If there’s one thing I learned on National Handwriting Day, it’s that I have pretty lousy penmanship. And its really no surprise if you think about it — writing by hand is becoming a lost art form. I spend almost my entire day typing away in front of my computer but most of the time when I need to decipher my own rare handwritten notes, I can barely make them out. The shift in how people communicate has been shockingly swift in my short lifetime. That’s why a day like today, Send a Card to a Friend Day, is so important. As a whole, perhaps we should spend a little less time on Facebook, and a little more time face-to-face, or putting our thoughts on paper with an actual pen and concentrated mind.
Reading and letter-writing used to be the predominant form of communication, and even entertainment. Sometimes I wonder if you were to put even the most dim-witted but literate person of the 1800s alongside today’s average young adult, who would win a match of literary skills? Who would exercise the greater vocabulary? Which one would be most adept at expressing their thoughts and feelings? I don’t mean to preach from my soapbox — I’m just as bad as any other thirty-something who grew up with Instant Messenger, Nintendo, and Nickelodeon. In fact, when I went through my junk drawer looking for stamps this afternoon, all I found were 33 cent, 39 cent, and 2 cent stamps. When was the last time I wrote a letter???
Though I may not have written a bona fide letter today, at least I wrote out a very nice card to a close friend of mine who is anticipating her first baby next month. I’m so excited for her and during this hectic time we haven’t had much of a chance to talk. I’m sure her life will only get crazier and busier with the arrival of her little one, but today was a great chance for me to reach out to her and let her know she’s always in my thoughts. When I was through Chris wrote a card to a couple of friends who have a celebration of their own coming up, and I snuck on a little illustration when he wasn’t looking. It felt so good to write out some cards, that I also rounded up a couple of other congratulatory cards I’ve been holding onto for the past week and sent them out as well.
I think I might have to make this a more-than-once-a-year habit. I know how nice it is whenever I receive something other than the seemingly endless piles of junk mail in my box. Today was the perfect reminder that sometimes, even if you can’t reach out to someone in person, at least you can still be personal.
Well, we’re off to the mailbox now. And then we’ll get our kite ready for Kite Flying Day!