Saturday, August 30, 2008

The joy of human connection


Thursday night I met up with two girlfriends for our monthly "book club." I say that euphemistically: we have attempted (for a year now) to pick a book and read it together and discuss, but we never get any farther than "have you read this?", "what are you reading?", "I read that", "did you hear they are making a movie of such-and-such." And then before you know it we are on to some starlet's latest shenanigans, whether the waitress is ever coming back with more wine (because of course we hold these, ahem, "meetings" in a bar), Obama vs Hillary, Mad Men, and the state of our sex lives.

Despite of the lack of literary discourse, these get-togethers are food for my soul, as they are reminders of how precious is the need for human contact, how quickly time passes and how we need to savor each flesh-and-blood friendship. Work, family, chores, outside obligations -- the busy-ness of day-to-day living sometimes takes up so much of our lives that before you know it a week, a month, a year has passed and you and so-and-so never did get together. I try very hard to stay in touch with friends who are no longer part of my every day, but it astounds me how many friendships have faded away to just an annual Christmas card.

I appreciate all the blog friends I have made here, as all bloggers do (and even non-friends - the outpouring of love, prayers and contributions for blogger Stephanie Nielson by complete strangers warms the heart and reassures me as to the strength of human kindness more than I could have anticipated. I would be shocked if this story did not end up on Oprah). And I'm not sure who started it, but there's a reason the "Pay It Forward" posts are so popular these days. Sure, we all love reading and commenting on each other's blogs, and getting emails, and feeling that little connection with each other, but there is something so satisfying about receiving something (especially a non-bill something) in the real, live, postal mail. Some little treat, some sign that someone is thinking of us.

So, in the spirit of back-to-school, here is your homework. This week I want you to mail a little notecard to a friend you haven't spoken to in a while, just to let them know you're thinking about them. Not an email, a real live piece of mail. Yes, you may have to go to the post office and buy a stamp (I'm partial to the Charles & Ray Eames collection and the Albert Bierstadt painting). Include your phone number and email, in case they've lost it. Maybe it will inspire them to get back in touch. Maybe it will just brighten their day. Maybe it will brighten only your day. But wouldn't it be worth it?

So write your note and then post a comment here of who you sent it to. You don't have to get too specific, I understand the need for privacy. You can be vague, as in "sent a note to former co-worker I haven't talked to in 2 years". Let's see how many little seeds we can plant through the postal system.

22 comments:

ladiesinwaiting said...

Smooch, I'm glad we get to see you all the time.

I will do my homework.

penny said...

What a lovely idea. I can't even remember the last time I got mail that wasn't a bill, a catalog or junk mail. I will also do my homework - I will mail a card to my second cousin, who I see only at big family things like weddings & funerals, and we always say we will get together and we don't. we were very close growing up and I miss her. Even if nothing comes of it I know she will appreciate the thought.

DR Corner said...

Great idea. There's so many friends from the past that we tend to lose touch with (I myself have been guilty of this BIG TIME :( :lol: ). But, I'll give your task a try and let you know...

In the meantime, I’ve just finished writing about some more tasty bites, most are quick-n-easy and can be done in 15 minutes. Please check it out, and comment on what you think. Thanks, I appreciate it.

http://drcorner.wordpress.com/2008/08/30/this-labor-day-barbecue-like-a-rockstar/

And, I saw the post about your updates to your place, the remodels look great, very antique but yet still modern. Your dining area has an AWESOME view, seems very relaxing (especially for writing).

Miumsie said...

You have inspired me. This is something I have been thinking about for some time.
I will do my homework.

Marie Louise said...

Uh oh Robin - you've gone and done it now. What is your mother up to?
Only kidding - this is a lovely post. As you know I recently reconnected with an old friend but haven't had a chance to see them yet. I'll have to get myself organized and do it!

S.HOPtalk said...

I can't wait to do this...thanks for the inspiration. I'll report back with details. I look forward to catching up with you more as I ease back into reality and get little one off to school this week. :)

littlebyRD said...

Love you for doing this! What a wonderful idea! I have a few I will mail: A relative or two, a friend who I haven't seen in ages, and maybe a few more. Thanks for the idea!

Bonbon Oiseau said...

ha! thanks for the link---too funny...and for this idea...i will send it to my old friend Liz in San Francisco.

Fifi Flowers said...

Your book club sounds like mine... although we do all read the same book... however... we talk about it for a flash... and then it's sex, drugs and rocknroll chat time... ok... no drugs useless you count botox, restylane, etc... our gatherings are always in a restaurant with a BAR! Yummy food and LOTS of wine!
WOW... good idea... I happen to have a little bit of stationery laying around... lol... I will join in and send to an old friend... but I'd like to send to a NEW friend... via email send me your address... I think I have a perfect notecard for you!
Fifi

Jules said...

love this little "challenge" and i've already got someone in mind! you are so right about the need to keep in touch with friends...time goes by so fast and we need to cherish those that we were once close to :)

Hooked on Houses said...

I want to join your book club!!

Love the idea of writing a note to a long, lost friend. I'm sort of a fanatic about keeping in touch with people, even as far back as high school. I'll have to try to think of someone I've neglected. Hmmm...

-Julia

sherri said...

That book club sounds about my speed. Love the homework idea. Will do.

please sir said...

Such a lovely way to spread your thoughts and happiness. So glad to hear about your support - that sounds like the best kind!

a little bird said...

what a fantastic idea! I am going to send my card to my best friend Amanda, who I haven't seen face to face in 2 years...

knitseashore said...

What an inspirational post! I will give some thought as to who I should write to. It may be a new friend rather than old, but I will do it.

jennie said...

amazing idea!! i keep in touch with school frenz,,,,however,i hve stopped for the last few months,,,i should try n keep up with the idea of actually goin to a post office n sending letters or postcards!cheers!

Ashley L. said...

very cool picture! i love the concept! i had a wonderful first visit to your blog! :)

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Not sure how I got here, but this is my first visit. Very nice post so had to leave a stopped by note. And I will do this...

littlebyRD said...

I did it! I sent cards to my mom, my dad, and grandpa. Thanks again for planitng the idea.

only a movie said...

What a fabulous idea. I think I'll do it. Thanks.

magpiesandmagnolias said...

Robin, this is such a wonderful idea! Thanks for leaving a comment on my little start up blog. I truly appreciate it!

Iheartfashion said...

Great idea! Who doesn't love to get mail? I just sent flowers to a friend I haven't seen in a year.