The very best outcome of my blog is when I can show someone how awesome they are in the eyes of others. I’ve done this a few times now – first with my sparkly people post, other times about workmates, my daughters’ school, or whoever inspires me to write. Then I shyly share the article with the people concerned and wait with baited breath for a response.
A week or so ago I gave a copy of the article I wrote about my girls’ swimming teachers to one of the teachers involved. He was teaching at the time, so he put it with his towel to read later. The next time I saw him, a week later, he was almost overwhelmed with awe and gratitude – he couldn’t believe that I had taken the time to write such nice things about him. I got the feeling I had made his day.
It’s easy to be quick with criticism. Few of us take the time to write letters of praise when we are really impressed with someone. More of us write letters of complaint when we’re annoyed, but even then it’s easier just to let things slide. We can easily wind up drifting through life without really connecting with people, simply because we don’t voice what’s in our heads.
It would be very easy for a blog to become an outpouring of venom, frustration and anger. I do sometimes write about things that are bugging me, because I tend to write about the things that are spilling out of my heart. When I am overflowing with emotion I let it fall out onto my keyboard and it becomes magically more manageable.
Writing helps me sort through my emotions and work out how I am feeling, but more than that it allows me to document a few of the amazing people in my life. It’s one thing to tell someone they are wonderful, but quite another to write it down and publish it. There is something potent about the written word that can cut to the heart of things. The written feedback I’ve received from my year 12s gives me a huge lift every time I read it. The best cards I got for my 40th birthday are now in a frame so I can read them when I need a boost. We don’t all have blogs, but there are other ways we can document our appreciation.
I’ve never been a fan of Christmas cards of the “Dear X, Merry Christmas, Love Y” variety. They seem like a pointless waste of effort and resources. But Christmas cards are a fabulous opportunity to write down how we feel about people. To tell, for example, swimming teachers that they have made a palpable difference in the lives of their students. To tell co-workers what they mean to you. To take your feelings and put them down on paper, to lift someone’s spirits every time they read it.
It’s a busy time of year, and the opportunity can slip by under the pressure of everything we need to get done, but ask yourself this: is there someone in your life who has really made a difference to you? Could write it down and make their year?