Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Postcards of the Month

A few weeks ago, I was talking about how I've joined PostCrossing and started sending postcards all over the world. And of course, receiving postcards in return (though not yet, as you'll see below!). I signed on with vigour, and dreams of many brightly-coloured postcards flying back and forth across the seas. It put me in mind of the excitement I used to feel as a kid whenever I received some fun mail. The only catch is that sending an international postcard is a little more expensive than it used to be! The postage stamp cost is AU$1.65, which is more than a chocolate bar; 2 would be about the same as a coffee-shop coffee. The postcards themselves range between 40c to $2.00 or more, depending on the quality, but I'm not so fussed about that cost as they're so fun to buy and collect. With the capability of sending 5 postcards at a time (to begin with), up to 100 at a time (for seasoned PostCrossers), this could turn into a very expensive hobby! I knew I had to find some way to restrain my stamp-spending while still having fun.

In my searching I happened to come across a Japanese phenomenon called Fumi no hi. It means "Letter Day" and it was started by the Japanese government in 1979 to promote regular letter-writing and usage of the postal system. 'fumi' means the number 23 and also 'letter', so the 23rd of each month was chosen as the monthly letter day. I really like the idea of sending out a batch of mail once a month, but I decided to choose the first of each month because it's a rounded number and it's easier for me to remember.

So welcome to the first monthly Postcard Day!

This month I sent out postcards to D. in Finland (top right), A. in Germany (lower right), and the Grade Four class of an elementary school in the U.S. (left). Sorry about the slightly bodgy picture, but it was past my bedtime last night when I took this!

Of the 3 postcards I sent last month, the one to A. in Germany has been received/registered. The ones to L. in Russia and J. in the Netherlands have not been received yet. Technically I only sent them 3 weeks ago, so I suppose it's reasonable that they haven't arrived in Europe yet. With one postcard being received, this means I'm eligible to receive one postcard! .... Which I haven't received yet, but I'm trying to be patient.

This whole patience thing is one that's interesting for me. I've become such a child of the internet and the 21st century. It's all about instant gratification and constant stimulation. Often it's over-stimulation, with hundreds of blogs on my reader, thousands of pictures on Pinterest, the TV on and often noise from Husband's computer-gaming as well! I'm being bombarded from all sides, and everything seems to be speeding up until it seems like it'll go off the rails. The thought that I might have to wait 3 weeks or more for something is almost unbearable!

I think this will be good for me - an enforced patience, a slowing-down. Taking the time to choose a postcard that matches the recipient's profile, taking a deep breath and writing something meaningful on the card. Seeing my own handwriting on more than just a shopping list or a work report. Waiting for the pieces of coloured cardboard to find their way to the other side of the world. Waiting hopefully for some to find their way to me.

Stay tuned for next month's Postcards of the Month!

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