Guest post by Janine Kwoh of https://kwohtations.com/
Thinking of You Week is coming up next month (Sept 19th – 25th), so let’s talk about sending Thinking of You or Just Because cards!
We often think to send a card to mark big life milestones or to celebrate holidays. These are all really special and sweet occasions to send a card, and I like that they’re built-in triggers throughout the year(s) that remind us, “Oh, I should reach out.”
I’m also a big proponent of sending/receiving real mail in “off-season” times, for example:
- When someone is going through a tough time (e.g. work is stressful, they’re having some health or relationship troubles, they’re living through a pandemic)
- When someone has had a life win (e.g. they got a promotion, finished a book draft, started a side business, or had a hard conversation)
- When it’s been a while since you’ve told them how much they mean to you. It’s always nice for them to hear it, even if you think they already know.
I personally think it’s especially nice to send/receive these cards because they’re more likely to land in mailboxes at times when that person isn’t likely to be receiving as many cards or letters, and they can be extra bright spots amidst piles of bills and catalogs.
But without a “Happy Birthday!” or “Happy Holidays!” to kick-start the writing, it can be hard to know where to start. As someone who loves a good set of guidelines, here’s a general outline that I follow for these more open-ended missives:
WHAT TO WRITE IN A THINKING OF YOU CARD
1. Say hi
My dearest so-and-so,
2. Tell them why you’re writing
It’s been a while, so wanted to pop into your mailbox and say hi!
I know it’s been a hard and strange year, so I wanted to send some extra love your way.
I’ve been thinking about you, and wanted to check in to see how you’re doing.
3. Acknowledge what’s been going on in their lives (if you know)
I heard you recently changed jobs—congratulations! I know change can be scary, but it really sounds like this new position is a much better fit for your skills and interests.
I know you’ve been having a tough time with the divorce. I’m really sorry that you have to go through this, and am here for you.
I’m not really sure how you’ve been spending your time these days—I hope it includes lots of beach time and no more work drama!
4. Tell them something that you really admire about them and/or how much they mean to you
You are one of the most caring, insightful, creative people I know—this new company is so lucky to have you. And so am I.
I’m so impressed by how you’re navigating this process with so much grace. But also, if you need to vent, or ugly cry, or dream up revenge plots, I’m here for that too!
I hope you know how much you mean to me—even though we don’t get to see each other often, I think about you often and am so grateful for our friendship.
I miss you a lot! Since you moved, I’ve realized how special our Sunday night dinners were— they were truly such a wonderful and cherished way to start the week.
5. Write a warm closing
Write me back when you get a chance! I’d love to hear how you’re doing!
No need to write back, just wanted to send you some extra love in your mailbox.
Let’s find a weekend to get together? I’ll give you a call to plan!
6. Say bye
Hope that this makes it easier to write and send a Thinking of You card! Feel free to follow this outline exactly or make it your own – remember that the act of writing and sending real mail is itself an act of love and care, regardless of what you specifically end up writing inside.