Wednesday 28 August 2013

Three Parcel Challenge: Showing You Care

Disclosure: I was compensated for writing this post, but all inspiration, words and postage stamps are my own.

I am probably a bit of a social media addict. I check Facebook throughout the day, and I found the 24 twitter silence difficult. For me, social media plugs up otherwise boring parts of the day. It does mean, though, that I know what friends are up to without having to contact them. While in some ways this is good, I also think it’s a bit of a shame. It means that there are some people I don’t speak to as often anymore, because we can both see what the other one is up to via social media.

Since having Ebony, I’ve struggled to keep in touch with people. Where before, I may have had time to ring friends while walking home, I’m now entertaining a toddler. In the past, I had evenings free to catch up with friends, but now I spend them trying to get Ebony to sleep. Days, weeks and even months pass so fast. I can manage the odd short email, text and Facebook message, but I struggle with phone calls, lengthy emails and detailed letters. On the rare occasions I’m not with Ebony, I’m usually working.

I always mean to let people know I’m thinking of them, but I rarely get round to it. It’s so lovely when you receive unexpected post, especially if its a little present or note from a long lost friend, so I thought I’d force myself. I’ve set myself the challenge to send parcels to three unsuspecting friends this week, to show them that I care.
First up, my friend Emma. I have been friends with Emma for almost a decade (I almost vomited writing that, when did I get so old?) We met at uni, and have stayed friends ever since. She is my go-to person whenever I need help. She comes over to watch Ebony when I need to get things done, she has offered many a shoulder to cry on and always gives good advice. I always mean to send her thank you presents whenever she helps me out, but life usually gets in the way and I forget. So I decided she should receive one of my surprise parcels. I checked her Amazon wish list, because I am basically akin to a private investigator, and decided to get her a book from her selection. I also included a card to say thank you, because she is truly the most helpful friend on the planet.

Next, my friend Kate. I met Kate in Bristol, and we were very close friends. Since leaving Bristol, she moved up to Glasgow and though I visited her a couple of times, I then fell pregnant and haven’t made it up since. Having Ebony makes it more difficult to visit far away friends because where I could once have slept on a sofa, I now need to fork out for a hotel. Kate has been down a few times to visit Ebony, and has sent her many an amazing gift (like this awesome Icelandic story book). The last time Kate was in the area, Ebony was ill so we couldn’t go to meet her which I was really sad about. She’s in Manchester again next month, but we will be in Brighton for the week. It’s such a shame because I would love to see her. I decided to send her a parcel too, so she knows I’m thinking of her. I sent her a sketch book, and chose this pretty one by Rob Ryan.

Finally, my friend Sarah. I met Sarah when we were in a show together at Youth Theatre. We bonded over Shout magazine (in my defence, we were 11). Shout magazine always had amazing letters on the problem pages - things like “my electric toothbrush is stuck in my vagina”, and the letters were usually signed “Anon”, which Sarah thought was weird because she hadn’t even heard that name before. Sarah lives in Glasgow now, and I only get to see her a couple of times a year. We do, however, stay in touch by having long monthly chats on the phone. I decided to send Sarah the current issue of shout magazine (because I’m interested to know whether teenage girls are still misplacing their toothbrush heads) which featured some rather glittery nail varnish as a free gift.

I’ve really enjoyed this self-imposed postal challenge. It was nice choosing who to send things to and why, and then deciding what to send them was even better. I like that they will wake up one morning and receive a surprise parcel telling them how much they mean to me. If you would also like to spread some unexpected joy amongst your own friends, please do. It doesn’t matter whether you send them by Rapid Parcel, red letter box or deliver them by hand, you can send them however you like. All you need to do is choose three friends, and send them something to show you care. You don’t need to buy them all presents like I did, I would have loved to make them something buy at the moment I barely have time to make a cup of tea so I opted for money spending instead. Let me know if you join in, and what you send and why! If you blog about, please share the link in the comments.

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