Monday, April 1, 2013

Letting Go of the Outcome

A few weeks ago, I got home from work, brought the mail in and started flipping through it. You're stunned by the mundanity (word?). Among the everyday throngs of preapproved credit card applications, real estate flyers, and bills bills bills was a small envelope without a return address. It was addressed to my husband by the name only his family and friends use - and me, and they did not include our unit number. I was so curious, I could not wait until I was inside the house to find out what this was. Who would mail us something, affectionately address my husband, and not know our address needs a unit number?

Still parked on my hiney in the garage, I opened the envelope to find a thank you note. My initial reaction was positive. Who doesn't like to get a thank you note, really? 

But then I started to notice things about this one in particular... 

It was typed. There was no personal address - no "Dear Alyssa...". No reference to the gift we'd sent them, and no signature. Just a generic, print out note - the same one they'd sent to everyone. 

Having been raised to expect and appreciate a good thank you note - I went to luncheons with pastel dress codes, y'all - I interpreted this as a big "F-U". I was majorly offended. 

The next day, I told my mom about it and she initially rolled her eyes with me (having planted the seeds for my current stance on thank yous)... and then she caught herself, stepped back, sat up on the counter and said this to me,

"Remember what we learned in yoga?...
...Don't be attached to the outcome."
 I'm trying to remember this more every day. To do things for myself and without expectation. Would I have still given this couple a gift if I knew I was going to get this crap thank you note? I like to think the answer is yes. I wanted give them a gift as a gesture. It made me sad they felt my gesture merited such an impersonal acknowledgement, but now I'm working on detaching myself from those things.

I can be happier if I rely less on the actions and reactions of others - release expectation and just be.

Thanks, Mom.

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