About three years ago in response to my addiction to Twitter, Facebook and email (all those energy sappers) I built Hallmark Moments into my daily schedule. They weren’t really Hallmark moments because I didn’t actually purchase cards, rather they were snail mail, letter writing moments.
The idea came to me when my friends from grammar school, Marilyn and Judy, had both taken the time to touch base with me via the mailman; which meant sitting down, writing a note, getting a stamp and going to the post office. I had forgotten how much I loved the surprise of a handwritten note in the mail! Thus began a morning ritual that includes stationary on the corner of my desk and conscious thoughts about writing.
In the beginning it was easy. There were birthdays, letters of congratulation, sympathy and finally, with the pile of stationary facing me and nothing to commemorate I got to letters of thanks.
It was these that hooked me because each time I penned a note it set a tone of gratefulness for the entire day. There was the aunt who taught me how to make meatloaf, Sandy who taught me to knit in 7th grade. It was a snap to shoot a quick “Hi, I was just remembering”, but these memories were easy and as the stack of paper dwindled I found myself exploring more distant and more subtle memories; equally important although less pronounced. “I was thinking about the time in second grade you walked me home in the snow and let me make snow angels over and over again…….thanks”
Snail mail is mostly a thing of the past – though I’ll keep with it a while longer – and I fear gratefulness is as well. Part and parcel to good guiding is teaching children to not only say “thank you“ but to appreciate the effort, thought, and time somebody took to show they cared about them. Thank you to a teacher for reading, to grandmom for baking a pie, a bus driver for driving them to school.
Our lives are fast and we all take for granted the things we receive from others. Taking a moment to remember these things and to let people know not only feels good for the person who receives, it makes for a really good day to the person remembering. Thanks to my own children for the Hallmark moment this past weekend.