When was the last time you decided to write a letter to a friend or someone in your family? Or is that an idea that hearkens back to an era so long behind us, that it just doesn’t come to mind? These days we email or text, we message on Facebook or we phone and leave voicemails. But picking up a pen and a piece of paper? Probably not even on the radar right?
Even your bill paying is becoming an automatic process. Or invoices and statements arrive in your emails Inbox, so you’re not seeing the bills arrive like they used to, in the snail mail daily delivery. Which leaves the postman (or is that ‘post person’?) bringing a dreary assortment of flyers, the occasional official notification of something or other. Or for a dwindling number of us, the rare envelope containing a bill demanding money. All of that’s depressing in it’s own right isn’t it? I mean, who looks forward to picking up the mail nowadays?
If you write a letter, folksy and friendly, how will they feel?
On the other hand, if you’ve ever been the recipient of a folksy, friendly letter from a someone you care about, you know how good that makes you feel. Do you pick your mail up at your community mail box? Or do you collect it from the hall floor where it lays scattered across the mat? Maybe from the gently rusting box outside the door? Wherever your mail is delivered to, do you remember that little surge of joyful expectation? The pleasure at the sight of an envelope with your name handwritten on it and the name of someone you know in the top left hand corner?
Why I love the Internet.
Computers have been great in so many ways and I’m happy to be a ‘computer-age’ cheerleader. I love the Internet! Even with all the bad that goes along with it, I’m still a fan of it and our ability to access it. I can learn about almost anything by going to Google. You can find out how to cut decorative crown molding so that it can go up properly in your living room. Or you can learn how to cook just about any dish that you can imagine. And if there’s something that has tweaked your interest lately, you can use it to research any topic, be it political, financial or where to buy a particular and unique Christmas present for somebody that you love.
But the downside of the computer era is…..
But besides giving us information, computers have also taught us how to expect instant gratification. If the page takes more than a couple seconds to open up, we’re just as likely to ‘bounce’ from it impatiently. Even our shopping habits are changing because of this. According to retailers, we’re in the process of losing our enthusiasm for an afternoon of shopping at the mall with a friend. More frequently, we’re curling up on the couch with our laptops and surfing the Internet as we look for a new sweater or handbag. We’ve saved time on the drive and can search through multiple stores in less time than it would have taken us to actually get to the first parking lot.
Instant gratification be gone! Write a letter instead…
To write a letter though, is to take a step back from that need for speed. It means you have to slow down, give thought to the words you chose and then slowly write them down. In a sense, I guess you could even call letter writing a meditative process simply by virtue of it being a ‘slow-mo’ activity that pretty much requires you to be thinking only about that. Mindfulness in action you know.
The real reason, the best reason to write a letter is…..
But the real reason to write a letter, is more about the recipient than it is about you or me. I imagine my mom, whom I do talk to every week on the telephone, opening up her mailbox and seeing an envelope that has her name on the front and mine in the top corner. Or I think of my old aunty, as she spent her last few years in a seniors residence.
In my mind’s eye, I see the smile on her face as as she is handed that envelope. It has her name written by hand, from someone who loves her. I can imagine that her steps are a little quicker as she walks back to her room with it clutched in her hand. Or maybe this latest letter will go to one of my daughters. A reminder in the midst of their crazy, hectic day, that Mom was (and is) thinking of them always. You can even write a letter to your grandchildren. It helps them learn to read, it reminds them that you love them. And it opens them up to an experience that they’re not likely to get anywhere else.
TIPS ON HOW TO WRITE A LETTER TO SOMEONE YOU LOVE
Remember, people love getting a personal letter. It’s a perfect reminder that someone out there loves them.
You can take your time to phrase it just perfectly. Or you can get silly and sentimental. And whomever you sent it to, won’t see how red your face got as you shared from your heart. Or if you’re very sad about something, they won’t see you when your face get’s all red and blotchy when you ‘ugly-cry’ before you can regain your composure.
You can write a letter to anyone, even someone who’s difficult in person. Children whether young or adult, grandchildren, friends, long lost family, everyone and anyone. And keep in mind, it doesn’t matter whether you talk to them on the phone regularly or not. They will still love your little ‘love-note’that comes in between calls. I’ve even written letters where I started it one day. Then just added a few lines each day over the next couple weeks. Sort of journalling for the benefit of someone else. Then when I had two or three pages done I sent it off. And that way, they could know the month I had and the thoughts I ‘thunk’.
It doesn’t have to be a three or four page letter. A pretty postcard that reminded you of them or something that they love. Even a little one pager, tucked into a pretty card can be a source of happiness for a lonely person.
Try to be that bright spot in someone’s day. Focus on loving them as you reach out and they’ll love you right back.
Keep a little letter writing kit easily accessible. Include a book of postage stamps, a pen, some little cards and notepaper and your address book. The biggest cause of detours if you’d planned to write a letter, is having to scurry around collecting the stuff that you need to do it. But if it’s all together in one place, it’s easier to not only motivate yourself, but the follow through is more likely to happen.
Pick up a bunch of sparkly stickers from the Dollar Store. Use them to doll up your letters, especially if you’re writing to your grandchildren. Then not only are you sharing ideas, but a little bit of art for the ‘bling’ of it!
While there are rules about how letters should be written, in this instance, throw them out. ‘Talk’ to your friend like they are your friend and you’re just hanging out over a cup of coffee! What would you say and how would you say it if that amazing person, who’s getting your wonderful letter was sitting across the table from you? Write a letter that sounds like you.
Send your letter, but don’t have an expectation that they’ll send one back. Remember, you’re giving them a gift of love here and we’re not supposed to expect gifts in return. Besides, as I’d previously written, the surest way to hurt relationships is to hold and hang on to expectations of others about the nonessentials of life. So send it and let it go to do its magic.
And last but not least, keep a list of whom you’ve written to. On that list, note their name, the date you wrote to them and a little note about anything special regarding that communication. If it was a birthday card (with a five dollar bill in it for a grandson) or if you used one of the little cards with the red flowers and teapot this time…..just so that the next time there’s something new to anticipate.
It might take a personal mental push to write a letter. But like all the other good stuff in life, it’s one of those things that you’ll never regret doing. If you already make a point of going the official postal delivery route, I’d love to hear the how’s, and why’s and wherefore’s of your reasons. So don’t forget to leave a comment before you go, we want to know!
Love to you all and have a great day, wherever you are!
As always, I remind you that while I’ve spent the last 20 years focusing on and learning to ‘grow’ my own health, I’m not a medical doctor. What I’m sharing here is based on my own experiences and the things that I’ve learned from the real experts! Those are the researchers and doctors who’ve seen the actual patients, worked in the labs and write the medical reports that are sprinkled throughout these posts.
My goal is to motivate and help you find your best way to live a healthier and more peaceful life. I and Ageless at Sixty cannot be held liable for any resulting injury or adverse change in health status.
I also advise that any changes that might affect your health status be checked with your accredited physician. This would include changes to your exercise routines and any medications you might be taking or other supplements.
As well, this blog and each post may contain affiliate links. That means that if you buy something through them, I’ll receive a commission, at no extra cost to you.