Today is my husband's 31st birthday.
And this gift giving occasion makes me realize that I’m a lot of things, but naturally thoughtful is not one of them.
Christmas was a bit of a disaster, you see. He bought himself a sandblasting cabinet a few weeks before Christmas. And I recalled a conversation about not exchanging gifts because of this purchase. As luck would have it, this discussion only took place inside my head. He gave me an amazing Christmas gift. And I didn’t get him anything.
The lesson here is this: despite someone telling you it’s alright you forgot about them, it still hurts when someone forgets about you. That over-used saying is true: it really is about the thought.
I’ve spent months feeling terrible about my lack of thoughtfulness. And I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to be thoughtful. It’s about taking the time to do things that allow people to understand they have worth. That you see them. Realize the importance of their contribution in this world. And that you’re willing to take the time to show them.
Relationships work when you work at them, simply put. And it doesn’t take much time to understand that, for the people who know you love them, just knowing it isn’t enough. You have to tell them. And show them. And you have to do it over and over again.
I’m the lucky one is this partnership. I’m married to a man who is incredibly thoughtful. He listens to everything I say. He notices. And he’s much more generous (and at least ten times more patient) than I am. He doesn’t do it to make me look like a terrible person; he does it because that’s who he is.
And I’ve given him a series of well-planned and thoughtful gifts over the last month. I’ll give him the final gift today, on his birthday, which I did not forget.
Remembering his birthday was the least I could do.