What keeps you going?

An order came in today that made me so happy. Not the order specifically, but the note from the customer who placed the order:

2MyHero military greeting cards - comment from customer.

Her words spoke specifically to why I create 2MyHero cards. Because there are moms (and dads, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, neighbors) out there who are so proud of their child’s decision to enter the military. They want to celebrate their accomplishments, extend words of encouragement and be a strong support base for them. They are thrilled when they find 2MyHero and cards that say just what they feel.

2MyHero military greeting cards for US Army

Let’s face it. There aren’t a lot of options out there available for this specific situation. That in and of itself is one of the things that keeps me going. Keeps me plugging away at figuring out the technical side of this business. The ever-present need to refine product photos and descriptions, marketing and billing processes. To track down packages that were scanned in at a postal facility and then went awol.

Yesterday I was at the Post Office to get some 2MyHero orders scanned for shipping. A tall attractive woman, probably in her late 60’s or early 70’s was standing in line behind me. She struck up a conversation out of the blue. She had no idea who I was or why I was there, but interestingly she brought up how important she feels it is to send personal mail. She complained about friends (of her generation) who were constantly on their phones even when together at a restaurant. She was a gentlewoman, and clearly concerned about the lack of personal contact in this electronic age.

Of course, I agree with her. I didn’t have the opportunity to tell her I am a small business owner. Or that I create greeting cards for military because I too believe there is great value in the written word, on a piece of paper, penned by someone who knows and loves the receiver enough to take the time to write sentiments that will encourage them in whatever endeavors they are involved in.

Still a lady - Boot Camp Mixed Pack Military Greeting Cards for US Navy female Sailors by 2MyHero

I rather doubt I’ll ever run into her again. I was at a Post Office I rarely go to but it was on my route yesterday. What I don’t doubt is that she is not the only one, and certainly not the only one of her generation who feels as passionately about the need to take the time to find a card that is relevant to the receiver. A card that speaks their language. I’m not referring to English, or Spanish, or Japanese or Russian or language of that type.

She believed- military greeting card for US Marine Corps female Marines by 2MyHero

What I’m referring to is the language of their heart. What is important to them? What do they need to hear at this particular point in time? Why are they apart in distance and what about that ‘why’ is pertinent? What do they value? What resonates with them?

A couple of weeks ago in the blog Crayons Cheese Spread and Jalapenos, I referenced a book that was popular in the ’80s The Two sides of Love by Trent and Smalley. The book explains the four different temperaments (Otter, Lion, Golden Retriever and Beaver) and how understanding that can help you understand the people in your life.

2MyHero military birthday card for USMC

Another book that was published in this same era is The Five Languages of Love by Gary Chapman. If you haven’t read the book it also is really helpful for understanding people and why they respond to some shows of affection and not others. Chapman wrote it specifically for couples, but the principles apply to all relationships.

Chapman identified these five languages of love: Gift Giving, Personal Touch, Quality Time, Acts of Service and Encouraging Words. All of us enjoy all five to some degree, but you can usually identify one that is the most meaningful. When you understand what is most important to yourself and to others it radically changes how you relate to them, and where you put energy into connecting with them.

For me, when I read this book I finally understood the disconnect between my mom and me for many years. Her love language is very different from mine. I didn’t actually figure that out, my brother did. When he told me that, I thought, “Wow, so many things make sense now”. I knew in my head that my mom loved me, but I struggled to feel loved by her.

When I began to realize the ways she had tried to communicate love that just weren’t my love language, I had a much greater appreciation for her. She never really understood me, and she still doesn’t understand the Love Languages thing. At 84 with dementia, I don’t have any expectation of that happening. However, understanding it has helped ME immensely! I know that it’s really important when I go see her to give her hugs and kisses on her forehead. When I take her to the doctor I look for opportunities to hold her hand. It’s not something I do for myself, but for her.

2MyHero woman owned small business of military greeting cards - owner with her mother.
Visiting the Tulip Farm with my mom a few years ago.

While today’s customer’s note was the high point for me, there were low points too. Yes, the ever-present technical difficulties. I’m still trying to iron out some behind the scenes things that are not at all directly connected to the actual designs, but must be attended to if this business is to continue and grow.

One of the things I remind myself of when I face tech issues is, “Think about the perseverance of military personnel in the line of duty. You can hang in there. What you face isn’t nearly as intense!” It helps me gain perspective. Step back and take a deep breath. Look for alternatives I may have missed.

If you have a son or daughter, spouse or friend serving in the military I hope you’ll find a card in the 2MyHero line that is the perfect sentiment for you to send them encouragement. If you have suggestions for cards please comment below and let me know your ideas. Your idea doesn’t have to be fully figured out. Even i it’s just a spark of an idea, type it in below or email me with your suggestions. I’d love to hear from you!