I admit it. I'm really bad at keeping in touch with friends when I don't get to see them regularly. Life gets busy, I put things off, and eventually it begins to feel like those far-flung friends are completely out of reach. I always miss those friends and the good times we've had, but sometimes sending a random text or facebook message feels insincere.
So, a year ago I gave myself a challenge: send a birthday card to each one of my good friends, with a personal note. I always love getting a letter or card from a friend in the mail, especially when it's unexpected. And nothing makes a birthday more special than getting sweet notes from friends! So I spent some time tracking down friend's birthdays and addresses, wrote them all down in my planner, and began the "Year Of Birthday Cards."
Now a year has gone by since I sent the first card, and I am happy to report that I met the challenge! Not only did I successfully send a card to every friend whom I could find a birthday and address for (I didn't want to ask for addressed too much because I wanted the cards to be a surprise!) but I also sincerely enjoyed the process. Picking out the perfect card for each person, writing a personal note and reminiscing about fun times from the past, then decorating the cards with doodles or stickers was fun and refreshing.
I often struggle with what to say in a letter, so when I was having trouble thinking of what to say I came up with a little formula to help me out and get some ideas.
After the greeting:
1. Ask a question about the person you're writing to, about their new job/apartment/boyfriend etc.
2. Bring up something that you used to do together, or a fun memory
3. Tell them a little something about what's new in your life recently
4. Propose a plan for the future, a time you might see them or something you want to do together.
Using these steps always helps get the words flowing and makes letter writing feel a little more natural for me. One thought often leads to another and my message usually overflows onto the back of the card!
Do you send cards or letters by mail often?
What other methods do you use to remind yourself to keep in touch with friends?