how are you?

A while back, I bought a trio of these postcards from Kerry at Seventy Tree and immediately knew that I'd have to claim one for my own. Just looking at it makes me happy - and reminds me daily that there is a long list of people I need to say hello to. 

If you know me in person, you'll have many examples of phone calls left unreturned for far too long. The phone and I are not friends and it's too easy for me to let a call go to voice mail. Then begins a self-perpetuating circle. I don't return a call promptly - time goes by - and it becomes too hard to easily answer the question 'what have you been up to?' More time goes by. It becomes even harder. And the worst thing is, it's the friends I think of almost daily - but who live at a distance - that I neglect most. I too often assume that we will always pick up where we left off. The loose, local acquaintances based on proximity and children have calls and coffees and no hint of my elusive ways.

But at this point in a new year, I realise that it isn't enough to say that I've thought a lot about someone (though entirely true). I need to accept that a regular phone call is better than a perfect phone call. To answer that call instead of leaving it to the more convenient moment that never comes. So these cheery lovelies are not going to be used to avoid a call but as an adjunct to one. And if one of them arrives on your mat then I hope it comes with a light-hearted hello, unweighted by lengthy apologies. It means I've managed at long last to break one of my most unhappy habits. 

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Reader Comments (7)

I can go terribly long stretches—as if I were hibernating—between communications with people I care about. It's a horrible habit that I've been trying to break. I fear this will be an ongoing struggle for me. Much luck with keeping your "hellos" aloft.
March 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTracy
I'm with both you and Tracy. I am not a fan of telephone conversation. I'd much rather chat in person, even a handwritten letter is better. I admire your willingness to rise above.
March 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDenise | Chez Danisse
Tracy and Denise, you've made me feel much better about my telephone avoidance. I simply don't know anyone else who finds it an issue. I fear it will be a struggle that I'll probably never crack completely. Letters and in person chats will always win.
March 30, 2012 | Registered Commenterlittle house
i'm very similar i live in my head so much, and am the type of person where if we are friends we are always friends and it doesn't matter how long it's been since we have met up. i have a few friends like this and it's great, but i think most people want a connection, a tangible one, more often. i try now, to make even small tiny connections. a quick hello is better than nothing to many people.
March 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMonica
Thats exactly it Monica. Most people want a more frequent connection. I've come to realise that it means a lot to other people, if not so much to me. A quick hello more often is my challenge!
March 30, 2012 | Registered Commenterlittle house
Oh, I'm afraid of the phone, really. But am also really bad at letters too, for all the reasons you describe when it comes to calling -- too much has happened, how do I explain it all? Or, nothing has happened, how do I explain that?

And so, I really like Facebook because sometimes (although not always -- there is lots of noise to wade through) you get those little glimpses of a friend's life -- a photograph of a shaft of light, or a sentence about a piece she's composing, or a poem referenced in passing -- that makes it feel like I'm right there with her.

Are you on FB, Kate?

(And dahla horses -- I so love them)
April 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnna
Anna, hello. I realise I'm a little frightened of the phone too and share your concerns about letters. I'm a hopeless case, restricted to little cards where not much can be said! I'm not on FB but you've made it seem more appealing. Perhaps I'll give it a go. Dahla horses are so satisfyingly shaped aren't they?
April 5, 2012 | Registered Commenterlittle house

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