the USPS and your karmic bank

So, I’m reading the Omnivore’s Dilemma (Pollan, 2006) right now and a theme that keeps popping up is the interconnectedness of things.  Pretty much the same theme that threads through my Anthropology education, my Permaculture design studies and any homeopathic (or non-Western) approach to illness.

Here’s the extension of that theme as it pertains to the holistic nature of homemaking. You may not draw immediate connections between the US Postal Service and your kitchen table, but bear with me.

Snail mail is a dying art, thanks to email, instant messaging and even the near-archaic telephone. Don’t pull out your quill pen just yet. Start small (which so happens to be one of the first rules of Permaculture) with your re-introduction to snail mail i.e. the thank you note.

I’m not going to go into the etiquette rules about thank you notes, because I’m not sure I know them myself. I do know that my mom instilled in me the unwavering commitment to the prompt thank you note. Beyond perfunctory, the thank you note is a simple and perhaps the quickest way to be thoughtful.

Think outside of the box when you’re doing this. A standard thank you card will do, but try making your own! I just discovered this cool group via Twitter users wordbrooklyn, a hip local bookstore here In Brooklyn, and crafternoonny, author and fine, crafting hostess.

I can hear you now: “But, I’m not creative.” Wah, wah, wah. Then back up to an even smaller creative level: attempt a doodle. My dad is the perfect example of this scenario. I receive cards and letters from him now that display his promising doodlery skills. He took the time to try something new; I feel special. (note mushy, happy feelings)

Aaaaand, don’t worry if you’re not in NYC (as are these formalized crafting clubs), you can do this anywhere! Gather a few pals, make some tea (or other beverage of choice) and drop a few gluesticks on the table. Your kitchen table will soak in more than excess glitter when you bring together a group of people in your home to be creative and thoughtful. Strength in numbers works for creative endeavors, too!

Putting pen to paper in gratitude is a way to slow down and show someone who cared enough to do something nice for you that you value them and their time. And, remember how fun it is to get something in the mail besides bills and junk mail?

Give it a shot.