(Actually, the bottom picture shows what I'm like when I get real mail for as long as I can remember.)
I remember well the anticipation of receiving the mail each day as a child, as a teenager, and even now as an adult. I'm not talking about email or messages in your Facebook inbox. I'm not talking about comments on your instagram pictures or return texts on your smart phone. I'm talking about real letters, hand-written and stamped and sometimes even with cleverly decorated envelopes, delivered to your mailbox. I still love to send these notes almost as much as I love to be on the receiving end. It has always been amazing to me to think of how a letter which I held in my hands could be in a far-away place by the end of the week at the cost of one small stamp in its corner. I used to even lovingly decorate the borders of each envelope, hoping that just the sight of it in the receiver's mailbox would bring a smile.
I remember when the only way to communicate with someone quickly was by phone or a face-to-face visit. There was no email, facebook, texting, tweeting, instagram or whatever new 'thing' I haven't heard of yet to communicate with a person without any real interaction. I remember when the only way to share pictures with someone else was to carry them in your wallet or purse, or to mail them off to friends and family. I remember when I used to get phone calls from people who were not trying to sell me anything. I remember when a boy wanted to ask a girl out on a date and he had to either do it in person or suffer the agony of possibly having to speak with one of her parents when he called her home phone. Ah, the good old days.
I know what some of you are thinking right now. Blah, blah, blah, it's another GerbRant about technology. *yawn* Big whoop.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying that technology is a bad thing. I just worry about what my kids are missing out on. I worry about what I am missing out on, now that we are all so completely electronically connected. What kind of communication skills are my kids lacking? What is happening to their writing skills when things like LOL and abbreviated phrases like CUL8R are used often? (I actually made that last thing up. I'm not at all fluent in abbreviatedwords-ese.) I love words. I love the nuances of each person's penmanship. But I most especially love my kids and I love my interactions with them which, regrettably, are not what they could be due to the T.V., computers and other electronic devices in our home.
The same goes with my extended family and friends. The only way I communicate with most of them is on Facebook or by email.
This is what I see everywhere I go: people more connected to their electronic devices than the living, breathing people around them. (Thanks for sharing the link with me, Sarah!)
Okay, here's what I'm getting at. I control my own life. I am the boss of me. As such, I'm cutting waaaaay back. I'm fasting from Facebook for a while and limiting my time on the internet. Some days I may not even log on at all. I'm going back to the way things were, to see if it's really as wonderful as I remember. I'm going to sew more and read books more and sit and play trains and robots with my little boys more. I'm going to write more stories and have more personal study and make time to practice my accordion. I'm going to call people instead of emailing them.
And here's the other thing - I want to spread some of my favorite kind of old-fashioned happiness in the form of real, actual, handwritten mail. I want to send more letters, cards and postcards, just like I used to love doing. I will put a colorful stamp in the corner of each and send them off, to bring smiles as people find something besides another bill in their mailboxes. The world needs more happy mail! More notes of encouragement and support! And as of next Monday, that's going to start happening, from my mailbox to yours.
This is where you come in. Do you miss that excitement that comes with the anticipation of a happy note in your mailbox? Have you never felt what I am describing? Well, let's do something about it. If you send me an address I will physically mail some hand-written happy and encouraging words and thoughts to you.
If you're interested, you can send your address to:
gerbdonna AT gmail DOT com
I can't wait to get back to basics around here. And I can't wait to send some sunshine to your mailbox!