I’ve been accused of saying “thank you” too much. A fellow communications colleague once told me that there comes a point when someone says “thank you” too much, and it becomes unbelievable, it takes away from the power of the words.
I thanked her, silently wished her more happiness in her life, and only see that colleague maybe once a year at networking events. For that last fact alone, I am greatly thankful.
Today is the day we give thanks. We supposedly open our eyes to all the good that is in our lives, open our hearts to the struggles those around us may be going through, and we bow in gratitude for what we have.
Much like how I feel about Valentine’s Day, I truly believe Thanksgiving should be celebrated every day (and not just because of the tradition of gorging on a massive feast).
For a while, the words from that colleague made me pause. Whenever I would go to thank someone, I would hesitate, and wonder if I had already said “thank you” too many times to the person in front of me, on the other end of the email, on the other end of the phone.
But like so many other pieces of unsolicited advice that have come my way, I have learned to let that second-guessing go. For the strength to be able to understand what she could not, I am thankful.
I say “thank you” a lot because it is what I feel. I say it because I want the receiver to know how I feel and never have to question it. I say it, because quite simply, it is very, very true.
On this special day, I know this much is true: there should never be a filter for gratitude.
No matter what etiquette rules state or what some old stuffy biddy in a suit tells you at a communications event, you can never say “thank you” enough. Especially when we live in a society that incorrectly equates denying success or great joy with being “humble.”
Say “thank you” ten times, and I am willing to bet the person receiving the gratitude will only hear it three times… and believe it perhaps just once.
So I say “thank you” ten times, and then again, and again, and again. I say it as a reflex, without thinking, because these are words that should never be thought out, calculated — these are words that should be automatically catapulted from the heart, the soul, the places where gratitude rests and begs to be expressed.
I say “thank you” in the hopes that people hear it, then feel it, then know it.
I am grateful, oh so grateful, for so many things in this world. For my children. For coffee. For strangers who smile back. For comedians. For friends who allow me distance when I need it and who won’t let me push them away when I am too scared to let them in. For Pinterest. For the luxury I hope to never, ever take for granted of having a warm home, running water, electricity, a paycheck, and a closet full of clothes. For Naomi Shihab Nye and Pablo Neruda and Anais Nin and Sylvia Plath. For my husband’s quick wit. For my parents, my brother, my cousins, nieces and nephews, in-laws, aunts, uncles, godparents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. For the ability to think and speak for myself. For bacon and bourbon and the Beastie Boys. For explorers and leaders and dreamers who inspire me to be a better citizen and to do more for others. For the crazy individuals who are brave enough to love me back and kind enough to let me into their lives.
I am grateful for the woman who told me I said “thank you” too much. Grateful for her reminding me that I need to say it more, so that one day, she will not just hear, but she will know it and she will feel it.
So go say “thank you” a million gazillion times today. HAPPY THANKSGIVING, everyone! If you are actually reading this, I THANK YOU!!