Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
~ William Arthur Ward

As gratitude is the theme at netlogx this year, I want to say “thank you, netlogx” for highlighting this core value.  My mother raised me to say please and thank you as a part of having what she calls “good manners”.  Showing appreciation to someone for doing something that impacts me has been ingrained from an early age for certain activities such as when receiving a gift, having a door held open for me, or being helped with something that I wasn’t expecting.  I also recall my mother teaching my brother, sisters, and me to be grateful and appreciating what we have. This attitude was passed down from my grandmother.  I’ve passed on this “habit” of expressing gratitude to my daughter and granddaughters.  

When I married my husband, I found that he, too, has “good manners”.  There are so many things I’m grateful for about my husband, and this is just one of those things.  Throughout our marriage, we’ve established a pattern of expressing gratitude to each other for the little things the other does around the house.  Some people may consider those tasks just part of keeping a household going, and no thanks should be expected.  Neither of us expects to be thanked for the tedium and drudgery of endless cooking, cleaning, laundry, yard work, grocery shopping, etc.  While these tasks need to be done, they are not necessarily enjoyable.  Having someone say “thank you” makes you feel appreciated and not taken for granted.  

Before COVID, when my husband was working in the office, I’d pack his lunch and slip in a note each day to let him know I was thinking of him.  He would send me an email every day from work.   Now that we’re working at home, he still surprises me with an email now and then, and I’ll slip him a note as I walk by his computer. 

Those notes and words may only take seconds to impart, but the feelings of happiness upon receiving a note or word of thanks feel like receiving a verbal present. 

I’m grateful to my mother for instilling in me the feeling of gratitude for things large and small and being able to readily express it.  This ability has led me to a happier marriage, and home life as everyone feels more appreciated and respected.  Wonderful presents to give, indeed!