BlissDom 2012 is getting further away in the rearview mirror. But thanks to one sponsor, as I was leaving the gorgeous Opryland hotel I had a thought about looking forward. To the forthcoming 52 weeks. And doing something that I enjoy but had stopped doing.
As a Hallmark Gold Crown card holder for over 10 years, I regularly went into the card shops and bought greetings for any and every occasion. Birthday, check. Anniversary, I sent for those too. Thinking of You, Encouragement, Just to Cheer You Up, frequently in the mail. I even bought the foreign Christmas cards for friends around the world.
Then emails and texts and IM started becoming the way to communicate. So fewer cards were sent, in exchange for a quick text. Then came Facebook and Twitter and with all the daily communication it seemed like there was no longer a need for sending the cards. My multi-cards-a-week habit was replaced by social media.
That was until Hallmark set up the card lounge at BlissDom and hundreds of women streamed in and out picking cards for friends at home and at the conference. We did as we had done in years past. We stood in front of cards and picked them up, read them and grabbed the envelope. Again and again. We knew immediately who that card would be perfect for. Over and over again, I sat in the lounge and watched as that played again and again. Pull out card, read it, smile. Already anticipating how it would be received.
I’m not sure if Hallmark anticipated the response it received. It wouldn’t surprise me if they wished big but hoped for the best. From my viewpoint, it was a huge success.
I went in a few times and sent cards to friends across the country. And I took time to let people who were attending that I’m glad that I got to see them in person. I did this all with the written word. Greeting cards. How quaint, sending cards to people I just saw 3 minutes ago. It seemed so, well, old fashioned. In a world where speaking to people has been replaced by the typed word, sending cards just isn’t what it used to be.
I used to enjoy checking the mail because there was a chance someone sent a card. Maybe there was a reason. Possibly no reason at all. But a greeting card always put a smile on my face. And I loved returning that joy. Now, the mail is a load of junk and bills. I miss getting ‘real mail’.
So what happened at BlissDom? What was my big idea? I decided that rather than lament the passing of BlissDom 2012 that I’d carry that feeling of happiness and joy and awesome with me each week. For the next 52 week I was going to send at least one card to someone. It could be for any reason or no reason. It could be a funny card or maybe a serious one. I might send it to a family member I don’t usually speak to. Or a friend I cherish that may not really know how I feel. I had an address book just waiting to be remembered! For 52 weeks I would send a card to a different person each week. Maybe I’d send more. Though, at least 52. And that does not include the standard holiday cards that are sent out in bulk.
Here we are 7 weeks after returning from BlissDom and I’m happy to report that each person who has received a card has not only thanked me but said it brought a smile to their face. That makes me smile! And it makes me glad to have taken on this personal challenge.
The focus of the Hallmark card lounge was ‘Tell Them’. A campaign to remind us that even though we think people know how we feel it’s important to actually let them know. It really spoke to me. As I look back on my experience of the past (almost) 5 years, and feeling alone, I realized that three were people who didn’t know what to say. We all have those times where we wish there was a card that would just sum up our feelings so we don’t have to. It’s one of the reasons I love sending cards. There are so many choices! Even cards that say I don’t know what to say but I’m thinking of you.
This is a purposeful act of kindness. To my friends and family. To me.
I’d love if you’d join me in this little experiment. Even if it’s not every week, when you think that you should send someone a card or a note you should do it.
Disclosure: I was a speaker at Blissdom, but like all attendees was provided with some swag from the sponsors. I received a few free cards from Hallmark, which I sent to friends and family. This is not a sponsored or compensated post. It’s just me telling you what I’m doing.