Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Write More. Type Less.

art of the written letter

Do you ever pick up a notecard and ballpoint pen and just write a note? To a friend, loved one, spouse? Anyone?

Most people can say they do, only to realize 90% of those hand written notes are thank you notes (if you were raised a Southerner) or a quick birthday card.  I know I have been a culprit of this over the years. In fact mostly because I think cards are expensive. If you know the frugality my father has engrained in my head, you'd understand. But now there is no excuse. For $1 at Trader Joes I can pick up a simple, sweet card for any person or occasion.

Call me old fashioned, but I can't think of any better expression of love and human interaction than the hand written letter. In the age of emails, face-less responses and letters on a keypad, a hand written letter is such a breath of fresh air. And a lost art.

Lately I find myself anxiously awaiting the mailman. I am hopeful that amidst the unending bills, junk mail and catalogs of things I don't need, there will be a handwritten envelope that holds real words with ink.  My grandmother's best friend Betty has sent me 2 letters in the last month since our engagement. She is 89. She understands the written word. She writes me in pencil on simple white lined paper and I love receiving those letters. They don't say much. They don't have to. They are simply refreshing.

trader joes card
Ever since Andrew and I started dating I have left him handwritten cards at least once a month.  Lots of times its when I leave for work, when he leaves for work, or when I am feeling extra sentimental. He has a stack of them on his desk. Some of them are meaningful and some of them simply say I love you.  I don't know exactly what made me start this, but I'm glad I did.  I hope our children and grandchildren look through these cards one day and know our story a bit better and gain appreciation and value of the written letter. I can only imagine by that point that in time the written letter might be extinct. I cannot imagine my children writing emails to their loved ones and sorting through an electronic label to look back on them. There is something to be said for snail mail.

Like Andrew's stack of letters, I too keep written letters in multiple manilla envelopes. I keep birthday cards, graduation letters, love notes and reflections I've written in stacks of journals. Andrew calls me a hoarder. I call it sentimental. He gets nervous when I reread them. I find perspective, a boast in self confidence and a whole lot of love from those notes, cards and letters. It is refreshing to read off plain paper and not a computer screen. Lines, ink, and flowing words.

So, I challenge you to Write More, Type Less

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