I never plan to clean out my pantry—it just seems to happen—& never at a convenient time. I’ll be putting away groceries & all the sudden decide everything needs to be purged, sorted, or rearranged. A moment of goodness came from one of these cleanings when I pulled an old thank you note from the bottom shelf yesterday. Collins probably found it in a drawer & stuck it there months ago.
Thank you notes have always been an important thing for me. When I can time it just right, I like mailing them so people get them in the mail on a Monday because who wouldn’t want to get a minute or two of hand-written encouragement on a Monday? Mondays have such a bad reputation—I vote this year, we turn things around– for the sake of poor Monday.
I get that it’s tough—especially now with free time being such a prized commodity. Plus, I can’t seem to do anything more productive than putting on pajamas past 8 p.m. We went to the beach last week, & I took a giant stack of stationary with me to write notes to people—some thank you notes & some just letters for no big reason. Throughout the whole week, I wrote three letters. THREE. My goal was eighteen. (#bigexpectations) So I get that it’s easy to slide on the backburner. I count writing letters as an act of love, & nobody said love wasn’t intentional.
Here’s the thing: I don’t think the letter is our only option. Sometimes, they need to be written for the sake of courtesy, but if writing consistently puts you in a grouchy mood & makes your family afraid of you, you need to find a different path. It’s about utilizing our love language. Words of affirmation. Quality time. Gifts. Acts of service. Physical touch. We all fall into one of those five categories as our primary love language*. Whatever we crave the most is most likely how we naturally love others. Mine is words. So I write letters. It’s how I harness flecks of joy in my life & reflect it back to people. The time I spend writing is a gifted pause to think— about why I’m thankful for someone or about a quality I want to remind someone they possess.
Maybe words isn’t your thing. What is your thing? How can you harness joy in your own life & reflect it back to your people?
Usually, I’m all about making resolutions for the New Year, but this year I didn’t—or at least, I haven’t yet. It’s just all flown by so fast. Something about resolutions, though, is they suggest the need for a whole bunch of improvement for ourselves & point out an eternal list of things we need to fix. Loving people is our greatest gift, & we all already possess the ability. Maybe there’s some junk you need to resolve before you can truly, actively love someone. If so, don’t skirt around the process to get to that point. Find your love language, & be bold with your love this year.
PS Now that Downton Abbey is back (#PRAISE), you can always pretend you’re in the Crawley study to make writing letters easier– it may even transport you into full dream mode. Next thing you know, you’ll be talking with a British accent & carry excellent posture.
*The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman