I love the idea of keeping in touch and I want to keep in touch, I even try sometimes but I really struggle to maintain it. However becoming a parent has really challenged my attitude about staying connected to loved ones. I want Precious Sparkle to know his roots and I need to make my connections part of his life. These means that they need to be visible to him and I’ve got to put more effort into meaningful interactions with loved ones.
And so since I became a mum last year, I’ve made more effort to stay in touch with my immediate and some extended family. We live across many continents, and it’s been such a delight watching my little one engage with them over the phone, Whatsapp and Skype.
‘Sent With Love’
So when I came across the Parcel2Go Parcel2Go’s easy peasy website campaign, I had to get involved. The idea of posting memories made me remember the years when so called, ‘snail mail’ was my staple way of keeping in touch. Even now, thinking about it makes me smile.
What precious moments those times were … choosing pretty stationary or cards, or jazzing up bog standard lined paper for my letters … sitting and writing about my experiences … focusing on remembering and capturing memories made … sharing snippets of my life in ink on paper. Oh, the anticipation of the reply … the delight of receiving an expected or surprise letter, or parcel from the post room at uni, or through the letterbox at home …. 🙂 .
I can’t quite do justice to describing how fab those days were. There isn’t much like picking up a bundle of memories on sheets of paper … holding and touching them whenever and wherever … taking them out of your bag to show a line or paragraph to a friend. Sweet and lovely memories, I tell you. 🙂
Email, instant messages, text messages, and ‘cheaper-ish’ international calls gradually took over postal mail for me. They are faster, quicker, and cheaper; but no way near as exciting and filled with expectations.
Like the “56.5% of people surveyed” by Parcel2Go, I increasingly use social media and the internet to keep in touch with loved ones. However, despite their merits, there are things you can not send them, feelings they’ll never inspire, and emotions they will never give rise to.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, the internet has its place. However, I think our modern reliance on it to keep in touch makes it easier to be casual about special occasions like birthdays.
You can just write ‘happy birthday’ on people’s Facebook timeline, text or video message it in seconds. What time we save … no need to wonder round an offline or online shop to choose a card you think suits the occasion. I suppose that’s what quicker, faster, cheaper, and easier does for you; it seems to reduce ‘the special’ to quick taps of fingers on the keyboard, or perhaps brief viewing on the screen.
A time comes though, when you want more and know you can do better. Parcel2Go’s ‘Sent With Love’ has been a trigger and an opportunity for me to connect better and grow more in my desire to be a better sister and aunty. I want to reach out more to loved ones – family and friends – in more meaningful ways, even when it’s not the most convenient. I want folks that are dear to me, to know that they mean that much more.
And so, even though life has been full of waves in recent months, I felt I could find some time to get involved, and tap into another layer of helping my little man plug into my roots.
It was crazy and there were times I doubted I could pull it together. I haven’t sent a surprise parcel in a long time but the delight in sending one is not strange to me. It’s so lovely to put a smile on someone’s face, isn’t it. 🙂 Unlike internet communications, I had to really think about what I wanted to send, and even why. I also had to find time to go to different shops to get them.
I decided to prepare a parcel that reflected a snippet of my childhood memories, and interests to my niece and nephew across the pond. They are growing up so fast and I want to be a signficant part of their lives. I haven’t been the best aunty to them; though I’m not sure what this looks like. 🙂
I focused on sending what isn’t directly possible through the internet. I bought some of my favourite healthy snacks from Whole Foods, a few clothes and shoes from Tesco’s summer sale, books from my stash of Book People’s buys from work, a spare book (I had at home) for my brother, and some hello and birthday cards. The plan was to send them all in a jiffy bag but the one I had wasn’t big enough. I thankfully found a cardboard box from a monthly children’s collection I’d purchased ages ago, to reuse … a chance to be green, hey. 🙂
I went on Parcel2Go’s easy peasy website to arrange for my parcel to be picked up and delivered to my nephew and niece, with the 100% postage promotional code they had sent to me. Look out for my review of my experience of booking the posting of my package through Parcel2Go. It was a straightforward series of data entry and clicks, with clear instructions.
My parcel was picked up from work last Wednesday and my sister-in-law received it on Monday. What a lovely conversation we had about it – look out for my post about this later in the week. I tell you, I am so glad I signed up to the Parcel2Go Sent With Love campaign and I hope this is the beginning of closer communication with my niece and nephew.
Guess what? Parcel2Go is kindly giving one of you the opportunity to join their Sent With Love campaign and win a 100% delivery promotional code to send your own gift to a loved one. Looking out for the competition tonight.
How do you keep in touch with loved ones and what would you like to improve about this?