The other day, I blogged my post-Christmas letter, which really wasn’t too much of a Christmas letter at all, replete with all the “what our family has been up to;” in fact, it was more of a review and a what-I-got-out-of the book The Man Who Invented Christmas letter. That was the first book I completed in the New Year.
I can now check another book off my 2018 READING LIST: Marisa de los Santos’s wonderfully cheeky and heartwarming first book, Love Walked In. The book was my choice for tonight’s book club meeting, as I’ve wanted to read it for years, ever since my mother stuffed it into my hands one day when I was visiting her. If you love your mother like I love mine, you’ll love Love Walked In–it’s about mothers and daughters and unconditional love; it’s about new love and old love; it’s about being as kind as someone can possibly be; it’s about loving people without judgement or conditions or stipulations. I highly recommend this book if you want to be swept into the lives of Clare, Cornelia, Martin, Linny, Teo, Ellie, Viviana, and so many more who will warm your heart. I love reading a book that takes me away from the nightly news, sad stories, and even the daily chores and work I have to accomplish. Sometimes, I just want to morph into the book and see what it’s like to be another character.
As I’ve done in the past—and you’re not unfamiliar with my tendency to do it as I’ve blogged about it time and time again—I have stepped away from Facebook. No longer do I spend my time scrolling through endless feeds to see what everyone else is up to. I decided in late 2017 that I was going to be up to something, and that something I was going to be up to is to take my life back and live it. Remember that great prophecy that you have heard? You know the one. The one that says that when you are on your deathbed, the likelihood of you uttering, “I wish I spent more time at work,” will probably not cross your lips? Likewise, I, too, have decided that I don’t want to be on my deathbed and say, “I wish I spent more time on Facebook.” With the reports coming out about Facebook’s intention to make its product addictive, I have decided that I’m not too keen on that. So, I’m out for now. I won’t say I’ll never go back to it, but my priorities have changed, and I’m taking steps to work on the things I want to work on and not waste my time scrolling. And scrolling.
That said, a video I had my class watch at the end of last semester has been something that has stayed with me—again. Every time I watch it, I get inspired. It’s a Ted Talk by Hannah Brencher called LOVE LETTERS TO STRANGERS (see below). It’s incredibly moving, and if you have five minutes, I would urge you to watch it, as 1,963,574 million other people have. While Hannah wrote to strangers, I think it’s also important to write to those we love. I saw Fixer Upper host Joanna Gaines’s post on Instagram the other day: she had created a box for each of her children and inside each box she put keepsakes from their days as babies and wrote each of them a love letter.
Both of these things have made me one thing in particular: I-N-S-P-I-R-E-D.
I am now in the process of doing the same.
Letter writing — receiving a heartfelt letter — is a gift of an amazing keepsake. It takes time to sit and craft something meaningful, but the payoff is that of a tremendous keepsake that one can read again and again, over and over, to his or her heart’s content.
So you can see, with working, taking care of my kids, making meals, entertaining, teaching, working, writing, and reading, I really don’t have too much time left over for Facebook scrolling.
At least not right now.
I’d much prefer to write you a letter.
Stephanie Verni is Professor of Business Communication at Stevenson University and is the author of Inn Significant, Baseball Girl, and Beneath the Mimosa Tree. Along with her colleagues Leeanne Bell McManus and Chip Rouse, she is a co-author of Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice, published by Kendall-Hunt.