don't. And why should they anyway?

I did a poor job sending thank you notes when Lily was born, so I was too embarrassed to send birth announcements when Darcy was born. Not to mention that we were a displaced people group at that time as well. And since I didn't send announcements out when Darcy was born, I didn't do it when Reagan was born. Or Joshua. Oops. Lucky for me, some people knew we were having babies anyway, without an announcement.

I do like to receive thank you notes, and I do read them. I figured out years ago that everyone needs to feel loved, needed and appreciated. This one flaw aside, I really do consider myself a thoughtful person. I'm wondering if this is a big enough flaw to remove "thoughtful" from my list of positive traits?

As usual, I'm in the red with my thank you notes. (That's finance/accounting speak: I owe others.) But this time, I actually did hand make cards to send. The delay in this case was my inability to get the fullness and thankfulness out of my heart and onto paper. But however late, I'm going to go ahead and send them. I'm still very grateful and want those people to know that I haven't forgotten their kindness.

I'm going to do better. I really am know. Except for this.


Lindsay said...

Ugh I'm the worst at this. I did a really good job after Jenna was born for like the first 20 and then got busy. Now I've lost track of who I've thanked (in note form) and who I haven't.

My question is, why are we required to write thank you notes during what is already the busiest time of our lives? I know I would never want to add one more thing to someones to-do list or make them feel guilty. It doesn't bother me not to receive a thank you note.

Oilfield Trash said...

Dont feel bad, I suck at thank you notes as well.

Anonymous said...

I hear ya! I wrote thank you notes to about half the folks who gave us gifts when Laura was born and delivered/mailed them right away. But then I got busy. And now 9 months has passed. I actually did finish writing them but they are still sitting in a sad little pile because I'm ashamed to remind people of my tardiness in thanking them for their thoughtfulness towards me. It's pride and it's ridiculous! Mail or throw away? Not sure...