This week I hand wrote little notes of appreciation and sent them out in the mail.
Snail mail, when was the last time you did that?
This week and this challenge was inspired by a good friend, who, for as long as I've known her, has had ten pen pals going at once. In college her friends would joke about her never having homework because she seemed to spend all her time writing letters. To this day she sends me more things in the mail than even my mother does, and I’ve only sent her one thing back… until this week.
I always justified not writing back because phone calls, texting, emailing or facebooking are my preferred mediums for expressing love. It takes more energy to intentionally set aside time in my day to hand write a note, which is the point exactly.
So this week I found myself at the end of each day writing notes in bed because I had run out of time during the day to write my letters (go figure) but the point is I did them.
Late Monday night, after one of the most wonderful nights of my year, I wrote a letter of thanks to Shauna Niequist for coming out of her way to be with my friends and for saying all the things that we really really needed to hear. Tuesday night I wrote a letter to my mom, explaining to her what I really mean when I say the occasional “thanks” and how that appreciation runs so much deeper and wider than I’ve ever let on. Wednesday I wrote to my favorite professor at Hope College, I told her she probably didn’t know it but she had a huge influence on my college experience. Thursday I wrote down every single reason why I love my best friend, something I realized last week I never tell her enough. Friday I wrote to that good friend I mentioned before, apologizing for the lack of snail mail that comes her way (sorry if you’re reading this before you receive my note).
And each night when I thought about who I was going to write to, a million other people popped into my head. I came to the conclusion that I want everyone to know how much I appreciate them and the reasons why. Words are incredibly powerful and I want to use that power to make a difference in the lives of the people I love.
So I’m extending this challenge until Thanksgiving and I strongly encourage you to join me. This past week I went out and bought 20 stamps. Go do the same and challenge yourself to use them all before Thanksgiving. That’s my new goal.
Write to twenty different people in your life that you love, appreciate, want to get back in touch with, have a crush on or have had a lasting impression on you. Write to your neighbors, your teachers, you family, your best friends or even to strangers.
I promise your gift of words will mean more to them than you could ever imagine.