Happy New Year!  Did you make any resolutions?  I’m trying to express appreciation more often.  I want to let people know that they matter.  Not just friends and family, but strangers as well.

This is not a new goal.  I’m happy to say I made some good progress on the appreciation front in 2021.    On Christmas Eve, my friend and I drove around to look at holiday lights and decorations.  Close up photo of candle with image of many other candles in the distanceOne neighborhood was full of luminarias.  Streets in every direction were lined with those white bags containing votive candles.  I was captivated.  And grateful to experience some holiday joy during another challenging year.  It was a cold windy night in Southeastern PA, and we saw volunteers in reflective vests lighting hundreds of these candles.  I had to say thanks so I rolled down my window and let the teenage boy know his efforts were being appreciated.   I’d like to think that made him feel good.  (And perhaps provided a bit more motivation to continue doing what might have seemed like a thankless task.)

Then I thanked the worker at the Chinese Restaurant take-out window who prepared orders and checked out a non-stop line of customers.  “Thanks for being open, I’m sure this is a hectic night for all of you.”  She said, “You’re welcome.  Happy Holidays.”  That little interaction made both of us smile.

For some friends’ birthdays last year, I recorded video messages from their friends and family.  Then I edited them together into 30 minute long outpourings of love and appreciation.  One of the video recipients was so touched she said, “it would be great if everyone could get one of these every 10 years.”  Another friend said, “thanks for giving me a chance to hear all this nice stuff now.  It’s the kind of thing people usually say at a funeral when it’s too late.”

Somehow the art of a good “thank you” or “I appreciate you” has gotten lost lost in our fast-paced society.  Perhaps we can all try to be a bit more expressive in this new year.

And on the off chance that Jason Sudeikis  might be reading this (or anyone involved in making my favorite show “Ted Lasso,”  ) I want to thank YOU for Ted’s character’s oft-spoken phrase, “I appreciate you.”  Let’s hope this expression is catching on and we’ll all get more comfortable telling people what they mean to us.

In closing, I want to thank YOU for reading this blog post.  I hope you find my words inspiring and/or helpful in some way.  And I want to thank everyone who has hired me for voiceovers.  I am so grateful I get to do work that I love.  Commercials, Medical Narrations, eLearning Modules, Phone Recordings, Awards and Event Announcements…I enjoy it all and feel lucky I get to do it year after year.  I appreciate you and the faith you have in me.