Gratitude doesn't have an expiration date

This is Part 3 in a 4-part series about one mom's mission to #MayItForward for a full month. 
Check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you're interested in hearing more about Amanda's journey!

If you would, take a second to think about the people who have shaped your life. Not just your personal life, but your professional life as well.

The people who took a chance on you when you were just getting started. People who mentored you, held you to the highest standards and didn't let you shrink away when things got uncomfortable.

As I continue my month-long mission to #MayItForward, those are the people I want to thank.  

Sure, I love telling my current co-workers just how awesome they are. I bring in little treats or gifts for them, and I make sure to remember birthdays. But that's all in the present.

My past relationships are what have truly shaped me into the woman I am today.

It took years of reflection for me to realize how lucky I am to have worked with so many amazing people who touched my life for the better.

Thank_You_Card__sqI haven't talked with many of these people in several years, and most of them live several states away now – but I didn’t want to take the easy way out and just reconnect on social media.

In order to do something a little more personal, I picked out a few fun cards and sent each person a genuine, handwritten note about our journey together.

  • I sent one to the school superintendent who treated me as a journalist and a colleague – and not just as another person trying to grab a story.
  • I sent one to the college professor who wouldn't let me give up even when I was at my lowest.
  • I sent one to the friend who introduced me to the world of special education, which means so much to me today.
  • And finally, I sent one to each of the two newspaper editors who not only gave me my first chance at being a writer, but also challenged me daily to think outside the box, dig deeper and write with flair.

I wanted to let all of these people know that I wouldn't be where I am today without their guidance. Even though we didn’t always see eye-to-eye, I wanted to let them know I truly appreciate everything they taught me.

I didn't do this with the hope it would be reciprocated – I simply wanted to share my gratitude.

Regardless of whether I hear back, it feels great just knowing that I’ve put my feelings out there.

And every time I think about them opening one of my cards, I can’t help but smile.   

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TAGS: Relationships, Professional