December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.
Yikes! This is a difficult one for me. This is going to sound awful, but I tend to notice how people comment on how genuinely nice I am. Apparently, there are not that many genuinely nice people left in the world. Maybe people don’t comment so much because they find me nice, but because they think I am thoughtful. Thoughtfulness is a bit different than just nice, don’t you think?
My mom is a really thoughtful person. So is a favorite aunt of mine. They tend to hit the nail on the head when it comes to addressing the needs of others. I can’t remember when I’ve gotten a gift I didn’t like from either of them. My mom always impressed upon me the importance of a hand-written note, homemade pie crust, giving from the heart not the wallet, and a hearty, well-seasoned meal. One day last semester, I was completely out of sorts and bawling on the phone to her about some thing that later proved to be inconsequential. When I arrived home, I found she had bought me a little yellow begonia flower. See? Just plain thoughtful!
I could reflect on all of the things that make me beautifully different, but that would be pretty much everything about me because I am a one-of-a-kind original. Instead, I choose thoughtfulness. I strive to be someone who remembers birthdays and anniversaries and your favorite color. But more than that…I try to pick up on the signals that say you’re having a bad day. I’m working on really, actively listening when we talk instead of interrupting in the middle of a sentence. I’m working on being respectful of your space, your time, your hard-earned money. I try to be on time when we arrange a get-together. I try to be honest and direct. I try to give more than I receive and to ask for things in advance instead of just taking. Attempting to be a thoughtful person actually takes more effort than I thought because it’s not really about being an intuitive gift-giver, but about being respectful of others in lots of little ways each and every day. So while, I think that my degree of thoughtfulness does make me different from a lot of other individuals, I do know that it could be improved. I think that is where the beauty lies – in realizing that there is no perfection, but always the opportunity for things to get better.