Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Art of Gushing

Caleb's recent birthday has gotten me to thinking: I am going to continue my mother's supposed life work.

I know that makes it sound like she has died, but she hasn't. Or, to use her own terms, "It's better to be a number than in the box." I have always thought that made her sound like a farm hand.

Anyway, my mom has always been a vocal proponent of Gushing.

Gushing is being effusively thankful and loudly happy to the people who love you.

When my sisters and I had birthdays, my mom would remind us to gush to our guests. She wanted us to help each person know that their presence (and presents!) was valued beyond measure. Gushing can come in many forms; repeated long-form thanks and sincere flattery seem to be my go-to gushing methods.

I'm 27 years old, and my mother still has to remind me to gush sometimes. It can be hard to gush when you're not in the mood, but pushing through that disinterest produces mood-enhancing results. I promise.

I feel that gushing helps both the gusher and the gushee. When you are in the habit of gushing, you generally become a more grateful person; seeing all of the good around you, big and small, makes the bad things around you seem more palpable. And of course, the gushee will love hearing that they have made you happy.

Gushing can also be done to those that you don't know so well. The gushing level just has to be taken down a notch—can you imagine talking to a parking attendant like, "OH MY GOSH. Thank you sooooooo much for giving me change. YOU. ARE. THE. BEST!!!!!!!" He would be super freaked out. I tried this at Wal-Mart yesterday, and I ended up saying to the cashier, "I could not be more grateful than you can imagine." ...What? That doesn't even make sense.

So, what I'm saying is that you should become a gusher. Be extremely grateful for the good things in your life. You know me, I wouldn't suggest anything that I wasn't willing to do myself.

What life lessons from your parents do you intend to carry on?

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