How often are you out and about and you see or hear something that reminds you of someone. Say a favourite song from high school, a wild scarf or hat, or a dish that you think a friend would love….
For me it happens all the time.
Like when I hear the song “Mr. Jones” by the Counting Crows – it reminds me of a boy I dated that gave me a mixed tape with this song on it. I had never heard of the song, or of Counting Crows, but I did my best to learn the lyrics so he’d be impressed with my radio-repertoire. That song will forever be tied to his blue eyes and dark curls.
Or when I see Spaghetti-O’s in US grocery stores – I used to eat entire cans of it – cold, with a coke-and-milk smoothie – as an after school snack. No, it doesn’t remind me of a specific person, but more of a general consensus between all of my friends that this was a disgusting meal all around.
Have you ever seen the movie “Dr. Zhivago”? It’s a million-years-long and I fell asleep through it at least twice – but it reminds me of my high school Bestie because instead of reading the book, we thought we could watch the movie and still write our year-end essay for English class. I did a contrast and compare between Dr. Zhivago, The Witches of Eastwick and The Colour Purple (all of which we watched instead of read). It still makes me laugh that I am full of enough bullshit that I could actually contrast and compare these stories and get an A – even more impressed that I did it without reading a single page of any of the books. Any of those movies – whether it be clips, or just a casual reference – remind me of my friend “Gidge”.
So why don’t we act on these nostalgic moments? Why don’t we touch base with the person that has come to mind? It could be as simple as sending an e-mail with the music video attached, or a comment on their social media page.
I was out last week and I found a couple of things that had me thinking of a few people I know – and instead of letting the moment, and the thought of them, pass me by – I picked up the items and decided to (try to) start a movement…
Let’s call it “Happy Mail” – since getting anything in the mail that isn’t a bill is a joyous occasion.
I created this little anonymous note to print and tuck into the packages:
Click happy mail for the printable pdf file.
The first item that struck me was this cute notebook. I have a friend that is an explosion of ideas. She is always coming up with fantastic plans and concepts and she jots them down in her little notebook.
When I saw this on the shelf, it immediately made me think of her.
We were talking a couple of weeks ago and she was flipping back and forth through her notebook trying to find a new section to start notes in… so I thought I’d make her up some little dividers to go with it.
I don’t think she reads my blog, so the gift should still be anonymous.
I know another person – and when I say “know”, I mean that we met once at a blogging conference – but she continues to be one of the biggest supporters of my blog. She is always re-tweeting my posts, commenting and even managed to get me into a couple of online magazines through her social circles – but never once has she asked for thanks, or even acknowledgement, of her kindness.
If you follow a lot of blogs, you will probably have seen mugs like this:
Seems there is a requirement in blogland that if you write a blog, you need to have at least one selfie taken with a Rae Dunn mug.
I’ll admit, I’m a follower and I have one myself, but it had me thinking of her – and I wanted to let her know how much I appreciate her support.
This might not be an anonymous gift – since she is a follower and I had to ask for her mailing address – but hopefully she received it before this post went live – so it would have had an air of mystery for a few days. lol
What do you think, could you be the instigator of “Happy Mail” in your area?
It doesn’t have to cost anything – you could make up a double-batch of whatever you’re cooking if it makes you think of someone who’s commented that they love your version. You could buy an extra coffee if the smell reminds you of a reassuring conversation with a friend. You could pass along a book you enjoyed reading if you think of someone that would enjoy it too. You could lift up the phone and say “I was thinking of you today…” if a song comes on that brings back fun memories of a friend or loved one. It’s the thought (and perhaps the anonymity) that makes this fun. There is no obligation of reciprocation from the recipient – quite the opposite actually – here I am asking for a pay-it-forward should they choose to join in.
What about a “Favourite Things” theme?
Let’s go with “The Happy Mail Project” or “Happy Mail Challenge” – what about a “Happy Mail Movement”?
Yup, should definitely be a “movement”.
I think it is too easy to let friends slip away and memories fade – why not let someone know that they are thought of fondly?
Have a great one!