November 10, 2011

thoughtful

i'm a pretty inherently selfish person. i'm a hedonist; i like things that make me happy. in a lot of ways, i don't even think this is a bad thing - i'm easily pleased, for example, and i'm a pretty darn happy person since i'm selfish enough to continue indulging in the things i like.

i do try to make a conscious effort not let my selfishness come at the expense of someone else's happiness, though, and (i hope!!) i've managed to a do a decent job there. but one place where i'm repeatedly reminded that i'm falling short of the Self I'd Like To Be is in thoughtfulness.

i want to be the kind of person who remembers your birthday, and also remembers that one time 3 months ago how you said you wanted to go to that new restaurant, so i make reservations for us as a birthday present. i want to be the kind of person who sees a book in a store that i know you'd like, so i pick it up for you. (i want to be the kind of person who knows what kind of book you'd like!) i want to be the kind of person who always sends real thank you cards in the mail.

basically, i want to be like my friend silvia. we meet up every few weeks for dinner, and at our last outing i couldn't stop gushing about how good my hands smelled after using the restaurant's mrs. meyer's soap. so at our last dinner, she brought me two bottles of mrs. meyer's for my very own. just because. (just because she's awesome, obviously.)

maybe that can be my 2012 resolution! i can never think of one in january, but this is something i'd really like to change about myself. 2012: the year of thoughtfulness.

any suggestions on how i can accomplish this?

16 comments:

sil said...

you are thoughtful! see your year of charity links :)

Stevie said...

I used to be that thoughtful person...I don't know what happened to her, though, because I rarely do those things anymore :-(

I think I'll join you in this endeavor!

I think picking one person per month and doing something nice for them might be a good way to start.

Mouse said...

If you figure it out, let me know. Is it an organization thing? I don't think so, b/c I'm very organized, but maybe I'm not the right kind of organized. I'm terrible at that stuff too and always wish I was better at it, especially when a friend demonstrates it for me, but have no idea how to develop that skill on my own.

Erin said...

I hear you, I'm terrible at stuff like that. Maybe start keeping notes on your phone (or a notepad in your purse, if you prefer) when people mention something they like so you remember after the fact?

I had to start making a conscious effort a while back to ask my husband how his day was, isn't that terrible? It wasn't that I didn't care, it's just that somehow I never asked before he volunteered the information on his own.

Mrs. Irritation said...

Aren't most people inherently selfish? Isn't it just human nature?

I'm that kind of person - "thoughtful". It's just who I am whether I want to be or not, which I think is part of it. You are who you are. I have friends who are NOT that kind of person and it doesn't make me like them less. I know that they love me even if they don't remember to send me a birthday card every year.

If you really want to start, then do something simple as input the dates of your friends birthdays into your calendar and set a reminder for a week in advance, which gives you enough time to get a card if you haven't already. Call a friend to ask them to go to dinner at their favorite restaurant. Send a friend a card for no good reason at all. Start small and see what you can do. & if it doesn't work out to be your new "normal" I'm pretty sure your friends are still going to love you just as much.

missris said...

Some time last year I went through and added everyone's birthday to my google calendar, to repeat yearly, forever. It has been SO helpful in remembering birthdays (it emails me a reminder the day before).

Andrea Stephenson said...

Maybe make it your monthly goal, similar to your charity efforts (but you wouldn't necessarily have to post it publicly). Think of a few months gifts in advance, then keep notes for the rest of the gifts. I also like to keep a google doc with gift ideas that I can add to throughout the year when I think of something that would be perfect for a friend or family member.

I also like a lot of the other commenter's suggestions. I think you can do this!

Alice said...

the google calendar thing has definitely been a life saver. i have EVERYTHING in there, including an annual recurring reminder 1 week before everyone's bday to give me a heads up.

(that means that about 1/2 the time i actually get around to buying a card... and about 1/2 the time i buy a card, i actually get around to sending it. AM SO BAD AT THIS.)

andreaunplugged said...

I forgot to say, that sometimes, it's not that I forget to get it a gift, it's that I want to find something PERFECT so I end up putting it off or not finding what I want until after the person's birthday passed. Is that possibly part of your issue?

I keep a stock of cards at home, in a card box which helps me. When I remember I've already bought a card!

Sizzle said...

I try really, really hard to be thoughtful. I hope people think I am! It's nice when someone remembers something you said in passing or sends you a just because kind of card.

I tend to put everyone's birthdays in my calendar with a recurrence so I don't have to remember from year to year to put them in. I can't always afford gifts but I think a call or a card makes a big impact.

spokalulu said...

I used to be so good about birthday cards... and I'm not sure if I've become more self-centered or scatterbrained... I'm afraid it's the former.

I do buy cards in advance (including belated birthday cards, to have on hand for the inevitable) and Google Calendar was my friend last year. Since we moved, though, I haven't been using it -- probably because my teenager and my husband both have google accounts and I get tired of having to log in all the time! (Add lazy to self-centered apparently)

As far as gifts, some people, like your friend Silvia, have gifts as their "love language" (remember that whole Gary Chapman thing a few months ago?) and it simply comes naturally to her. My SIL is like that.

Nik-Nak said...

I am like you (kinda selfish) and I don't even wish to be thoughtful. How selfifh of me.

I, for one, think you come across as very thoughtful though. I mean you were so seriously going to put me in your suitcase for Sri Lanka. (Right??)

Deidre said...

This is a great resolution!

Amanda said...

I'm super thoughtful, it's my follow-thru that blows goats!!!

leafprobably said...

My flattie discovered this coleslaw seared beef salad with peanuts and satay the other day. I pretty much eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner :)

leafprobably said...

Um. Whoops. this was supposed to be posted in the post above this... hence the weirdness of me talking about salad when you're asking for advice about thoughtfulness....