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It’s been a pretty relaxing weekend…dang, that first week back after the holidays can be a little intense.  But nothing a virtual helmet and heat shield can’t fix.  I laugh to myself as I write this, for two years ago the New Year started off for me unemployed.  And went that way for several, sometimes-very-painful months.  So I suppose I should keep my trap (er, keyboard?) shut and not complain.  On the other hand, maybe this is a sign that times are getting better workwise and we’re back to the routine again.

I got quite a few tasks done at home including getting tons of mail sorted through, read, bills paid and everything shredded up for recycling.  Dang that feels good!  I am so happy that lots of magazines now have an option to renew subscriptions online instead of mailing in a check.  I have a bad habit of going sure, renew me, and then I mail in one of those “bill me later” forms.  Well, when you do that in October and you haven’t yet paid by January…oops.  Anyway, thanks to the internet I’m good to go.  And I just have a couple of quick thank you notes to write for Christmas gifts and I’ll be in good shape.

My mailbox goes a tad crazy over the holidays with Christmas cards, great pictures and those often-polarizing Christmas card letters.  Oh how I – mostly – enjoy reading them and hearing what everyone’s up to.  I read and wonder wow, it’s been years and years since I’ve seen some of these families.  Where does the time go?  And I giggle that I even still receive Christmas cards from people at all…the last time I ever sent out any myself was probably 1996.

Those letters!  Mostly super enjoying to savor and read, but others seem rather self-indulgent and even arrogant.  Blech.  No thanks.  

Then there’s my college BFF, P.  Her family Christmas letters are so full of love – love for family and for everyone – and the love just comes bouncing off the page as I read.  And she always includes a hand-written very nice blurb at the end of the letter.  This year’s words just went straight to my heart:  “I hope you know how I think of you and talk about you often.  We made some great memories and though we don’t talk much I still see you as a best friend.”  I about burst into tears of happiness….yes…THIS is EXACTLY how I feel too!

P and I were sorority sisters in college.  We were not really in the same circles within the house and did not really become close friends until probably our junior year.  I’d pledged as a sophomore and the group I ran with was a little different than hers.  Kinda funny how even a small, liberal-arts university (with just 1600 undergrads) can still have its pockets and all, even though everyone pretty much knew everyone.  But our sorority was pretty big for a small university – around 80-90 members, as were the other two houses.  P and I had an apartment off campus our senior year…what an incredible experience that was for us after living in the dorms our freshmen year and in the sorority for two (spoiled with a very nice house and amazing food service compared to the dorm food).  The apartment was just a short two blocks away but it might as well have been the moon.  The campus is a square mile bubble of goodness in a town that, well, frankly is a little rough in patches.  I’ve driven by where she and I used to live those two decades ago and shudder…she and I lived THERE? In that crappy apartment? 

I looked through P’s family pictures in the envelope – wow her kids are so incredibly cute!  P does not use email a lot and only periodically surfaces in Facebook land.  I thought today, you know what, I’m going to sit down and write her a letter.  A LETTER!

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks.  Or maybe a freight train.  When in the hell was the last time I wrote an actual snail mail letter to a friend?  To anyone??   And I challenge any of you who stumble around in here…when was the last time for you?  Not a quick postcard, not an email, not a text, not any messaging in Facebook or LinkedIn or other social media.  Hmmm??  For me it’s probably over a year.  And probably much longer than that for a hand-written snail mail letter.  Oh Lordy my handwriting has declined over the years.  I even remember way back it used to be common practice to send thank you letters – in snail mail – after job interviews.  Nowadays things move too fast.  Haven’t done that any time in this century I’m afraid.  Nope, email it is.

So I sit here, smiling, ready to shift gears and start writing to P.  I’ll think she’ll love what she finds in her mailbox.