Yesterday as I was working, a message popped up on my G-chat. It was a friend who I’ve only met in person once or twice, but what she said took me by surprise. A pleasant surprise:

So I have to tell you that I absolutely love your blog. That is pretty much it.

She then went on to tell me:

(My business partner) and I read your posts and always end up sending them to each other with the comment: “THIS”, because it’s always on point. But the message is clear: we like what you do.

Can you say, “day made”?

After getting this message, another friend sent me a message of encouragement:

I appreciate the difficulty of writing and putting yourself out there professionally. You are very good at what you do.

Again, this put a big smile on my face.

And just last week I got a card in the mail from a local friend. Inside were free tickets to an event, with a note that said:

You do so much to help people, I thought I’d do something for you. thanks for giving our community so much.

Now please understand, I don’t relate these things to brag or pat myself on the back. This sort of thing is extremely rare. I certainly can’t remember the last time someone randomly told me something like this. And I honestly don’t feel as though I deserve this sort of thanks. But to hear this a few times in the course of a week is incredibly encouraging. And since all of them were related to my work, and what I do online, it was a validation of sorts, and it lets me know I’m headed in the right direction.

I think the powers that be knew what they were doing when they scheduled the election so close to Thanksgiving. After weeks, or months even, of negativity and hate, the election is over, and now my Facebook stream is filled with people talking about the things for which they are thankful: jobs, family, friends, and so on. Some are making a daily practice of posting their thankfulness this month.

Shortly after receiving these messages I saw a friend post a status update. It simply said:

Feeling especially thankful this evening.

No commentary. No reason. Just: thankful. I’m sure this person had a very specific reason for posting that, but kept it to themselves. I then thought about this individual and realized that their updates, on a regular basis, are calming. Sensible. Filled with thanks. I’ve noticed this and commented on it before, but last night I felt compelled to send a private message thanking them for just being who they are.

Remember how I said I don’t often get those kinds of comments? Well, I also don’t often give those types of comments. And that’s a shame. Yes, I guess it’s kind of trite to focus on thanks around Thanksgiving, because it’s the easy thing to do; it’s what’s expected of us.

But it got me thinking. I have a lot to be thankful for. I’m not going to list them here, but I think about the people who have come into my life at just the right time.

But this past week, several people went out of their way to encourage me. I appreciated that. Greatly. And it put me in a more grateful mindset, so I passed it on to another friend.

As we approach Thanksgiving, I encourage you to do the same. Feel free to post your feelings of thankfulness online, but also take the time to privately encourage those who inspire you. I’m betting that none of us gets too much encouragement. Maybe we’ll even get in the habit of doing this, with friends, family, businesses, and so on.

Who do you need to encourage by telling them how thankful you are for them?