Actually, it was more like “Write four letters a month” but who’s really keeping track?
After a year of dropping letters into the mailbox, today I sent out my final two of the year. Go big, or go home.
I have no clue if these Googled addresses are even correct, and I expect that even if they made it right place, they will be sifted into a junk pile by multiple assistants. That’s ok. It’s the act of mailing it that matters to me.
What did I learn by mailing 52 letters this year (actually it was more like 80, but who’s counting)? I’m not sure; I think I expected to have some sort of “a-ha” moment after writing so many letters, but frankly it’s just something I can now check off the list.
Who wrote me back? Several former students, and two former bosses. I enjoyed hunting for interesting stationary; I despised buying stamps.
Would I do it over again? Probably. Will I do it again in the new year? Doubtful. (Although I am considering an alternative………).
I do think that people rely too heavily on text, email, and social networking to claim that they are staying connected to others, when really that is all very surface level communication. To sit down, hand write a letter, put a stamp on it, and walk it to the mailbox takes actual effort. No offense, but I kind of can’t stand all the holiday photo cards I’ve received in the past month. They all look exactly the same, and sure, they came in the mail, but where’s the personal touch that says, “I sat down and wrote you a personal message that’s specifically addressed to you,” ?? I already know what you look like – that’s what Facebook and Instagram are for.
Then again, you didn’t see me sending any holiday cards in the mail – so I shouldn’t talk!
All I’m saying is, back in the old days, people wrote to each other. The librarian at my school hung up a bunch of old Christmas postcards that are postdated as far back as 1914. Each one is short, but different, and personal.
I’m not sure why that matters to me, but it does.