Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thank you, thank you very much

My boyfriend is very helpful, in myriad ways. One of the ways he helps me is by suggesting topics that I could, should, or might perhaps want to blog about. He’s come up with some good ones.

One of the ideas he’s suggested more than a few times, but that I’ve resisted writing about up to this point, is the subject of bloggers themselves. Who are they? Why do they do what they do? Don’t they have anything better to do with their time?

I’m not exactly why I’ve shied away from this topic, something about not wanting to delve too deeply into the fact that I spend time blogging that might “better” be spent actually doing my day job, or playing a dreaded, never-ending game of Candy Land with my kids, or running, or cooking, or reading, or, well, you name it. There are only so many hours in the day, and here I am blogging! Aren’t I always bitching about how time poor I am? Couldn’t I get in one more yoga class per week if I stopped this nonsense?

Yes, yes, I probably could. And I have to admit that there are days that I don’t feel like blogging, at all; I have no good ideas and I’d rather clean my bathroom (yes, it’s that bad sometimes) but it’s my turn, and I’m not about to let Jacquie or Ellie down. I have no illusions that I’d be letting anyone else down, I’ve never been crazy enough to think “I must do this for my adoring public!” But me skipping a post would mess up the Me and You and Ellie schedule, and I’m not about to do that to my dear co-bloggers.

Beyond that, though, there’s another reason I do it….. I do it as an outlet, a creative outlet. M&Y&E provides me with a space to lay out my thoughts, in words and pictures, however wacky, silly, or stupid they may be.

Sometimes my posts suck, sometimes they don’t. But always, or almost always (unless they really suck), I feel a sense of satisfaction once the post is published. So when I read the title and subtitle of a press release yesterday that said:
Study: Want to be happier? Be more grateful
Want to quickly improve your happiness and satisfaction with life? Research done at Kent State University shows the pen may be a mighty weapon

I had a bit of an “ah-ha” moment. Well, not so much of an “ah-ha” moment, as a reaffirmation of what I already know -- expressing yourself is freeing.

The Kent State press release went on to reveal that expressive writing, in this case the weekly writing of letters of gratitude, increased happiness and feelings of gratitude in the study participants, and further, that expressive writing is often associated with fewer health problems, decreased depression, an improved immune system, and improved grades.

Wow, right?

Is something as simple as expressive writing something we can all do to be happier?

I think it is. And I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful to Jacquie and Ellie for sharing the space with me, and to anyone who reads, or reads and comments on M&Y&E.

I’ve been grateful for the blog when annoying or bad things happen. It gives me another way to think about an inconvenience such as being stuck, hungover in a tiny airport with two kids for hours on end, or receiving mother’s day flowers picked out by my ex-husband's girlfriend. It somehow provides some levity in these types of situations; if nothing else, we bloggers think to ourselves, it will make for a good blog post.

So, here’s the challenge for you, in this week of giving thanks: to whom do you owe a letter of gratitude? And when are you going to volunteer to be a M&Y&E guest blogger?


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Well, I owe many thank you notes for the wonderful and generous birthday gifts that were bestowed on me. I actually received a thanksgiving card from one of the families at work - that's pretty cool.

So the thing about thank you cards is to wonder whether it's better to save the earth and send electronic cards, or mind your manners and send handwritten cards. Personally, I loathe my handwriting so I tend to type up pretty cards and then print and send them. usually very late. So I obviously have neither ecosense nor manners. But I am thankful.


martyjoco said...

On October 4, I completed my third annual walk marathon: 26.2 miles to raise funds for the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation, an amazing organization founded by my dear pal Norma. Lots of my friends and co-workers chipped in [again] and I exceeded my fundraising goal easily. The day after the walk, I bought a packet of nice thank you cards so I could write all my supporters. Yesterday, I noticed that unopened packet peeking out from under the pile of mail on the kitchen table... yikes!! That's not quite 2 months, but nearly!! What would Emily Post say? What would my mother say?? I have four whole days off from work this weekend; those cards WILL be written! I am very thankful for the folks who supported me (including Ellie on crew, and my own personal delivery and reception team Eileen, Rick, Jennie & Bill) and I really do need to say it to them on paper, as I was taught and, apparently, as will make me even happier and improve my immune system!
Happy T-day, all!

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Aw, Beth. Aw, Jacquie and Martha. The thanks are streaming out of me tonight, and it's NOT just the wine.

But to Beth's question. To whom do I owe a letter of graditude? Mom and Dad. It's always Mom and Dad. For tonight's Lebanese dinner, for tomorrow's Thanksgiving dinner in advance. For all it is they *do* do.


KG said...

I think blogging is one of those things that is really difficult to explain to other people. But suffice it to say that blogging is totally hawt.

Kathi D said...

Oh lordy, who DON'T I owe a thank you note to? But the one that is speaking to me right now is my veterinarian and his staff who sent me nice cards and notes expressing their sympathy when we lost our darling Sheltie Bronco.