If you’re a regular reader of my column, you know I grew up writing letters and I love how social media lets me share so widely with my friends. And you also know that I wasn’t sharing deeply, like I would one-on-one in a letter.
That’s why I recommitted to sending notes and cards in the mail and that’s why it became something holy for me, a way to serve and encourage others.
But in today’s brag-about-being-busy world, where does the slow process of pen and paper fit in?
It fits in the nooks and crannies of our days, and it fits in the spaces we schedule for it.
If you want to send more notes and letters, then carry them with you when you take your car for an oil change and when you get your hair cut. Tuck something to write on in the glove box for when you’re waiting on kids at practice. Buy postcards and fill them out on the plane.
Writing cards and letters isn’t a race or a competition. It’s about sharing your heart with one person at a time.
And finding time for that one person isn’t so hard.
If it helps, schedule a day each week or a day each month to send birthday cards and notes. Or, make it a task that you associate with something you already do. Watch your favorite TV show and scribble down your message during the commercials. Write while you’re waiting on the towels to dry.
If you need a little inspiration, or a reminder of the benefits of staying connected, flip through “Write Back Soon” (“13.57, Roost Books) by Karen Benke or join the Letter Writers Alliance at letterwriters.org where $5 gets you a lifetime membership, free stationery downloads and optional pen pals.
Just remember that no one is keeping track. You can write seven letters a week or seven letters a year. What matters is that you reach out to people – that you offer joy and grace and encouragement. Then, writing letters becomes something sacred and we all win, regardless of the score.
Marketta Gregory is a former religion reporter who now shares her own journey of faith with readers. She lives in Rochester, New York, with her husband, their three young boys and one very vocal Pomeranian. To contact Gregory, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to her at P.O. Box 12923, Rochester, NY 14612. You can also visit the Simply Faithful page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter at @MarkettaGregory.