I still find value in the handwritten note.
Once in a while I feel inclined to pick up my pen and write on an actual note card that I put in the actual mailbox to be delivered to someone. Email, text, Facetime, Skype, social media … these are a part of my everyday life, like many of you. We are tremendously fortunate to live in a time where communication has never been easier. We can instantly send and receive messages. We can transcend time and space. When you think about it, this is absolutely amazing.
But still – there is something special about a handwritten note. So as a new year began earlier this month and I was reflective on my priorities, there were things I knew I wanted to weed out of my life – and things I wanted more in my life. Today I’m sharing just one of those specific goals of something that I wanted to “add” to my life.
Instead of writing a note “once in a while,” I have had a goal to write at least one note each week this year. It doesn’t matter who I am writing to or what the note is about, but I have chosen Sunday as the day of the week that I do this.
Why Sunday? I slow down on Sundays. I tend to be a little more reflective and thoughtful and focused on this day of the week. My schedule is also less hectic. For me, Sunday includes attending church, spending time with family, offering service … even squeezing in a little rest, if you can believe that. In essence, I find myself recharging my batteries on this day. For me, Sunday is a great day to think about who I might send a note to that week.
So who am I writing these notes to? An old college roommate. A childhood best friend. My child’s teacher. A local friend who helped with something. A niece or nephew. Someone at church who prepared an inspiring lesson that really touched me. A woman in our community who is going through chemotherapy right now. A friend I see all the time, but I likely haven’t told her how much her shining example has had a strong influence on my life. A teenager I’ve admired because of the way she carries herself amidst so much nonsense that surrounds her every day.
You get the point. I’m all over the place in terms of recipients. And I like it that way.
How do I choose one person a week? I tap into my heart, honestly. Cheesy as it sounds, that’s what I do – plain and simple. And sometimes, there’s more than one note per week. More than anything, I hope that each recipient who reads my note feels my genuine admiration for them and has even a small reminder that they are awesome. They matter. They make a difference. Not that they need to hear it from me, but who doesn’t love a pick-me-up like that, right?
There are a million places to buy note cards. Of course I could make them, but that just means more time and I feel that what I write inside matters more than how I might embellish the front of a card. So I opt for store-bought cards. I always have them on hand. I’m particularly drawn to those I find at Target. And specifically the Green Inspired brand, just because the designs are just so cool.
Speaking of sending notes in the mail, I use a custom self-inking stamp from TinyPrints.com for our return address. There are a ton of design choices, and honestly – a lot of different sites that offer a similar product – but this one is the one I chose and have been using for quite some time now.
Aside from cute cards and cute return address stamps, this personal new year’s resolution has been particularly meaningful for me. People I care about for one reason or another are not expecting a random note from me – and that’s the best part. I hope I keep this up for a long time. I hope this rubs off on my kids, too. I hope that by the end of 2014 there are at least 52 people who received a kind word, a note of appreciation, a genuine compliment – in the mail from me.
Part of cultivating a good life is lifting those around you, expressing your admiration, and being specific in your compliments.
At Home with Becky
This post is part of a weekly blog series called At Home with Becky. Each Wednesday, I share a little something from home – routines, organization, traditions, decor, etc. Coming up … an idea for Valentine’s Day, a fun way to organize + display favorite recipes, and a tour of my home office.