“Got your lipstick mark still on my coffee cup…” where I reflect on what I learnt in 2015. 

It’s that time of year. Everywhere you go online people are either reflecting on the past year or setting resolutions for the new year that is about to come. Well, I am not one for New Year’s resolutions, at least, not one for openly say or writing them down; that really would be setting myself up for failure. I always kind of have a list in my head of things I would like to achieve or change in the coming year but I don’t openly share it. I am however a fan of reflecting (but if you’ve read previous blog posts you knew that already!). 

This morning on Twitter lots of people were sharing their highlights of 2015. It was lovely to read what had been important to everyone: meeting people, marriages, births, celebrations etc… The tweets were so positive and happy. I thought to myself, “I could blog about that”, but then I had another idea that perhaps combines the two…what have I LEARNT in 2015. This way I do reflect on what has happened this year but also consider how it may have changed me for the year ahead. So here I go, in no particular order, here are some things I have learnt in 2015 (Warning: you may think I’m a little shallow after reading a few of these):

  1. The importance of brow shaping and tinting on my (slightly) ageing face.
  2. I can only be responsible for my own happiness not everybody else’s.
  3. Friends come in all guises; from people who have known me all my life to people who I have never met in real life but know how I tick and talk to me online everyday, and to everyone in between. What is important is the connection in friendship. And there are those friends who you don’t see or speak to for years who you just pick up the conversation again straight away with. 
  4. Never wear red lipstick and drink from a beer bottle.
  5. There is no harm in asking. 
  6. Sleep is the most important thing in the world. Without it everything else becomes more difficult.
  7. Be open to new ideas, new suggestions, meeting new people. Embrace the “new”.
  8. Always tie your dressing gown tight when putting the rubbish out at the top of the street in the morning.
  9. Life is too short to worry about the little things. Make the most of everyday. How long do we have here? Don’t regret a thing. Not. A. Thing.
  10. Be honest and true to yourself.

  
So what have you learnt this year? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

All the best for 2016. Lots more blog posts to come from me…please excuse my absence this last month it’s been rather busy and I’ve been enjoying family time over Christmas because no#11 is of course family and friends are the most important thing you can have in your life. 

Happy New Year.  

 
J x

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“Glad you took the time to say hello, hello”…why we should all bring back ‘real post.’

It’s no secret that I’m a big Twitter user, in fact I use social media a lot. It has enriched my life and made being a stay at home mum a little less lonely. One day though just before we went on holiday I made an offer to my followers, “who would like some real post?”

In this technological age where postal deliveries are being cut back to three times a week (in NZ) and chat is instant with the other side of the world it is easy to not post a letter or a card and let quick fingers on an iPhone and emojis say it all. But what are we losing? 

  
I got a good response to my offer and happily wrote and sent postcards to people in NZ, UK, USA, Sweden and The Phillipines.

It was enjoyable to write the cards and I had to think carefully what I wrote because I was still updating social media daily so they already knew what I was up to. What it led to was a more personalised message, more about how I was feeling rather than what I was doing, and the opportunity to ask them about themselves. Writing needs to ask questions of the reader and not just tell them about the writer.

I know how I feel when I get real post; the joy of finding a handwritten letter or card in the post box is great, and one of the most common things people said to me once they had received their postcard was how they enjoyed seeing my handwriting. I know what they mean. Handwriting shows you a lot about someone’s personality. After all we’re not all Times New Roman people, and thankfully we’re not all Comic Sans folks!

  
So, the real post has continued. More recently I sent postcards from New Zealand and I have received some real post back in return. I have a batch of post ready to go once I get to the Post Office. It is always interesting to see who gets it first. Bizarrely, cards I sent from Fiji have only JUST arrived in New Zealand (I was on holiday in September) but made it to the US in a week. I don’t think I will ever understand the rationale in postal times, but it’s fun.

Yes, it’s more convenient, cheaper and quicker to use the Internet but real post is fun. 

  
As a child and teenager I was an avid pen pal. I had the usual French pen pal everyone in the south of England did, set up by my French teachers before French exchanges and the like.

 I would meet people on holiday and we would correspond weekly via snail mail. I loved to receive the coloured envelopes but loved to send them too. I recently got back in touch with an old pen pal on Facebook. Considering we only spent one week on holiday together 25 years or so ago we still have a lot in common. 

At university my then boyfriend and I would write daily. Yes, daily. We were in different cities and email was just beginning (but did exist) but writing was much more fun. I don’t have the letters anymore from all this correspondence but I remember there being boxes and boxes when I moved out of home from all of these years of writing to so many people.

So if you’re up for it ask people you talk to if they would like some real post. I’ve been using the hashtag #realpost on Twitter when I’ve been talking about it. 

I think it would be great to have a pen friend again so applications on a stamped addressed envelope readers please!