January 2, 2012

The year on an A4 page

Every year my husband recieves one of those ‘a year in our world’ christmas letters. You know the ones, the nicely typed out record of a familys year – the trials, the tribulations, the wins, the losses…all those first world problems squeezed onto an A4 page.

I dont know these people, Ive never met them, my husband knew them before he knew me but each year without fail one of the letters arrives and I get a little excited to see how they are. I wonder if little Johnny has made the soccer team, if that niggly little back injury has fixed itself for the wife, if they really had time to do that big city trip they’d be dying to do. A few afternoons before christmas when I popped out to the letterbox to waste time between 5 and 6pm (A baby called max…you know Im on the countdown to husband o’clock) there it was sitting in the box waiting for me to devour it. I cautiously waited until the husband arrived as technically it was addressed to him and then he gave me the go ahead to rip it open and have a good long read about those random people from that place I’d never been. Im am a little odd so I dont expect anyone else to have these strange quirks but reading anyone’s story – known to me or not – is something I cautiously admit to loving.

It got me thinking what makes us interested in other people’s lives? Blogging lets people in the door a little, facebook, twitter, instagram – they do the same. We share moments of our lives, we comment about people and we share in the highs and lows. I belong to a university mum’s online group and Im always amazed at the level of sharing and connecting that happens when people are given the space to talk and in return be listened to. I’ve noticed that my barriers have come down since I started writing, Im braver in my honesty, Im able to see the joy in the share and in return I get a chance to sit and reflect on time passed.

Do you send out a letter/email/message each year? What makes you do it? Do you get responses or is it just an external way of sitting down and sharing your life – one year at a time. 


Join the conversation! 8 Comments

  1. Oh Sarah, how do you manage to always press the buttons on my reality!!
    I send a letter each year, mainly to those back in the UK, but mainly as a slap to all those who told me that I would not make it in this nasty old world! An afirmation that I am doing alright, that I am happy, that I make a dam fine parent, that Australia enables me to do all my family need and more, that this was the best decision we ever made and will be sticking to it forever 😉
    I always think the less people put in thier cards and letters then the less proud they are of what they are or have achieved that year…… so I sing out loud and proud…. or maybe its just my extrovert personality shining 😉
    P.S. I can send you all of the letters for the past 8 years if you would like a really good sticky beak LOL !
    J x

    • Jane…a book of jane-ness – you could be on to something. Maybe I should add in a section on my blog where people can upload the ‘year in my life’ letters to give a big middle finger to the world that they’ve made it. I agree – there is nothing worse than receiving a card with ‘to’ and ‘from’…I want to send it back and ask for a re-write x

  2. I don’t do the letter at the end of the year, probably because I blog & so I am always sharing. I find less & less people are sending out those letters & more people are just sharing via facebook & their blogs & instagram etc throughout the year. It’s great though to get something in the mail. It’s becoming novel!

  3. I love those letters too. I am utterly fascinated by other people’s lives. I actually started writing one myself this year but then the ‘pithy’ and ‘designer’ parts of me won out! I will have to email you the result!

  4. I had never written a family letter but always loved reading the letters my mum received from her friends about their own families. In 201o I started to write one and it struck me that I didn’t feature in it much. It encouraged me to start the blog, at least then I would have something to write about and a reason to write.
    Blogging has done the same for me too. I used to feel embarrassed about my tendency to be a sticky beak, but now I’m writing regularly I realise it’s natural curiousity and comes from a place of empathy and wanting to share and to listen and it’s a wonderful way to be. Makes life richer.
    Great post.

  5. I’ve never written one… or received one.


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