Let’s start with a little sing-along today, shall we?
Every morning when I wake up, magical coffee elves have snuck into the kitchen and caused the elixir of the Java Gods to appear in the coffeepot. This seems to be linked directly to a little ritual Moon Man performs each night, wherein he leaves water and coffee beans (the elves’ favorite offerings?) in the coffeepot and sets the pot’s timer for Too Early to Function o’clock. Then we go to bed, and the elves, apparently pleased by Moon Man’s tribute, materialize from the ether and grind and brew a nice hot pot of coffee, so it’s ready for us when we wake up.
Arguably, his willingness to perform this ritual every night is one of the nicest things about my husband, and for it I am profoundly grateful. Thank you, Moon Man, for being the Bringer of Coffee, the Dedicated Supplicant to the Java Gods, the Person in Charge of the Coffee Elves’ Nightly Tribute. You are a wonderful human being.
And y’know, I would suggest that if you stop for a second and think about it, there are a lot of people in your world who do things like this every day. The people who make the coffee. The people who replace the paper towel roll. The people who take away your trash. Your day, whether you’ve thought about it or not, would be vastly more complicated if it weren’t for the kazillions of people who take care of some aspect of it for you. Case in point: someone works at the toilet paper factory, so you don’t have to. I’m just sayin’.
So maybe today we take a second and appreciate those folks, specifically and personally. Yes, it’s great to send your gratitude out into the cosmos in the hopes that it’ll filter down to the right people; but today, just for kicks, maybe try delivering some of those thanks yourself, in person, on the spot.
For example, try thanking the person who bags your groceries. I started doing this a coupla years ago, and I’ve actually found it really interesting to see how they respond–most other customers say “thank you” on their way out of the checkout lane, but they do it in a kind of tossed-into-the-air, non-specific sort of way, the way I used to do it myself. Just a mumbled “thanks” on the way past. But nowadays I make a point of looking the bagger (and the cashier) in the eyes, smiling, and saying “Thank you” to each of them, individually and personally…and it’s always a little bit funny to me to see the “Oh crap, someone sees me!” look most of ’em get on their faces, followed by the “Hey! Someone sees me!” smile and the hearty “you’re welcome!” I get back. It’s one of those jobs, y’know, where I suspect people become used to being invisible.
The same holds true for hotel housekeepers–when Moon Man used to have to travel for his job with some regularity, I sometimes got to go with him, and would spend the days hanging out in the hotel, enjoying the chance to read and putz around in the pool and take naps without having any real responsibilities. And every day a housekeeper would come to the room, and work her magic (I confess: I kinda studied them. The way they can take a room from “lived-in, but certainly not disgusting” to “sparkling and tidy” in 5 minutes flat was a little bit inspirational to me). And when she was done, I would look her in the eyes, smile, and thank her…and you would not believe the number of people I made blush that way. They blushed! Like they were caught off-guard by someone thanking them!
So today I propose we set out to make a lot of people blush, ‘Tracters. I propose that today we thank people, specifically and personally, for doing those little things that we take for granted. Take three seconds to look someone in the eyes, smile, and thank him/her individually for whatever it is that s/he has done that makes your life easier. Because when you think about it, they really didn’t have to. They could’ve called in sick today. They could’ve told you to make your own darned coffee. They could’ve decided that today was the day they would run away and join the circus. But they didn’t–they showed up, and did whatever it is that they do, and as a result, your life is a little bit smoother.
To them–and to you–I say, with all the strength of my heart and soul, Thank You.