40 in forty bit of wisdom today: write thank you notes! If you have kids/spouses who don't already, make them write thank you notes too.
If you like paper, treat yourself to some beautiful stationery and a pretty pen that isn't terribly prone to smudging. If you couldn't care less about these objets, stick with your basic note pad and ballpoint; the point is the thought behind and appreciation in your words.
A terrific thank you note needn't be overly long. It simply needs to be personal and reflective: why do you like what you've been given or had done for you? How have you enjoyed it, or how do you plan to enjoy it?
In this harried time, connection with others is easier than ever in many ways but often more superficial. Receiving a sincere, well-considered letter of gratitude slows everything down for a moment, allowing the person who thought of you first to both enjoy anew his or her lovely action and know how appreciated that action was.
Tangentially, if you know or suspect that someone is having a tough time, check in. You never know how much a hug (real or virtual), quick text or call can help and mean.
Extra bonus: sending notes of thanks and reaching out to others will make you feel fabulous!
Rome is too beautiful not to share, so I'm foisting more photographs upon you.
I never tire of these colors. Lawd a'mercy.