When I was young we moved around a lot. I’ve lived in two different states, twice. As well as two other states once. I used to joke that we were like a military family, but without the military.
This meant that writing was one of the only ways to stay connected with my friends. This was in the age of pagers and answering machines, fax machines and landlines. I remember sending my grandparents “letters” via fax.
Those times, in some ways, were much simpler.
We didn’t have facebook or instagram. I didn’t have my own email until I was 18, so that was out as well. I abhorred it then, but can see how it was a good thing now.
Letters sent were from the heart and letters received were joyfully read.
So why write letters now?
When we have all these conveniences, and I can send a quick text, why write a letter?
- Writing a letter increases connection between friends. Genuine connection. I have a couple of friends who are so good at sending little notes and letters.
The letters we send and receive nowadays may not be as detailed as they were at one time. Most likely they will consist of thank-yous, hellos, or thinking of you. But they can still be meaningful.
- When you receive a letter in the mail, most likely you get a little excited. Someone intentionally sat down to let you know that they are thinking of you. They were intentional in their relationship with you. I know this means more to me than a text, for sure!
- Writing a letter not only brings you joy, but joy to the receiver as well. On Valentines Day I sent a friend who is currently single some cash via apple pay. I wanted her to treat herself on this day when love is celebrated. I remember weird, lonely Valentines before I was married and wanted hers to be a bit cheerier.
I didn’t hear anything from her for a few days. Then I received a little Thank-You note in
This meant so much to me. Her note blessed me and brought much joy.
- If you want to get really nerdy, writing thank-you notes can make you happier. This article is an interesting read on how giving thanks can actually make you happier. We all know how it is to be in the depths of despair only to begin being thankful and soon feeling a whole lot better.
Tools to Keep you motivated
Writing letters doesn’t have to be mundane. In fact, it can be incredibly fun and therapeutic. Keep a box of thank you cards and pretty stationary. Add a couple of your favorite pens you only use to write letters. Then throw in an ink pad and stamp with your family name and address on it. And always keep a good stack of stamps on hand.
Keeping these tools on hand will make letter writing fun and easy.
Sometimes at the beginning of the year we find ourselves making irrational resolutions. Like, I’m going to write a different letter every day! While well meaning unless we put a little plan into place to make this happen we might only write a handful of letters all year before burning out.
If someone writes to you, write them back right away. My husband and I keep a file in the house called the “Saturday Pile”. We “pile” letters and bills in there and at the end of most weeks, look through it and pay bills, etc. When I add the letters I received I am much more likely to respond in a timely manner.