Live a little: say thanks

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Time for thanks

I can’t believe how fast this fall has gone, and Thanksgiving is already this week. While traditionally Thanksgiving is a holiday to celebrate the harvest season and be thankful for its bounty, I love how today’s traditions also include celebrating family and being thankful for all the small and big things in our lives. Many people have dedicated the entire month of November sharing online daily what they are thankful for. It’s the season of gratitude.

Today I would like to remind you of living a little and saying “thanks” in your everyday life. I am not just talking about grand gestures, nor having gratitude, while both equally important, but I am talking about simply saying “thank you” to people around you.

One of the things I miss about living in the United States is that people are friendlier, and it is more common to say “thanks” and a stranger making your day by simply saying something nice to you. Many Europeans, especially Nordic people think it is shallow, or even weird to compliment a stranger, and even when someone does compliment you, saying “thanks” would mean you are proud and is often left non said. Sadly, “excuse me” doesn’t even exist in my native language. But whether you are more reserved, or more talkative, there is one word that is easy to say and has power to change the world for the better in the moment. It’s “thanks.” There is nothing shallow, no vain to thank, it is not a compliment, yet it kind of feels like one. It’s good manners. It shows you care without being intrusive.

It doesn’t matter if you asked your kid (or husband or mother) to do something ten times before they did it – it still deserves a “thank you.”
It doesn’t matter if the waiter, cash register girl or flight attendant is just doing her job and getting paid to be nice – you still should “thank you” to her.

Instead of being mad at your husband every time he comes home late, be thankful for the times he comes home on time. Not “this is the first day this week you come home when you’re supposed to” but “thank you so much coming home early.”

Instead of being frustrated of the mess your learning kid-chefs make at the kitchen say “thank you for trying to learn to cook, now let’s learn to clean together too.”

Try it. Saying “thank you” has magical powers.

More inspiration for today.. read my post from January about paying it forward.

How are you living a little?


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About Katja Presnal

Katja Presnal is an international lifestyle expert, originally from Finland. Katja shows how to live globally inspired life to the fullest. She has been featured in NY Times, Glamour, Redbook, Fodor's, Forbes and Woman's Day magazines among many other national and international publications and written for MTV3 and Lifetime TV networks. She is a board member of the Professional Travel Bloggers Association, award-winning social media strategist, and a well-known speaker in the social media conferences. Katja has lived in four different countries, and seven states in the USA, and married to a helicopter pilot. Their three children were all born in different countries within three years. When not working or jet-setting the world, Katja is at home cooking big family dinners.

Get Katja's first book Instagram as your Guide to the World - How, What and Who to Search and Follow on Instagram to Help You Travel the World for free, and follow Katja's travel account @skimbaco on Instagram.

Comments

  1. Satu Vänskä-Westgarth :

    Thanks for this great post Katja! I always feel people are very polite when I travel outside the Nordics, it is true that over here the small little kind words are mainly reserved for family and close friends. In Finland I used to always startle the bus drivers by thanking them when I got off the bus via the front door :)

  2. Graciousness is so important, especially when it seems like too many people take things for granted. My trainer at the gym @ictfitness started a Twitter hashtag called #kindwordsfriday and encourages people to use it to tell five people how they appreciate them every week. I think it’s such a nice thing to do.

  3. What a great post. I don’t know if this Southern girl could live in the area you are in now. They would fall out when I let it drop with my Southern drawl, “Thanks, Y’all!”

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