When I was in high school, it was a big deal if you had internet at home. Most of my peers had an AOL address, but I didn’t get my first email address until I was in college and was assigned one by the student services. It took me until I sat through a lecture on Stream of Consciousness writing (which I fell in love with) before I really started to email. You see, once I started typing, words just fell from my fingers and I was able to follow the flow within my own brain. Personally, I was a fan. I’m a fast typer and my fingers were able to keep up with my thoughts fairly well. I was a college student and pressed for time, so this was my solution. As much as I liked it, most of the people I emailed were decidedly against it. My uncle used to return my emails with proper punctuation and edits.
Thankfully, I eventually made a decision to slow my life down and returned to proper sentence structure in all my communications. Around this time, my husband bought me a PDA and I attempted to forgo my previous dependence on a paper calendar. I thought that if I could only learn to use an electronic format for everything I did, my life would only increase in it’s simplicity. Not surprisingly, around this time, my precious Nokia phone finally had to be retired and I replaced it with a phone that had some touch features on it. I actually stopped making phone calls because I was so annoyed with the “high-techness” of it all!
And yet, even with two computers in my home, smart phones, eReaders and lightning fast internet connections, I still find myself loving the feeling of a pen in my hand as I write a card or mark in appointment in my calendar. I rarely use my phone’s calendar function, instead spending weeks every year searching for the perfect calendar to write all my notes in. My journal is simply lined, no frills, smooth pages and a flexible spine. And a teal notebook to keep track of post ideas, to-do lists, notes from phone calls and potential meal plans.
These are things I employ to keep my own mind from whirling along in it’s conscious flow that quickly becomes a rushing river leaving chaos behind as I attempt to remember things from a phone conversation. Granted, my auditory skills have always been lacking, but I just cannot let go of a simple pen and paper. I find it comforting. I find it refreshing.
My postman has commented on how many cards leave my mailbox on a weekly basis. I treasure the cards I receive in the mail and hold the belief that everyone deserves a pretty card with kind words in it from time to time. Handwritten words are personal and simple. I still have the letters my great-grandmother sent me as a child. My high school BFF had to move and we exchanged thick envelopes filled with handwritten pages for year. Dozens of her letters have sat in a box, neatly organized and frequently read.
The friends that send me letters and cards now are no longer writing about the latest romantic crisis in our lives, instead we exchange words of encouragement for our days. I write cards to each child on their birthday, telling them each of the amazing milestones from that year and how much I love them. I in write in my journal telling our family’s story and hope that someday my own children will find comfort in the handwritten words about their childhood as much as I find comfort in reading the writings of my mother, her mother and my great grandmother.
What about you? Are you a paper and pen sort of person or have you embraced this digital age?