Saturday, 5 February 2011

Button Pushing

I recently got a letter from my daughter’s teacher.  It was a note really, but it was on a page and hand written with blue pen. 

I needed to respond and am ashamed to say my first reaction was not what I would have expected from a word lover like myself.
I checked my phone to see if I had her number so I could text her, I didn’t, so I checked the contact list to see if I had her email address.  I did not have that either.

Finally, the penny dropped and I realised I needed to actually write back to her.  As in get a note pad and a pen and write a note.
I used to write letters and notes all the time, right up until I was introduced to email way back when it was still new.   I remember thinking it wouldn’t catch on.  I thought the same about text messaging.  That’s why I won’t ever speculate on the stock market.
If you’ve read one of my recent posts, you’ll know that of late, I’ve become quite obsessed with all things technical.  Particularly my lovely iPhone.
I am not alone, but that coupled with the writing a note thing, gave me pause for thought.
How much faster can the world get?
We can contact each other so easily nowadays.  Email, text, tweet, instant messaging, Facebook, Skype, MySpace and of course the now almost old fashioned telephone call.
I have found myself wondering about letters and who, if anyone still writes them.  Who takes the time to sit down at a table with some nice paper and their favourite pen and write?
So, I set myself a task.  I took out a beautiful Parker pen I received as a gift a few years ago (it was still in its box) and decided to write with it. 
I wrote down ideas for my writing, I wrote lists of things that needed doing, and of course I wrote back to my daughter’s teacher.
After just one day, the pain in my right hand came as quite a shock.
Another surprise was how much effort it took.  I had to slow down and pay attention.  After all, there is no spell check on a blank page.
It really was quite amazing.  I literally slowed down.  Not to the point where I may need to see a doctor, but where I actually felt a little calmer about my day to day life.
It’s not like I’m a nervous ball of energy all the time, but some days I can feel a little jittery and could wear away the refresh button on a number of web sites, in a way which was bordering obsessive.
I was delighted to learn I didn’t actually need to cultivate such an urgent habit.  Nothing bad happened when I didn’t check my email every 5 minutes.
So this week’s bright side is realising I didn’t actually miss out on as much as I thought I would when I cut back on my habit.  I didn’t cut it out, that would be ridiculous.  Oh, and I did get a lot done around the house too, which is always a bonus.


  1. Great post, Laura!

    I can't write well any more, since carpal tunnel and surgery for it left my hand weak and prone to muscle spasms, and I miss it. I still love my beautiful fountain pen, though :)

  2. This is so true! I am trying to re-embrace my love of letters. You just have to remember how wonderful it is to receive them to see how important they are. Thanks for the reminder!
    BTW - that article should be in Wednesdays Indo if you're interested. x

  3. Hi Jane, thanks so much and for the RT too, sorry about your hand, that sucks lemons.

  4. Hi Kate, thanks for that and will set reminder on the iPhone to buy the Indo on Wed. Looking forward to it.

  5. I still love to get my pen and paper out, but have far less opportunity to do so nowadays.

    It's a shame really.

    Found you via Facebook Friday :) Lovely blog x

    Hannah x