Inspired by a number of other bloggers who write on a theme on particular days, for example Hazel’s Winter Wednesdays and Suzanne from Enchanted Moments’ Down the back today I have decided on a Monday I’m going to celebrate the simple pleasures in life.
My first attempt at Simple Mondays is the simple act of writing, letter writing in particular, but also just writing in general. What I mean here is handwriting, not typing. I realised not long ago that I could fairly easily live my life without physically picking up a pen and paper. Almost everything I do in terms of writing is done on my laptop or my mobile phone. I used to write by hand a lot as a high school teacher. My class notes would be scribbled into my planner (though this was starting to go the electronic route as well when I left two years ago), my rolls were marked by hand and then transferred to the computer at the end of the day, I wrote – A LOT – on the whiteboard and my student’s work was marked by hand adding loads of comments along the way. Since then I have pretty much stopped hand writing altogether.
When I was studying I was always one to write copious notes in lectures and constantly carried at least one spiral bound notebook to jot down references and ideas for essays and I even hand wrote all my draft assignments. I lived without a computer for the first two years of University, using the labs on campus to type the final version before handing it in. Before University and outside school I was also a letter writer. I wrote most often to my grandmother, but also to a few pen friends I picked up along the way, following in my grandmother’s footsteps, she had several pen friends and had communicated with them for decades, even staying with them when she traveled overseas. Sadly with the passing of my grandmother about a year ago my letter writing days seem to have come to an end – besides the odd postcard here and there I suppose.
Now don’t get the wrong idea here, I do not have perfectly formed beautiful hand writing. In fact it’s quite untidy. But I enjoy the act of hand writing especially when you have the perfect pen and a nice new blank page to write on (I’ve always loved beginning something, it’s completing it that I have trouble with). I like that you really have to think about what you want to say before you write it down, there’s no spell check or ability to cut and paste.
I think what made me appreciate and miss the act of writing was going through one of my own spiral bound note books filled with hand written and stuck in recipes I have collected over the years. In particular I had copies of hand written recipes from my grandmother and mother. So this inspired me to go out and buy a lovely new spiral bound notebook and start writing out by hand the recipes I have tried for my blog. Retro cooking stored in what is becoming a retro style.
I also started thinking that my two year old could go a terribly long time without seeing anyone writing by hand, and I wondered what that would do to her own learning of hand writing, considering children learn by copying. So in turn I have started making a point of writing with her and realised that I had NEVER written her own name for her until then. I have written it on forms and in cards plenty of times, but never just for her. Now we do it every day along with the day of the week or some other appropriate words. One day I hope to introduce her to letter writing, and I’m sure her grandmothers would both love to receive these. She, however, might think it mad to write a letter by hand when you could so easily send an email or a text message. Perhaps, in this modern world, she’d be right but I would like to think there might still be a place for the humble hand written letter in her life.
This is what I’ve come to appreciate on this Simple Monday. I hope you find something simple in your lives to appreciate on this day also.