Merci. Gracias. Kia ora. Arigato. Faafetai. شكرا

Photo above by Portuguese Gravity on Unsplash

In nine days, the Big Day will be over. The New Year, with all its seductive self-help rhetoric will beckon us quickly over to a new decade. Forget what was, and dream instead about what could be. How will we be better, smarter, fitter, kinder, calmer, more productive, more genuine, more present? The list of ways we can become our best selves is matched only by the number of products and life hacks designed to get us there. 

As when the clock strikes twelve, it can be so easy to forget where we were this time last year, this time last decade.

What are you no longer afraid of?

What are you proudest of starting?

How have you been brave?

Who has helped you on the journey of becoming the person you want to be?

We can’t be where we were a year ago, and most of the time, it isn’t wise to wish it so. But we can take the time to try and remember, to bring ourselves a little perspective. There’s an adage as old as it is true, but still it bears repeating: One of the ways we can celebrate how far we’ve each come and pay homage to the journey is to thank those who’ve helped us along the way. Thanking others helps us to remember that we did not get here on our own. We’re a product so many things, but those around us carry a hefty influence.

Thanking brings joy and delight to both parties. Here’s how you could make someone’s day:

Shout them out. That’s part of the inspiration for my monthly love letters. If you’ve got a platform, tell those who are listening to you that what they see is a product of other people’s time, energy and encouragement. Remember – if you have any type of social media or following, you have a platform.

Surprise them with a gift. Offer to babysit for them. Drop a cake on their doorstep. Get them something they would never buy for themselves. For most people, it’s the thought that counts.

Write to them. An email or message can brighten a day, but a card or letter can keep a heart warm in the darkest of times. Never underestimate the power of your own words. The more specific you can be, the better.

Ask their advice. Those who give opinions without it being asked of them don’t appreciate the weight that this request carries. Our opinions are all fallible, but when you ask someone specifically what they think, your subtext is pretty clear: I admire, respect and cherish what you think.

If they’re close by, wait until after Christmas, and then invite them out for a meal, or a coffee, or a walk. Spend time together, and tell them what you’re thankful for.

You have the power to bring a warm glow, a smile, a renewed sense of belonging to another human being. What better way to start the decade than by sharing that?

In light of the season, my new favourite word and what I’ve been writing about recently, I’m taking a break to rest, listen, read, relax and thank my own support crew.

I’ll be back in 2020.