Sunday, August 29, 2010
Pen To Paper Challenge
This is my post about sending my first handwritten note in the Pearista Pen to Paper Challenge. (You can read more about the details of the challenge here.) I, sadly, missed the official first week of the challenge, so I'm a week behind, but I'm trying to get back on track here! :)
Email has definitely made correspondence easier. It's a quick, instant way to let your friends and family know you're thinking of them. But do we get the same gleeful reaction? I'm always happy to see an email from a friend in my box, but a letter or card is much more exciting! To me, it means they took extra time to send you a hello. They had to make the effort to get out the card or paper, write out the message, address an envelope, buy a stamp, affix it AND drop it in the mail. Plus, it just feels more personal. I love seeing people's handwriting. It's so interesting and individually theirs. No one writes exactly like anyone else.
I still have a letter from my grandfather and I love re-reading it from time to time. I love the sentiment, but I always love looking at it because it's in my grandfather's handwriting. There are a few ink smears and it's really special to know that his hands smeared that ink. It's such a powerful & tangible memory for me. I remember how special I felt to get a letter from my grandfather. I think I was maybe 12 years old and when my mom told me I had mail from him, I was so excited. Getting mail is still just as exciting for me. And it's even more special, when it's a letter from someone you love.
So a couple of months ago, I received a card from an old friend, Amber. We met online, in a deals & contests forum and became good friends. We even started a yahoo group with another friend to organize secret santa-like swaps with other friends from the contest forum. We talked over email multiple times a week, but we eventually lost touch as our lives got busy. So when I received a card in the mail from Amber earlier this summer, it was very nice to hear from her. Just that quick note to say hello really made my day. And the adorable dog on the front of the card didn't hurt! But of course, time got away from me and it took til August for me to get back to her.
So this week, I decided to send a note to Amber. I started to write the note and next thing I knew, I had run out of room on the regular message page and went up to the top part to finish my note. I even used the little arrow pointing up to tell the reader where to go. Drawing the little arrow made me laugh. It reminded me of notes I used to write in school. I had a tendency to write long notes growing up. Letters to friends, notes passed in class, birthday cards...I always wrote a novel. So running out of room happened frequently. And I drew a lot of those arrows.
It felt really nice to write Amber back. I felt good about sending her mail and showing my appreciation for the card she sent a couple of months ago. But I also loved the actual act of writing the note. The actual act of pen to paper felt good and a bit nostalgic. It took me right back to all of those notes I wrote in school. Maybe I was paying more attention to how I felt writing it because of the challenge, but it felt special. Like something I should definitely be doing more often.
Have any of you decided to try the challenge yourselves? Remember if you do take the challenge and post about it on your blog, send me the link and I'll choose one person randomly to send my last card to. This means you'll get a note from me, a really pretty blank card and envelope to send to one of your loved ones AND a shout-out on my blog. If you have a blog, I'll link to your blog also. So you'll get a little free advertising. (I haven't had anyone accept the challenge yet, so your odds of being chosen are pretty good!)
Amber should be receiving her note soon. I hope receiving it makes her feel as good as writing it did!