Adventures in Everyday Entertaining
“A long long time ago, I can still remember…”
I remember how the music played. But I also remember a time when people corresponded through what we now refer to as “snail mail”. For a very long time, a large part of human existence, the only way that people received news from one another is through the written word. Now, we update our Facebook status. Or we send someone a text. A nice long email is considered a personalized communication. I am not by any means stating that technology is awful or that there isn’t a very solid place for it in our lives. I love the fact that I have been able to reconnect with friends from the past due to Facebook. I love that my husband can text me to let me know he got hung up at work. However, I DO think there is a place in our lives to incorporate technology and “quick communication” while not loosing the art of a hand-written note.
Tangibility. That is what a card, an invitation, a letter provides. It becomes a keep-sake. Even in this world of technology-based communication, who doesn’t still open the mailbox hoping for something “fun” to open? To personalize it a bit, I have lost two wonderful amazing women in my life (both cousins) in the last couple years to cancer. Both lived in Wisconsin, hundreds of miles away. I frequently wrote to each of them during their time fighting the disease. I didn’t send Get Well cards. I used blank note cards and wrote letters to them. I didn’t focus on the illness. I focused on the life going on in each of our lives. Sometimes I heard back, sometimes I didn’t. I was giving them something tangible from me, something they could keep during the journey ahead. A showing of effort that I cared enough to sit down and write that I was thinking of them. And for the times I heard back, I also got something tangible in return. I have, in their own hand, a memory and something to cherish now that they are no longer in this world.
“But I’m too busy”. We are all busy! And for those that are really, really busy, your hand-written correspondences might not be as frequent. But at least take the time to honor the important times in a loved ones life. Birthdays, Marriage, Child’s Birth, Illness, Holidays, Death. Take a step farther than “liking” an important moment on Facebook, and drop a little note in the mail. And if you receive a gift, gesture, service, etc. from someone, PLEASE send a thank you note! This is a time when a text simply isn’t enough.
And for those who feel that “snail mail” increases our carbon footprint and it is bad for the environment… I personally look at that as trying to vary your excuse from the most popular “I’m busy”. Yes, it technically does increase our carbon footprint. There is no disputing that. But the likely hood of the recipient keeping that hand-written note and not throwing into a landfill is much greater. Plus, and most importantly, it is about showing effort in our affection towards other individuals. There are other ways to decrease our footprints without loosing our humanity.
I think there is room in our lives for embracing all forms of communication. It is exciting time in our history. We have so much amazing technology at our fingertips. The trick is creating a balance between the new ways of corresponding, while still holding on to the art of the hand-written note.