I do appreciate it.

Reflecting over the years on what is the morning of my 40th birthday, this is the phrase that sums up how I feel about my career, family and life experiences up to now.

The thing is, anyone who knows me will know that I use this phrase a lot, especially in emails.

How many times have you sent an email and not received a reply? You begin to wonder sometimes if they received it in the first place, or cared that you sent it.

One lesson I learned from my friends in the U.S. Embassy in Nepal was that Americans have a culture of replying to every (genuine) email, every time. Even if it is to say 'thanks'. It's just one word, but I feel better knowing that person got my message, read it and took the time to reply.

As a result, I now endeavour to reply to each one of mine out of courtesy to the person writing it. And since I appreciate their interaction, I usually drop in the phrase 'I do appreciate it'. Because I do.

Without that interaction you cannot move forward, negotiate, request, communicate, produce, offer help, do great work, enjoy a moment. Their interaction acknowledges me. Now that is something to be thankful for.

And on that note, I wanted to thank YOU for checking in with The Kitchen Sync to read my musings: I (really) do appreciate your time and consideration.