You’ve heard me talk about the importance of building our relationships and creating our own modern families. It’s an important topic for me because, as a divorce lawyer, I see a lot of people living isolated lives. What I’ve come to learn over the years, and from reading studies into human social behaviour, is that people are actually happier when they’re around others. So there’s a huge irony in that so many of us live nuclear, independent lives, when in fact our well-being, happiness, and longevity are all tied to having a strong, supportive social fabric.
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So how do we create those relationships, and how do we make them work? A lot of us are too busy trying to keep up with all the demands of life. We sometimes forget how easy it can be to reach out. I was reminded recently of a profound way that we can reach out to people that we care about:
The old-fashioned, handwritten card
It was my step-daughter, Cimon, who reminded me of how wonderful it can be to receive a card, especially when you’re having a rough go. I had a rotten day at the office last week, and when I got home the next day she had left me a beautiful handmade card with an uplifting note and some bath-bombs. It made my whole week, and it reminded me of when I was little and us kids would swap notes in class or on the playground at recess. It made me feel special just to get one, and I couldn’t wait to pull it open and see what was inside. The same thing happens when I get a card in the mail at the holidays, or at my birthday.
I remember once when my daughter was younger, she and her best friend were passing little notes to each other on each side of our front door through the mail slot. Skylar said to her Mom,
“Mom, we are texting! With paper!”
Now, Cimon is super crafty and making her own card is something that comes naturally to her. I’m not saying you need to make your own card! A lot of us just don’t have time for that. But! There are a lot of shops – coffee shops, flower shops, heck even the grocery store – that sell local handmade cards that feature beautiful, quirky art. These ones are the best because they’re usually blank inside, which makes it easy to personalize them.
Finding the time to write
The great thing about sending a note the old-fashioned way is that the sentiment is just as valuable as what’s written inside. So, if you’re feeling daunted about finding the time to write, don’t pressure yourself! The message can be short and sweet, or it can be the kind of message that fills up the whole inside and part of the back. When you’re ready to write your note, settle into your favourite comfy space – maybe with a tea or a glass of wine – and get into it! You’ll be glad you did, and you may just make someone’s whole week…
From my home to yours,