I spent the last few days of the year home alone in a cocoon of relaxed introversion and down time. I cooked tasty food for myself, read a lot, went for long walks, watched some movies… I also took the time over several sessions to journal about the past year. I wanted to take a step back and reflect on all that had happened, the difficulties of 2020 and its gifts, what I missed and what I learned. I found myself covering page after page with thoughts in my messy scrawl in ball-point pen, sometimes in dense paragraphs and others neat lists of bullet-points, with a generous sprinkling of smiley faces and a smattering of exclamation marks!
Afterwards, I started setting general intentions about how I want this new year to feel and I carefully began hatching plans for 2021. With no visibility on how this year will look, for now I am keeping concrete goals focused on things that are close to home and within my reach. However at the same time I’m contemplating bigger plans on the horizon for when the pandemic is behind us.
It’s a work in progress and I’ll be adding to it over the next weeks. I want to take the time to figure out what is really important to me so I make sure I’ve focussing on the right things. I feel excited about this year with a lot of curiosity at what will unfold in the next months and the unexpected possibilities that may surprise us. I wish you all a wonderful 2021 and thank you for dropping by regularly in this corner of the internet:)
JOYFUL GRATITUDE #179
In these weeks of confinement, some of the highlights of my days have been opening my mailbox to find cute cards from a friend living on the other side of Amsterdam, a lovely envelope full of collage materials sent as a surprise, a small package containing a hand-made mask in gorgeous Japanese fabric with swallows on it as a symbol of hope… These gestures have delighted me and made me feel deeply cared for.
Is there someone who you’d like to send a card to in these days? For a cousin’s upcoming birthday for example, or to celebrate how well a friend is handling living alone in confinement, or just to drop someone far away a message that isn’t digital and surprise them when they open their mailbox?
Here’s my suggestion: I’ll send one of my cards for you and I’ll donate the worth of the greeting cards to a local charity against domestic violence called Blijf Groep (read more about their approach here).
How it works:
- Choose the greeting card(s) you like best
- Send me an email with the number of the card, the address of your loved one and your message
- I’ll copy your message in my neatest handwriting and pop the card in the post!
- The greeting cards (including a recycled paper envelope) are 3€ each and postage is 0,91€ for NL/1,50€ for International. If you’re in NL, I’ll send you a tikkie. If you are abroad, you can make a bank transfer or I trust you to donate that amount to a charity close to your heart locally ♥
Let me know if you have any questions and feel free to share with anyone who you think might like the idea! Really looking forward to it 🙂
JOYFUL GRATITUDE #161
Yesterday evening I sat down to write a letter. Though I do regularly send postcards, taking the time to write a proper letter made me realise how rarely I do so. I was writing in response to a letter from a dear friend, written a couple of months ago. Her familiar hand-writing covering several pages of lined paper, bringing me her thoughts and fragments of her life from the other side of the globe. A physical letter that I have pulled out, unfolded and re-read since I received it, thinking of my friend, taking the time to contemplate what I’d like to answer and tell her about, the questions I want to ask her…
So yesterday alone in the quiet of my flat, I finally took out some recycled paper and my favorite pen, and got writing. About banal things, how the holidays had been, what I’ve been up to recently and what is on my mind of late… The pages filled up quickly, thoughts flowing and getting more personal as I scribbled them down. I ended up with a neat pile of numbered pages, slipped tightly into an envelope which will make its way across the world.
I love that letters don’t demand an immediate reading or a fast answer. They can stray in the limbo of the postal system. By the time my words arrive, a couple of weeks will have passed, new events will have unfolded, thoughts will have evolved. The snippets of my life contained in the letter will be about an earlier-me, and penning the thoughts helped me to figure out what they meant to me at the time.