I have a very thoughtful mother. Which is a large part of why I think I tend to value thoughtfulness more than almost any other quality in friendships, in relationships in general, and in myself.
A few months ago Jon and I each took a personality test called The Flag Page Test after watching the DVD series called Laugh Your Way To A Better Marriage. Hilarious btw, as you may expect from the title, and very helpful too.
The Flag Page Test helps determine what motivates you and allows you to better understand what motivates your spouse. Our results were very insightful and have been a meaningful part of us seeking to understand each other’s unique differences. The results don’t so much focus on what you like in other people, but rather read like this:
I feel best about myself when other people notice ______ in me.
Not surprisingly, as the test showed, Jon feels most valued and fulfilled when he is able to make people laugh, entertain, and lead others. My results were a bit more touchy-feely. My top five motivators included people acknowledging the following qualities in me: Thoughtful, Creative, Loves People, Witty, and Inspirational.
So as much as I get all those warm and fuzzys when someone else appreciates the thoughtful card I wrote or the gift I picked out especially just for them, I also highly value thoughtfulness in others. Not that I constantly need others thinking about me, but how nice is it to meet up with a friend for coffee where instead of just plopping down and doing the usual catch up on life routine, your friend sits down and excitedly tells you,
Oh, the other day I was in this shop downtown and I saw a cookie jar that would totally match your kitchen! You have to go check it out!
Little things like that, to me, that say ‘I actually occasionally think about you even when we are not face-to-face,’ mean a lot to me.
Like for example, in January I was walking downtown on my lunch break when suddenly the dreary winter day turned sunny, so I removed my emerald green scarf and hooked it over the side of my purse. Two blocks later my scarf was gone and even after frantically backtracking it was nowhere to be found. I spent the rest of my lunch break powerwalking the downtown streets, looking for the chump who had snagged my scarf off the pavement, rather than chasing me down to return it. Grrr!
After returning to work, in my sadness and frustration, I used my status update on Facebook to inform my online community of friends about the tragedy that had taken place.
Then a few hours later I deleted the status simply because I felt dumb about venting about a silly lost scarf…even though it was my favorite scarf…ever.
Fast forward two months. I’m in Spokane with Jon visiting my family. We make dinner plans with my long-time dear friend Jessica and her husband Ted. When we arrive at their house we get the grand tour and then Jessica hands me a gift bag with a big ribbon tied to the handles. I opened it and to my utter surprise I pulled out a beautiful green scarf, almost identical to the one I had lost. I can’t explain how happy I felt and how that thoughtful gift completely touched my heart. Not just because she had wanted to get me a gift, but because she had cared about something that I specifically cared about as well; AKA: getting my scarf back.
So, back to my mother. She is The Queen of Thoughtfulness and I was the blessed recipient of her thoughtfulness this morning when I walked out my front door and found a slender Target package sitting on my doormat. My mom regularly buys things for my sister and I that she plans on saving for our birthday or Christmas, but because of her constantly thoughtful ways, oftentimes she can’t stand to wait that long to give the gift. Really, there aren’t many places my mom goes where she’s not thinking about doing something nice for someone else.
So I opened the package and found the cutest, flowy, summer dress under the sun! Not only is my mom thoughtful but she has the ability to dress me better than I can dress myself; a quality I didn’t appreciate much growing up but have come to love. She claims she has the help of my sister, which is true, but she’s good on her own too, I believe.
The dress fit perfectly and I’m excited to have such a nice lightweight sun dress to wear to a summer wedding or to some BBQs throughout the year. The elastic waistband gives hip-less gals like myself a little more curve, and best of all, its not super short. There’s nothing that makes me more uncomfortable than wearing skirts or dresses that expose the upper half of my thigh to each and every by passer on the sidewalk.
So thank you mom for being so thoughtful. I truly appreciate and admire that quality in you. And I like that I’ll never be too old for a Christmas stocking or Easter candy in your eyes.