Friday, February 4, 2011

Love Notes

The other day I was looking through my writing folder on my computer and found some old gems that I had completely forgotten about. One was an essay I wrote titled “The Best Husband in the World” to nominate my husband for something. I wrote it back when we only had two kids—now we have four. It’s funny I can’t remember what I was nominating him for, but everything I wrote in that essay still rang true.

I read it and thought, Wow! My husband really is the best husband in the world. He is amazing and I need to tell him. So I sent a quick email and attached that old file and told him, “I love you and all of this is still true, plus more.”
Here’s an excerpt from what I sent:

Steve has made me feel valuable as a person because he respects what I do and he always encourages me to follow my dreams. One of my dreams is to be a writer and he often gives me time to write while he plays with the kids. No matter how unreachable my goals may seem, he believes in me. It’s so inspiring to have someone beside you who thinks you are so amazing that you can do whatever you put your mind to. When other people doubt or discourage, he is cheering me on.

He opened the email at work the next morning and told me it was the highlight of his day. He wrote me a nice note back and I believe those notes colored the rest of my day. I was wearing rose-colored glasses, life was good and I just kept thinking about how I was married to the best man in the world.

The next day I went to throw something in the garbage only to find that while my hubby was cleaning up the miscellaneous newspaper ads he inadvertently threw my magazine (that had arrived the same day as the ads) in the trash. Normally, I might not have been very nice in telling him that he had accidentally thrown away my magazine. But then I remembered the love notes and I decided the best husband in the world deserved a little more credit and patience. I handled the situation with kindness and my husband reciprocated.

For the next few days we exhibited extra kindness and love toward each other all because of a simple love note. This is not the first time this has happened, but I’m always amazed how something so simple can create such an effect.

I’m lucky to be married to a very thoughtful man who will often leave me thank you notes or send an email saying thanks for taking care of the kids or getting up in the middle of the night to care for the baby. Each time I find a note, no matter how frazzled or grumpy I might be with my kids—I can’t help but smile.

Who doesn’t like to be noticed, appreciated, and thanked?
It’s such a simple thing but it makes a big difference. My husband also enjoys receiving short notes of thanks and love. Sometimes I leave a sticky note on the bathroom mirror for him to see in the morning or if he goes on a business trip I’ll tuck notes into his suitcase.

Love notes aren’t just for spouses; you can give a love note to anyone. Here are a few ideas that take a small amount of time, but provide great dividends.

The first time I made a lunch for my second-grader this year I included a small note that took me ten seconds to write. The next time I made her a lunch, she said “Will you put a note in my lunch?” and now she looks for a little note each time she takes a lunch to school. Something that seemed inconsequential to me was of great importance to her.

Write a love note, a thank you note, or just a note that says, I see you. I know you’re there and I notice the things you do each day. Sometimes we feel as if no one really understands the work we do each day, the effort it takes just to keep a smile on our face. When someone takes note, the burdens of life seem so much lighter.

Give a love call. If you’re not into writing notes, pick up the phone and tell someone how much you appreciate them today.

Write a note to your children or grandchildren. I have a box full of old notes from past to present. Every once in a while, I pull that box out and read some of those notes. The sentiments from those cards and letters never fades or expires. Some of the people who wrote those notes have passed away but I still have something tangible from them that says “I love you.”

Send an email or a text that says, “Thank you for being you!” or “I’m so grateful you are a part of my life.”

Life will never slow down for us, so we have to make a special effort to remember the little things that make a big difference. I challenge you to take a moment today to send a love note to someone who might need a boost. Tell that person how much you care and be ready for the joy you’ll feel in return.

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