|Pixel2013 via Pixabay|
And it stuck.
I'd already come up with a couple of Lenten resolution -- bad habits to give up, mostly -- but this new idea resonated with me. I'm a transplanted Jersey girl whose college friends are scattered across the country. I've worked in several different school districts, making friends with colleagues in each of them. While I maintain contact with many friends on social media, I'm old enough to remember a time when letters were a primary way to communicate with faraway friends and family. In addition, I actually have fond memories of sitting down to write those letters. Lent seemed like the perfect time to reclaim an old habit and reach out to people who matter to me.
I'd like to say I'm keeping up, but that's not the case. I started off well, buying some cute cards with space for me to write a note and making a short list of people I wanted to write to. I sent a couple of newsy emails to friends who are happy to communicate that way but wrote exactly one card.
And immediately realized that my handwriting was another casualty of rampant technology.
I haven't given up, though. I have my cards and my list tucked neatly into a folder bright enough to capture my attention and I'm still optimistic that I will sit down and write those notes. I just need to make time to do it. In addition, I've decided that the 40 notes part is more important than the 40 days part. Writing letters after Easter won't make them any less important.
An interesting side effect emerged from this desire to reach out. Last week, as I walked past a buildings and grounds worker repairing a crack in the sidewalk on campus, I felt compelled to stop and thank him. Today, as I ran into the store to pick up some face wash, I felt the need to wish the man trimming the shrubbery a good day.
|Alexas Fotos via Pixabay|
Habits are funny things. We get used to doing things a certain way -- sometimes before we even know it -- and that becomes our norm. Sometimes, the new way replaces an old way that was perfectly serviceable -- like email and social media instead of letters and phone calls -- even when that wasn't our intention.
I'm actually sort of happy that I've fallen behind in my letter-writing. Now, instead of a daily to-do list item, perhaps they'll be even more heartfelt than I first intended. Perhaps my new old habit will even supplement the thing I've gotten used to, giving both technology and handwritten correspondence their due.
And, who knows? Maybe my handwriting will even improve.
But I'm not holding my breath on that one.