For the first two months of the year, I vowed to write a letter a day. #60DaysofLetterWriting
I didn’t finish.
But it taught me a lot anyway.
Over the 60 days I participated in the challenge, I sent a lot of thank you notes and birthday cards. I sent a couple of gifts just because, and a couple of notes that told someone how much they meant to me. I sent some letters to let people know I was thinking of them and I love them. And I meant to send some postcards, but ended up being so much lazier than I planned during two getaways. Isn’t that how it always goes?
Here is what I learned:
Thank you notes come so easily to me, and are one of my favorite things to send. In 60 days I sent thank you notes to: people who bought me gifts, both big and small, people who hosted me, people who hosted events I attended, people at work who make my life easier, people who were doing more than their job for a short time, and people who did nice things for me.
I learned that people get excited to get snail mail. Actually I knew that. But this challenge reminded me of it. I sent birthday cards, Valentine’s Day cards, new baby cards, and you’re having a baby cards. And with all that time at the card store, I found some cards that I sent to friends just because the card was perfect for them. Have you ever done that dear readers? If you cross off the part of a card that says “Happy Birthday,” (or, “Happy Insert Holiday Here”) then it’s just a regular card. And anyone can get just a regular card anytime.
I learned that it’s always a good idea to let people know I love them. Actually, I knew that too. But again, the letter writing challenge brought this idea to the front of my mind.
I learned that keeping 8 different kinds of notecards in my desk drawer, and in a drawer at home is a good idea.
I learned that people get excited to get random gifts in the mail. Random gifts can include a roll of washi tape because a friend told you she loves it but isn’t sure how to use it, or a fantasy football trophy because your best friend won her fantasy football league and she doesn’t know anything about football.
So mostly what I learned is that letters make people feel good. In life, using manners is important. Being kind and polite and respectful will take you far. But taking the time, not just to tell people how wonderful they are in passing, but to write it down? To acknowledge them in a moment of stress, or of celebration, or in any moment at all, and say that you see them? That you know they matter? That’s magic.