The Hard Way

Happy new year, friends.  I don’t know about you, but I have a good feeling about 2014.  2013 will be hard to top, but for whatever reason I feel more energized and determined this year than I have in years past.  I’m going with the feeling…
So, what’s been happening with me as of late?  Well, as of my last content (not giveaway) post I have been just taking a page from Frank Sinatra’s book (or Sid Vicious, if that suits your fancy more than Old Blue Eyes) and doing it my way.  The holidays have come and gone and this year my family had a much more subdued celebration than usual.  Truth be told, I appreciated it even more.  I love my extended family, but the quiet, slow-paced days from Christmas Eve until yesterday were great.
Unlike in year’s past, I’m going to to do a Goals Project and I’m not going to make a list of resolutions.  Instead, I’m going to stick with my previously mentioned theme of doing things at my pace and in my way.  And this, of course, got me to thinking.  Let me tell you a little story….
A few days after Christmas I was cruising Facebook and there was a status update from a casual friend of mine.  She’s a great person, mom of three little ones, full-time job, and I’m sure very very busy from day to day.  She made some apologies before Christmas about not sending cards out.  Now, my opinion on holiday cards is this: If you send them, great. If you don’t send them, great.  Either way, own it.  Personally I do send cards.
So anyway, this status update was asking for recommendations for Christmas card services that will print the cards, envelopes, apply postage, and mail them for you.  I didn’t even know such a thing existed.  I’m not surprised that it does, but I hadn’t ever heard of such a service.
In response to this post there were a bunch of recommendations and advice about putting all of her addresses into Excel, doing a mail merge, printing out labels, etc.  A few were bragging about how they did 250 cards in 20 minutes or something like that.
This bothered me.
Like I said above, it doesn’t matter to me if you send cards or not, but isn’t the reason we send cards at the holiday season because we want to stay in touch with those we care most about?  I didn’t think it was about just doing it to do it or to see what astronomical number of cards we can send to anyone we’ve ever met. I wrote a comment that encouraged my friend to just own the fact that with a full-time job and three little children who are all active in sports and activities she doesn’t have time for cards.  No shame in that!  Or if she really wants to send some cards to those closest to her, take the time to write out a few to those very special people.
Quality over quantity.
Sure it’s a bit more labor intensive to hand write holiday cards, envelopes, and manually apply stamps, but isn’t it so much more personal and meaningful than a pre-printed card and envelope that someone was proud to stuff in less than a few seconds or a machine mailed for them?
Well, I don’t know if she took my advice or listened to my opinions, but the whole incident gave me an idea for a theme for 2014.
I’m going to do things the hard way.
Think of how much more delicious and special and soulful everything is if it’s done with care and with effort.  Think of how much better a thoughtfully prepared meal is than manufactured junk from a fast food place.  Think of how much more meaningful a personalized letter or card is.  You wouldn’t quickly pan-fry a pork shoulder, would you?!  Low and slow, baby.
So if I can come up with a theme for the year, it’s that.  2014 is going to be about taking the time and effort to do things well.
I can’t wait to see what we all discover together in the coming months!  As usual, don’t forget to sign up for my mailing list, follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and on Pinterest.  I’m developing a difficult relationship with Facebook, but I’m still over there posting so don’t forget to mark First Comes Health with “Show in News Feed”!  That crazy Mark Zuckerburg doesn’t want you see my posts!  Boo.
Happy 2014!

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