Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Free Love

A little love goes a long way.
While getting ready to walk to work one morning, I found this note in my sneaker. I am not a very happy person in the morning, but this little gesture made me smile. More than that, it made me pause and appreciate my marriage, which is a lovely moment to have at the start of a busy day.

When I showed my co-worker this picture, he commented that he thinks it's cute my wife and I always leave notes for one another. It's true; we do leave notes for each other quite often. We usually leave them for no reason on a weekday morning, or in a packed lunch in the fridge, or any time our schedules are not going to align. When one of us heads out of town without the other, we have a game of leaving notes all over the house in places that will hopefully not be discovered until a day or two later. It is so nice to open a cabinet and be surprised by a little love note -- each and every time, it makes me smile.

These little notes are to a text as a hand-written letter is to an email: just a simple gesture to remind the other "I'm thinking about you," which feels extra special. It costs nothing, and it means something to the other person. Even better, it requires the note-writer to also pause and think for a minute about what she loves about the other person. In our busy lives, a quick moment like this makes a difference in our connections.

Just like washing the dishes when one's spouse usually does them, or taking out the trash before being asked, or cleaning the bathroom because one knows her loved one dislikes doing it, these small gestures mean a lot. Date nights are wonderful, and receiving gifts is nice, but these little free moments make just as much of an impact in feeling loved. Actually, I would argue that they make even more of an impact, since it is nearly impossible to take such an unexpected and sweet gesture like this for granted.

So tonight, see if there is something you can do for a loved one that will be free and make him or her smile. I promise that by taking a few minutes to remind yourself of what you love, you will smile too.

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"There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- God damn it, you've got to be kind."
-Kurt Vonnegut