Saturday, January 31, 2009

I Saw This and Thought of You (4)

Thursday morning I was enjoying the newspaper and a cup of coffee just like every morning. The Oregonian featured a story about two friends, 98 and 94 years old. They have been best friends for more than 75 years.

I thought of my best friend whom I have known for over 27 years as I read the article. Janet and I met when we were young mothers because our boys were in child care together. Our sons are grown men now and J. and I are in our fifties. Our bond is stronger than ever because we have such a body of shared experiences. We trash smoked at Key Largo and vented to one another in our thirties. She held me when my sister died and she brought me a pink bed jacket when I had surgery. Her friendship is one of my greatest treasures.

This morning I will send her this article with the words, 'I saw this and thought of you'.

I know we'll still be having a good time when we're in our nineties.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dear President Obama (3)

The letter for this week HAS to be a letter to our new President. Here's the outline for my letter:
  • Congratulations. You won the election fair and square.
  • I pray for your safety.
  • I admire you as a leader. You are dedicated to social issues and you know how to build consensus. Please move some of those tax dollars to taking care of education, solve the health insurance dilemma, rebuild our infrastructure...all the things you highlighted in the campaign.
  • We love our country...just like most people love their country. Please continue to work for mutual respect throughout the world. Be strong but not arrogant.
  • After watching TV on Inauguration Day I am completely smitten with you and your family. I am excited that you and Michelle will be bringing some flair to the White House.
  • Finally, good luck on the smoking cessation.

This man has so much on his shoulders. Let him know that we, too, want good things for our country. Here's the address:
President Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Letter to Myself (2)

I have always loved the beginning of a new year. It's a great time to reflect on the passing year and envision what I want to create. Change is a common theme (lose weight, work differently, improve relationships, etc.) and there is a cynicism around the futility of personal change. Too bad.

The Appreciative Inquiry model of change is useful because it acknowledges the power of the past in a positive way.
This is an early model that includes the CONTINUITY aspect of personal change. Too often we try to change by changing everything....which doesn't work for me. Better to build on what IS working. This week I am writing a letter to myself. This is the format:
  • What did I value about 2008?
  • What would I like to bring about in 2009?
  • What will get my attention for transition?
And because I believe that letter should be mailed if at all possible, I will mail it and then put it in the July section of my planner. In July I will read it to remind myself of what seems important now. Perhaps it will help me focus on my most important goals.

Now, who deserves a letter more than you?

Have a good week.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Thank You Notes (1)

If you've celebrated any kind of Winter Holiday it is likely that you received a gift or two. At the very least, someone brought cookies or, dare we hope, fruitcake? [I think fruitcake is YUMMY]
This is an ideal time to flex your writing muscles, so show some class, and write a THANK YOU NOTE.

If you don't know what to write here's a simple template from a helpful site:

Dear xxxx,

Thank you very much for the _________, it really was just what I wanted! Every time I use / wear the _________ I will think of you and your thoughtfulness. I wanted to take the time to write my thanks and I will call you soon, to thank you in person .

Best Wishes or Love
or With Grateful Thanks etc.

We will explore other reasons to write over the next 52 weeks. For now, find that stationary.

Write a note of thanks.

Send it.

Happy New Year!!!

Welcome to 52 Letters

A little while ago I wrote a letter to my niece, Kelly. I was out of town and my computer was packed away so I decided to communicate the old-fashioned way with a hand written letter.

A few weeks later I received this response on my Facebook wall:

Hey Tante Maggie ("Aunt" in Dutch), I got your letter. Wow, I think it has been years since I have received a hand written letter other than a christmas or birthday card. Thanks for thinking of us.

Her note got me wondering. And one morning I woke up with the idea for 52 Letters. Here's the Challenge:

Write one letter each week.
Send it.

That's it.

I'm going to start in January 2009. Meanwhile, I'm pondering ideas for how to how fun with this and involve lots of other letter writers.....