Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Joyful Notes

Christmas is almost upon us...just 5 more days.  Can you believe it?

This month's challenge has zipped by too, and I'm a little sad that I only have 11 more joyful notes left to write.

I have had such a wonderful time penning a short note to a different friend each day that I am truly going to miss it on January 1st.

I know nothing says I have to give it up...I mean I could be like Gretchen Rubin, who wrote The Happiness Project, and allow the challenges to compound from month to month (although I might run out of friends that way...and would potentially have to recycle my friend list).

                                                    the happier at home big book

Although I had a better solution this morning while driving to work...perhaps monthly I could mail a full length letter to a friend and try to keep in touch better.

I find that with my oldest friends, those I went to college with, we don't see each other very often and, other than a few texts here or there, we don't have the opportunity to stay on top of what is going on in each others lives.

Having a strong friendship bond can have some of the following benefits:

  1. Live longer--strong friendships help reduce your levels of chronic stress
  2. Keep us from being lonely
  3. Increase self-esteem
  4. Encourage you to change habits (i.e. give up smoking or to start exercising more)
  5. Help you cope with trauma
Now that we know our friends can help us live longer and healthier let's think about ways to keep that connection.

What ways do you keep in touch with your friends?

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Hand Written Note

I'm just under two weeks into my letter writing for the month of December and it has been met with some very positive responses.

Several of my friends sent me messages and texts saying that my little note came at just the right time, that they are feeling stressed and it was good to know someone was thinking of them.  It also gave us a few moments to remember some of the funny times we've had (nothing like sharing 20 year old stories and still laughing as if they happened yesterday).

It made me feel awesome to know that I had such a positive impact and confirmed that I am doing this challenge at the appropriate time.

The holidays can be challenging for people.  It doesn't just have to be people who have lost loved ones...it could be the taxing nature of making sure everything is taken care of (both at home and work)...there is a lot of pressure to be perfect with your holidays.

Remember though nothing is perfect and that you should do whatever you do with love and with a thoughtful heart...don't do it just because you think you have to.

I've realized 12 days in that I should probably write down the people I've mailed cards to and those that I will send to over the next 19 days...I don't want to forget anyone or send them a card twice (that would be kind of embarrassing).

So like Santa I've made my list and checked it twice...the only downside is that I fear I may have left someone out...but then nothing says I can't keep sending cards.

                                                       Image result for santa checking his list

So if you are sitting there reading my quick missive and a friend pops into your mind.  Send them a quick hello...you won't be sorry that you did.

Friday, December 2, 2016

December is Here and so is Challenge #3

I wrapped up my November Challenge (no Christmas pun intended here) and I am off and running with my December Challenge.

This month I am sending a handwritten card each day to a friend.  Their tenure as my friend isn't what got them on my list but a desire to let people know that they are special to me and that they have positively impacted my life is what got them on the list.

So if I met you last week and asked for your mailing address...that's why 😊

It's the little things that sometimes make me excited about my challenges and the need to go to the post office and buy stamps was thrilling...however when I got there and there was a HUGE line because people are already in the holiday spirit dampened by excitement a little.

                                       Image result for long lines

However I'm super lucky to have a husband who is willing to help me succeed with these challenges and he went the next day right when they opened and secured 31 stamps for me.

Continuing a little bit with October's challenge of getting rid of things I am using postcards that I had made a couple of years ago and just can't seem to use up.  But they are kind of sweet and girly...so I think they say "I appreciate you."

With my supplies at the ready I have crafted my first two cards and each day it gives me something to look forward to.

It gives me a chance to think about my friend of the day and reflect back on the good times we've had over the years.  Some of the shenanigans we've gotten into and the fond memories just brighten my day.

I hope the notes are enjoyed and that perhaps it will encourage them to do the same...and no they don't have to write me back.

But as a society we could do with spreading a little more love and cheer...what better way than a grassroots movement of letter writing?

So think about joining me, you don't have to do it all month, but think about letting someone know how much they mean to you.