Who needs more love? Pretty much everybody.
When was the last time you received a hand written note? And for those of you who still adhere to the Emily Post etiquette (God love you, you fabulous hold outs) when was the last time you wrote or received a hand written note that wasn’t a thank you note? This month, the month of love, I’d like to invite you to join me in writing one note by hand per day to someone important in your life.
The point of this exercise is two-fold. First, to show love and appreciation in a more lasting form than just a dashed off email or a passing thank you on the street. Not to diminish the importance of expressing love and gratitude in any way, but there is more care that goes in to taking the time to write a note by hand. In this high tech world many of us are unable to recognize the handwriting of some of our nearest and dearest. What a far cry we are from the 19th century when penmanship was taught as an entire course in school and cursive writing was considered an art form in and of itself.
The point is not your perfect words, it is not your stationary, and it is not meant to take up enormous emotional space (but feel free if the spirit moves you). The point is to take the time to put YOUR words onto the page in your own handwriting, then address an envelope, affix a stamp and send it off in the mail.
Try just a short memory: “Dear Friend, Remember the time we had a water balloon fight in the yard with our children? In February? I was thinking about that yesterday and it made me smile. You have a contagious sense of adventure. I’m glad we are friends”.
Simple yet meaningful.
Or an expression of gratitude: “Dear Teacher-of-my-child, When you took the time last week to compliment my son on his essay he came home excited about his new school for the first time in weeks. Thank you for the care you show to your students. Your sensitivity and generosity have earned my son’s devotion and have made a marked difference in his confidence”.
Or even reinforcing everyday affection: “Dear Daughter, Even though we say ‘I love you’ regularly in our home, I want you to know that with each passing day I love you more and I love you no matter what. Watching you navigate the world and become a fine young woman has been my greatest joy. I am so proud of you.”.
These notes are not complicated. They take almost no time yet they express powerful messages to the recipient: You matter. I care about you. I see you. Thank you.
One thing you can never give away is kindness. Let’s spread a bit more around. Let’s let the people who make a different in our days know how much we care for them and why.
Will you join me? Pull out that stationary that is languishing in your drawer. Go find your favorite colored pen. Buy some stamps. Take just 15 minutes each day to give a little love on the page.
Then let’s chat later this month about how good that feels. Will you please join me?
PS If you really want to splurge on some stationary check out Felix Doolittle. The papers are wildly expensive but works of art. You can also make your own cards out of photographs uploaded to vistaprint and other sites. Your children’s or your own artwork or photos of your pets and favorite spots are also a terrific way to personalize notes even more….. Just don’t lose sight of the real point of the project which is sending out LOVE.
http://www.felixdoolittle.com/collections/note-cards-personalized (big splurge but WOW!)