Saturday, January 7, 2012


I was staring at the morning news toward the end of December, 2011, maybe it was the Early Show, and a brief segment regarding New Year's resolutions aired. I rarely make resolutions, and this topic hardly took my attention from my cooling coffee, but then for the briefest moment, the subject shifted to gratitude. This fellow had spent a year writing thank you notes to people in his world to let them how his gratitude for the things they did.
I liked the sound of this idea, and the next day, I decided to write one of such cards each day in 2012. Because I didn't pay that much attention to the segment on the news, I didn't catch the author's name, much less the name of the book, but with a little snooping on Amazon, I found both. The name is John Kralik, and he wrote A Simple Act of Gratitude: How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life.
Being the impatient sort, I downloaded the book on my Kindle as I prepared to run out and fetch some note cards and envelopes. Yes, I had ordered them on Amazon earlier, but not even Amazon Prime can compete with holidays and weekends, and I knew my lazy self would become quickly sidetracked if I started the year in an automatic holding pattern.
To make this project tractable, and something I'm likely to finish, I've established a few rules. Each note will begin with “I hope this letter finds you well.” Each note will end with “Sincerely, Jim.” In the middle will be one or two sentences describing the thing that I'm grateful the person did. I'll write these notes with an italic nib on a fountain pen. I'll probably use permanent black ink for this project, but a big part of me is thinking that more colors would be better, and a very small part of me is screaming to use the Sharpies, which frankly have some merit here.
Maybe a few of these parts are better left to the Spirit and how it moves me over the many days hence.
Oh yes, there is another thing. I'm only doing one a day. Just one. If several things come up on a given day, I might make a list to consider on the following days, but I don't want to write 500 the first day, and then burn out, leaving none for the rest of the year. That would defeat the developmental purpose. Developmental? Yes, developmental. Surely, these things will progress in some manner through the year, as will I. We'll see next year how this all worked out.


  1. If the Spirit moves you to use a Sharpie, then use a Sharpie. The customization with different colors might be fun. Good luck with your project!

  2. The Sharpies were close at hand. However, Amazon delivered just in the nick of time, and now I have cards that accept the ink flowing from the italic nib, just as the deity in her wisdom prescribes.