I’m very excited to begin a blog series based on a shared love of letter writing and snail mail with the ever inspiring Zoe from Zoeprose. I found her blog by chance several years ago, and I’m pleased to say we have become friends and have exchanged letters, cards and surprises. She’s kicked us off and shared her letter story here: (Check it out, she’s very inspiring!)
Each post Zoe and I will add a little challenge, if you feel so inclined to join us in sending happy post. It will probably be something fairly simple- we are all busy people- but a way to encourage you and us in our post sending. Share your thoughts/ pictures by using the hashtag #sendsomehappy on twitter or instagram.
Clearly, in this digital age time is of the essence and we panic at the time it would take to sit down and do something as thoughtful and fiddly as penning a letter. However, if we do make the effort to squeeze in half an hour or so, it will mean all the more to the happy recipient who knows you took some time to think about them.
I do believe that I was quite possibly born in the wrong decade. It’s no secret that I cling to things like paper books, printed newspapers, old fashioned telephones, records, library tickets and stamps. I love the old fashioned feel of writing a letter. It’s not immediate, it takes time, it’s slow and thoughtful. Although he scared me and he was a hard critic (and I was awful) I always will remember Carlo Gebler, who taught us Script Writing in final year of University in 2011/12 making us post our finished scripts to him. He said nothing is really finished in an email, as you can always tinker and edit it. But if you have to physically print it, put it in and an envelope and post it to the tutor’s home address, there is a definite sense of finality there!!
I always wrote to my cousin from we were 10 or 11. Her postcode on the other side of town was so similar to mine I often got them confused! My paternal Granny, my beloved Granny Mc always wrote to people, relatives and friends and nuns and priests in England, and while I was at University I wrote her a few letters because I knew she would appreciate them. We wrote back and forth, and although we are in the same town again I should probably pick up the pen.
I made a very good friend at university, that’s Abbye and we are both obsessed with letters. She sends the most beautiful packages, and she has the most elegant handwriting, and she’s always going on travels and sending me beautiful postcards and treasures. Grateful for her friendship and mutual snail mail appreciation. Also: one very amazing emergency chocolate package!
Finally, myself and my aunt/godmother write to each other quite regularly. Again, we made a proper habit of it while I lived in Belfast, but then she said that she enjoyed it so much that we shouldn’t stop. Recently I had reason to reflect on ways she’s influenced me (for her big nifty nifty birthday) and corresponding is a big one. The letters are things to treasure, and I have had such good advice and comfort from them.
I love the keepsake nature of letters. They are something physical and personal, and reading them makes you feel close to the person who wrote it, who last held it in their hands, and crafted it just for you.
There’s a wonder tied to envelopes and packages. I wonder who it’s from? I wonder what it is? When a business or company handwrites the envelope there is crushing disappointment that someone hadn’t written you a personal message.
I have to say being the sender is just as rewarding as being the receiver! I feel conspirative and a bubble of excitement as I walk to the post office.
So, #sendsomehappy ! You will make someone’s whole day. Let’s not make letter writing a lost art. It IS an art, and one that should be held dear and nurtured in these often anonymous times.
Challenge: To simply buy a book of stamps. Just so there’s one less excuse not to send that letter. The possibilities. Six ways to #sendsomehappy
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Thank you for reading. Let me know how you feel about snail mail, and if you’ve been inspired today. Join the conversation with myself and Zoe #sendsomehappy