When I got to college, the letters continued. I'd get letters from friends and family and wrote them back faithfully with new stories and adventures in every envelope. Then, a few years post college, I got the desktop computer with the cd included called America Online. Email that had just been introduced to me at my post-college office job was now available in my own home. Imagine the money I will save on my long distance! Imagine the time I will save waiting for a response! Instant gratification at its finest! My first week on AOL was beyond amazing. I wrote to anyone and everyone that I knew had email. The responses took a half of an hour to a half of a day, but I got the adrenaline rush every time I heard the infamous, "you've got mail!" The ten minutes it took to 'dial up' and connect was nothing compared to the days I would wait for the mailman! What a thrill to have a letter at my fingertips. My beautiful desk full of stationary quickly began to collect dust.
Months and years passed and ecards from Blue Mountain Cards became all the rage. I stopped sending greeting cards and started sending little animated sillies to people for every occasion including birthdays and anniversaries. This was fun! I no longer had to panic that I wasn't going to get a card in the mail on time - I could just press send on the keyboard and my job and social obligation was done! Instantly, I fired off my greetings and salutations easily and effectively, never once thinking hmmm, this is kind of getting impersonal.
|Because ten minutes is just too long to wait for dial-up.|
|Nothing says I care like a mass-message to all of your phone book.|
I went to TJ Maxx and bought the most beautiful stationary I could. I went to Michael's and bought a huge box of homemade cards for every occasion, and I even hit the Post Office for a good old-fashioned roll of stamps enough to last me a half of a year. I dusted off my desk, and unclogged my favorite pen and began to write. I wrote out a few Thinking of You cards, a few Just to Say Hello cards, and even sent a few Birthday cards as well. My penmanship had suffered and my writing felt awkward and stiff, but after a while, my hand remembered what was once a natural and effortless job. My heart felt light as I put the red flag on my mailbox up and later, as I peered out the window at the Postman, I couldn't help but giggle as he did a double-take at the rainbow outgoing mail he picked up with a smile.
I don't care who you are, what era you grew up in, how old you are, or where you live. There is nothing like getting a personalized card from someone in the mail. Maybe it's just a few minutes more of effort, maybe it's not as quick and easy as an email, or instant message, or text message, but it's special. And in these days where there is literally no traffic on the extra mile, a little pinch of effort is worth millions.
So my challenge to you is to mail a card today. Pick someone that you think deserves a little pick-me-up. It'll make their day, and yours.
Signing off on my instantly published blog,