Enjoy a little down time by writing a letter

Miriam Nelson
New Editor

“Mom, I’m bored!”

I don’t ever remember uttering those words as a child. There always seemed to be something to do, kids to play with or just taking time to hang out doing nothing. When you have an overactive imagination like mine, doing nothing is an important part of the creative process.

I’ve always enjoyed my “down time” and get a little cranky when I don’t get enough time to do nothing.

In this day and age where we have so many gadgets to make our lives easier and to do and process things instantly, I’m finding that I’m doing more but enjoying it less.

The other day I actually sat down and wrote two letters! Who does that anymore?

As luck would have it I was cleaning my office area and found some pretty stationary I had purchased years ago. I only had a couple of sheets left, but it was still a treasure in my mind because it brought back fond memories.

When my nephews were young and we were on vacation in Disney World I wanted to make sure they sent post cards to grandma and grandpa. My parents had always enjoyed receiving letters and I knew they would get a kick out of getting something from the grandkids.

Picking out the cards was ten times easier than getting their participation in writing them. I honestly thought since the space is so small on the back of a post card that it would be fairly easy for them.

There we were at the happiest place on earth, on sensory over load and they still couldn’t think of anything to say. I finally let them in on a little secret – write big, it takes up more space and you don’t have to write as much.

Later on when they went to visit the grandparents I showed them why it mattered. There on the refrigerator were the very post cards they had whined about writing. I don’t really know how much it meant to the kids seeing their post cards on grandma and grandpa’s fridge, but I do know it meant enough to Mom and Dad to secure a place there.

I still have every letter anyone sent to me when I was in school in Denmark for a semester. It was the first time I had been so far away from home for an extended period of time. It was very comforting to get a glimpse of what was happening a home while I was exploring a new life that was exciting but sometimes overwhelming. It was so nice to escape back to the familiar written on a sheet of paper.

In this time of instant communication the internet has brought us closer together and in some ways farther apart. I was once reluctant to get a fancier cell phone, but when my friends started texting me instead of sending a letter or calling me, I caved pretty quickly so I could stay in the loop.

I don’t want to go back to the days when the only form of communication was via snail mail, but I did enjoy the process of writing those two letters, on the pretty stationary, and sending it off in the hopes of getting one in return.