Monday, January 28, 2013

a lost art

Good morning!  How was your weekend?  We're enjoying the last day of a long weekend since Tommy got out early (for more snow!) on Friday and has the day off today.  We've had a lovely few days of doing nothing in particular as a family of four.  Will's work schedule keeps him really busy on a lot of weekends so having him around for most of this one (he, of course, had to work all day yesterday) was just what we needed.  Since there was a good 2-3 inches of snow and the plows never came to our neighborhood, we had a good two days of sledding down the hill in front of our house.  Tommy loved it, and Annabel hated it!  He laughed all the way to the bottom and she cried.  Oh well.  There's always next year!  

Today I want to talk about writing letters.  Do you still write letters?  In our technology-filled world of email and text messages and video chats and Facebook and Twitter and yadda yadda you ever sit down at a table, put pen to paper and actually write a letter?  If you had asked me that question in December I'd have said no.  I have occasionally written a note to someone, but most of the time I spend a ton of time thinking about how I should really write to so-and-so and never actually do it.  

On the first of the year, I picked up my Simple Abundance book and read through the "Joyful Simplicities" for January - essentially a list of things to do or check out that relates to the time of year.  One of them is this: 

"Go through your personal papers at home and organize your desk to get a fresh start on the new year.  Discard as much as you can.  Hang your new calendars.  Try to make your personal space at home where you do paperwork as inviting as possible."

Well, alright.  I did.  We have a big beautiful desk that we picked out about a year ago from an unfinished furniture store.  Will brought it home and stained it and now it lives in our office/guest room.  After I read that, I went straight upstairs to get going.  I cleared off, threw away, hung up, and arranged.  I'm happy with the way it turned out - as a special little place for me to begin my day with beautiful pictures, sweet flowers, inspirational quotes, exercise motivation, several of my favorite books....and letter-writing supplies.  I have a nice little collection of notecards that I set right out in front.  I put the stamps on top and my address book lives directly behind.  My preferred writing utensil is a super-fine Sharpie pen so I have a cute mug filled with those, sharp pencils, and bright highlighters.  Every time I sit down at the desk, I see the cards and stamps and addresses and pens and think about writing to someone.  So I do.

Several weeks ago, I started writing a weekly letter to my grandmother up in Massachusetts.  It's a good 9 hour drive from our house to hers so we don't get to see her as much as we'd like.  I tell her about our week, what we're doing over the weekend, how the kids are doing, what Will's up to, and what new things I'm working on.  A couple weeks ago, Tommy wrote her a note, too.  It's become a habit for me and one that I look forward to every weekend.  It's not the same as a visit, but I'm pretty sure it's 100 times better than an email.  

Writing a letter to someone forces you to sit down and really think about what it is you have to share.  It makes you use proper punctuation.  It makes you write out all those abbreviations that seem to be taking over the world.  Well, at least it does for me (although I'm not an abbreviation girl anyway).  For instance, I would think twice before sending someone a note that began something like this...

hey girl!
Saw on a mag today that Brangelina is totes* preggers with babe no., like, 743!  OMG smh

(For the record, I just found out what "smh" (shaking my head) meant last weekend when my younger, more informed, sisters let me in on the secret.  Thanks, girls.  smh)

I guess if you decided to write to your bff who totes* understands everything you say before you even say it, you could probably get away with something like this.  But my grandmother would definitely shh (shake her head) at a letter like that.  As would I if I received one. 

Taking the time to write a letter (without abbreviations!) to someone shows them that you really care.  It tells them that they're important enough in your life for you to sit down, put your smart phone aside, turn off the TV, and share something.  I have a giant list of people in my life who are that important.  Guess I better get writing.

Who will you write to?  

Have a great week! 

*When I first wrote this, I spelled that word, "tots"  As I was taking a shower this morning, I realized that that can't be right.  Surely there's an e?  Oh I don't know.  Stupid abbreviations.

No comments:

Post a Comment