Friday, October 12, 2012

Staying Connected (Weekend Reading 10-12-12)

Caroline, staying connected

I have been a big fan of the lifestyle and relationship columns and the "Your Words" reader submissions of Real Simple over the years.  Nowadays, I also like to dig up old gems on their website, especially since "keeping in touch" has been a recurring theme in the magazine. 

In this "Your Words" piece from 2009, readers answer the question 

"How do you stay connected to those you love?"

If I counted correctly, there were 38 published responses.  Here are my 5 favorite answers:

#1-One person a day

I’m doing this thing called Reach Out ’09. Each day I choose someone in my life to e-mail, phone, visit, or write a letter to. It really helps me stay connected.
Angie Blank

Bowling Green, Ohio

I love the idea of intentionally reaching out to one person each day.  If I looked back through emails and texts (and the occasional phone call), maybe I would find that I am doing this already.  But it's more at random--I would like it to be more intentional.

#2-Envelope "gifts"  

Throughout the year, I collect small trinkets that can be slipped into envelopes. Then, when a birthday comes up, I have a personal gift ready to send―not a text or an e-mail, but something a friend can have and hold.
Lauren Field
Dallas, Texas

It would be fun to always have an eye out for simple, small items that can fit in an envelope and be ready to pop in the mail at just the right time--no extra packaging required.  

#3-The world's worst postcards  

My two closest girlfriends from college live 300 miles away, so we made it our mission to find the world’s worst postcards and send them to each other every week. No matter how horrible a day is, checking the mail always cheers me up.
Jena Simonds
Atlanta, Georgia

I love this!  Purposely sending "bad" postcards.  I think that was kind of what I was doing with the postcard made out of an outdated picture from a Texas coffee table book.  :)

#4-Movie "dates" from afar

When my best friend moved 1,100 miles away a few years ago, we decided to start seeing movies together―each in our own city. We’ll pick a film showing in both places at approximately the same starting time, then talk on our cell phones before and after the movie (never during!) and share our reactions. It’s a great way to feel close and do something fun with each other, even when physically apart.
Monica Romig Green
Fullerton, California

This is a really good idea.  I remember talking to Stephanie right after I saw Sweet Home Alabama years ago (post-high school, post-college, living in separate states).  That movie left me with all sorts of emotions--I had to talk to someone from home who would understand and help me sort them all out.  Turns out, she was feeling the same way.  Fortunately for us, we both came to the realization that there was no one from back home (in good ol' OK) that we were meant to be with, which worked out well since we were both seriously dating our future husbands at the time.  :)

#5 (and possibly the coolest)-care package pinatas (!!)  

I send care-package piñatas. The best part? You can stick stamps directly onto the piñata with the address. It’s fun to imagine the faces of loved ones as they break into their special surprise.
Jillian Marsh
Emporia, Kansas

I wonder if this girl has a fun party blog or something now (3 years later).  I am doing this!!  That would be tough (or fun?) for the postal workers if the pinata broke open in the mail, though . . .

How would you answer the question?
What do you think of these ideas?  
Read the article sometime this weekend and leave your favorite ideas in the comments!  :)


  1. Thanks for the encouragement! I have found that grandmas/great-grandmas love to get a quick text or e-mail with a picture attached of our double-dimpled cherub. Because of the convenience of modern technology, the whole process can be completed in less than a minute. :-)
    One grandma recently responded with "It is precious to me that you are with me in spirit!"

    1. That is true, Meesh! Good suggestion--I wish I did more of that kind of thing. Now which great-grandmas text?? I am impressed!

  2. Hmmm...I like all the ideas listed. My fave is the small things that can go in an envelope. I've done this at times, but have not found anything else besides a stick of gum or sticker that would fit comfortably in an envelope. Any suggestions for small items that would fit in an envelope? Thanks for sharing all the great ideas Amber!

    1. That's true, Laura--there aren't a whole lot of things that can fit comfortably (my cousin used to send me a stick of gum every time she wrote!). I do know you can pay a little extra on postage to include something that bulks up the envelope a bit (extra postage is required if the envelope is going to exceed 1/4 inch in thickness). Or maybe it would be fun to keep a few small bubble mailers handy, and just fill those bit by bit . . . I will have to think on this some more--maybe I will do another post about it because it is a really fun idea! :)


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