The end of something feels like it demands greatness, doesn’t it? When I ended last year’s 365, I started to dream up the perfect photo almost a week from the deadline. I spent an entire year rarely posing one shot. Every now and then, I’d beg the boys, “Look that way” or “Can’t you hug him harder?” But for the most part even my directions only encouraged them to laugh or act out. Why would I try to set up the final shot? Simple. It was the end. An ending justifies the beginning and firms up all the middles.
I woke up on the final day, ready to find my ending. I probably tossed out a few coaching clues at the boys, but nothing seemed right. For 364 days, I captured my life’s good and bad moments. And on day 365, I just had to wait. I let go of the perfect ending. Because maybe day 365 would be a shitter of a day. As it turns out, it was a normal one. And this was the final shot. Nothing staged or coached. Just two kids cramming marshmallows in their mouths. My beginning had an end.
Yesterday on Day 29 of the gratitude project, I started to get a similar anxiety. It wasn’t nearly on the same scale, but I knew Day 30 should be something good. And I’ve stated it before, I can’t fake a Gratitude post. I was busy all morning. I had lunch with a friend and her son. I should have photographed that, but I didn’t feel like having the camera interrupt our time. I could have said I’m grateful for the project to be over because I sort of am.
I was rummaging through my purse looking for a coupon (it expired) and I found a card from Amy. She took the time to send me a note expressing her gratitude for our friendship. Do you know how great it is to read that someone is grateful for you? They’re happy for the simple fact that you are You. How wonderful is that? The most pure and simple form of Fantastic if you ask me. And what’s real crazy, this is the second handwritten note I’ve received in the past 30 days. And I’ve received emails and FB messages saying similar things. In 30 Days, love poured in while I was trying to pour love out. And believe me, I’m no saint or some crazy fabulous person. But I’ve learned a lesson with this project. People need to hear how much you love and appreciate them. Because that’s all anyone really wants. It isn’t a narcissistic thing, it’s a human thing. You want to feel like you matter in this world. You want to feel like what you do is important. Whether it’s the dishes, cooking, blogging, sharing your life’s details, bath duties, handling the returns, or all of life’s messes. You just want someone to say “Thanks” because life is crammed full of Thankless jobs.
So family and friends, I’m incredibly grateful for every last one of you. Sometimes you might hear my frustration on the phone, I was probably swamped with work/kids/life. Sometimes you might get a snappy response. I didn’t mean it. I was probably swamped with work/kids/life. Maybe you think I’m not listening and I’m zoned out. I’m sorry. That’s rude. I’ll work on it. Perhaps my snark is turned up too high for my own good. Sorry. Maybe my opinion is too definite and unwavering. Sorry, I know I don’t have all the answers and I don’t know why I dig in so hard. Maybe I throw the martyr card way too often. Please know that I hate myself afterwards and I swear I’ll work on it. But I’m human and these are the icky things we wear from time to time. If I don’t tell you how much I love you or appreciate you, I’m sorry. Let me fix that…
My life is a million times brighter because you showed up in it.
And that’s how I’m ending this month. Grateful for every last one of you.
Bam! A big ending. Suck it, Beginning.