My husband, Yves, whom I call Frenchie had a birthday this week. I go big on birthdays especially when it has a 0 at the end of it. 5 years ago, I had a surprise party in Vegas with a weekend to remember. We had people fly in from San Francisco, Dallas, New York, Denver, Minneapolis, and most surprisingly, France to surprise my Frenchie. How do I outdo that event? I gotta say, this year took the cake. And, with an investment of only $14.95, yes, less than $15 dollars, my gift to Yves this year was priceless. It actually took a year to prepare but it was worth every second. It started last May 1 when I bought a blank journal. I wrote the first love letter telling Yves that I had an ambitious goal to write him a love letter every day for a year and then present it to him on his birthday. Then, I proceeded to write out all the things I appreciated about him. Almost every day (there was something going on in August for some reason I can’t recall that I skipped a week!) I wrote Frenchie a love letter. Some days I wrote a paragraph. Some days I just wrote a list of things I loved about him. Some days I recalled what a great day or weekend we had and recalled all the things he did that made our day special. Some days, I wrote more than a page going on and on about why he is so special to me, how proud I was of him, and why I am so happy he asked me to marry him. Sometimes I wrote from an airplane seat, sometimes from my bed in a hotel while on a speaking tour out of town. Most nights, it was right in my bed next to him reading his book when I wrote my love letter to him. He always thought I was just writing in my diary, which he always respected and never rushed to turn off the light while I was still writing. Here’s the bonus of this amazing gift idea that I got from Darren Hardy, the author of one of my favorite success books of all time The Compound Effect. (He wrote his wife a thank you letter every day for a year and presented it to her on Thanksgiving). The unexpected bonus for me was that like every couple, Frenchie and I would have a disagreement during the day – not often, but it happens. Frenchie also does things that annoy me – again, not often, but we’re no different than any other couple. Here’s the thing though. When I would be annoyed with him, I would look at him and think “Great, I have to write a love letter to him tonight!” And I would go back to forgiveness and acceptance much quicker! After all, when you write someone a love letter, you don’t write what annoys you about them, you only write words of love, appreciation, joy and happiness! By the way, if you have an annoying co-worker, boss, or employee, try this exercise. I’m not suggesting you write them a love letter for a year, but why not keep a journal of the things that you appreciate about that person? Try it for a week or two and see if your perspective doesn’t shift for the positive.
All I can say is that the $14.95 investment I made last year was the best use of money to create a priceless gift for my husband. I truly believe we are closer today than ever before and the reaction of this gift was bigger than the room full of people who came from far away to wish him happy birthday 5 years ago. Now, I just need some ideas on how to top it for next year. Any thoughts?
From your slightly suffering from writers’ cramp motivational speaker, Marilyn Sherman.