Monday, December 12, 2011

My pen won't go

I have always sucked at writing with pen on paper.  It is like my thoughts don't want to be expressed this way.  From time to time I still have to take notes - at a meeting, jotting down information off a sign, or relaying a phone message - but it comes out in chicken-scratch and disjointed.  I can hardly make sense of the bits of paper afterwards, relying on my sporadic memory to fill in the gaps and act as translator. 

Today I sit here, thinking I ought to get started on my Christmas cards.  It seemed like such a good idea at the time.  Just jot down a few friendly words, address the things and pop them in the mail. Who am I kidding?  It's not that I don't want to stay connected with friends and family over the holiday.  I really do!  I just can't seem to get into action.  The logical answer would be to use the computer to whip out some clever Christmas letter, fill the card up with pics of the kids and say the same generic thing to the list.  So what's stopping me?

Perhaps I am secretly a perfectionist and I need to feel like I am having a conversation with the recipient that is real.  Maybe I simply don't like my hand writing.  I know I don't write (well, speed print really as I suck more at any sort of elegant script) nearly fast enough to complete my thoughts before they get jumbled up.  So I opt for nothing.  Well that's stupid.  Are people going to know that I am psychically thinking of them?  Um, no. 

I've lost touch with too many friends before the days of e-mail.  I was terrible at returning letters or remembering to send birthday cards!  Thankfully some have been patient enough with me to reconnect via Facebook and other e-communications.  It is a whole different process for me to type out a connection on the computer.  So much easier!  I feel I express my true self more easily, my thoughts flowing through the keyboard with little effort.  I'm sure a therapist would have something to say about that!

Will the cards get mailed?  I don't know.  If they do they will be late, be stuffed with a photo or two and have some brief friendly message about holidays, new year and stuff.  The cards themselves are nice and hopefully anyone who gets one will be pleased and forgiving.  If the cards don't go, I hope people don't feel slighted.  It's not you, it's me.  And it doesn't mean I don't care, just that, well, my pen wouldn't go. 

Are there blog Christmas cards?  I'll work on it.  It seems to be what works for me and I won't have to factor in mail time.  Or maybe I need to pour a double rum eggnog, crank the Christmas tunes and get into the card writing spirit, dammit! 


  1. I've gotten email Christmas messages before. People compose a newsletter, attach it to an email with a few photos, and mail it around. I like having a pretty sparkly paper thing to put on my wall but the email is really just as good and I appreciate hearing from them either way.

    I still do Christmas cards for people we don't see very often but I have to admit I have gone from a lovingly hand-written note in each card to a form newsletter that I crank out like a factory assembly line. I print off the addresses onto labels (well, really just plain paper because I am cheap and then I use a glue stick to glue them on), I stick on a return address sticker and stamp, insert the newletter, and we're good to go. I do still take the time to write a line or two in each card and it's a must to include the addressee's names at the top of the card...but even then, I can churn out the whole batch in a day or two.

    It's weird how awkward writing by hand feels these days. I wonder if my grandkids will someday not have that skill at all.

  2. I always did much writing by hand in every card. Now I have carpal tunnel and tendonitis and I just can't do it. So I type them all out and print them and stick them in the card. It's not quite as good, but it's good enough. And Jesus, good enough is MORE than good enough for this insane season.