Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I Heart Mail. I Do!

Yesterday it was Make-Shift Mailboxes. Today it is Friendship Journals and Flat Stanley. Clearly I have mail on the mind!

I have Friendship Journals on the mind, because my very good and patient friend, Dawn, is still waiting for the journal's Arizona arrival. Here's the quick low down. About eight years ago ten women I knew tried to join forces to begin a never ending Friendship Journal. The idea was the journal would fill with entries as it moved from person to person. I think the journal started in Georgia, stopped in Arizona, then LA, and then New York where it was lost and never recovered. That was the end of that.

Two years ago my friend Dawn suggested we revive the idea, but this time modified to be a touch more realistic. Round two has worked much better. She started us off. Back and forth between the two of us the journal has gone, ever since. The pages are filled with funny stories, serious reflections, family photos, recipes, winning ideas, life ambitions, and so much more. There's no timeline and no pressure. Hang onto it for a month (or more...) or turn it right around. Tag your it. That's why it works. It's just a simple gesture reflecting our own going commitment to stay in touch... forever.

I savor the days the journal shows up in my mailbox. I never let myself open the envelope immediately, as it is impossibly tempting to flip to the last page and get her latest update. No, instead I savor the experience. I tuck the journal away and make a date with myself. I either go to Starbucks for a cup of coffee, where I can hide in the corner of the store and read the pages slowly, or I curl up under the covers in my bedroom. Either way, it is quiet, uninterrupted time. For those fifteen or twenty minutes I am single, with no kids and remembering what life was like surrounded by supportive and loving girlfriends. It is my oasis.

We've learned a few things along the way... things you might think about should you be inspired to start up your own journal.
  • Ship it "Media Mail." It costs less and because there's no rush... it works out fine.
  • Bubble envelopes can be recycled if you using mailing labels and cut the top.
  • You'll be surprised to find all the fun, one-dimensional things you can fit in the pages of a journal (DVD's, CD's magazine clippings, stickers, quotes, photographs). Have fun with it and view it as another venue for your creativity.

So today the journal is Arizona bound. Off for another journey - carrying with it fun tales, hopes and dreams, pictures, and thoughtful questions. And, maybe a small treat is included in the envelope to boot. From the moment I mail it, the wait begins for its long journey back to Texas. Dawn, tag you're it!

Speaking of journeys... check out Helena's Flat Stanley adventure under today's posts. She did a great job of hosting Stanley in Canada and now he's off to his next destination. Julie beat our readership to the punch, so she is his next host. I am not sure where Julie is posting from (we have a couple), but where ever it is, Flat Stanley is sure to have fun! Julie, pass along your mailing address and I will be sure Helena gets it.

Signing off until tomorrow when we will DEFINITELY will be whacked on the side of the head...

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