My mom is a note writer. We could mark the years in messages tucked into lunches or school bags in her neat cursive covering everything from the encouraging “Good luck on your test” to the practical “Don’t forget to turn in your permission slip”. On my 16th birthday, I opened my lunch (which she still made every day––yes, I was lucky and spoiled) that had been packed inside of a paper birthday hat along with several notes. I blushed (and probably said: oh my gosh, my mom is such a dork!) knowing I was too old for this, but truly happy that I hadn’t outgrown it either.
I’ve never outgrown it, and I owe that entirely to my mom. What a simple, lasting gift. I love leaving and finding notes. Even a quickly scrawled post-it on my desk will do. Thankfully I’ve paired up with someone who understands this about me. My husband, Todd, even goes as far as concepting themes for the elaborately photo-shopped stack of notes that he leaves for me to open every day when he’s on extended work trips. He also posts things (in the style of ‘lost cat’ bulletins on trees) for our son all around the house. It’s sweet and our son makes sure the notes are well fed as shown above.
Todd’s creativity has challenged me to up my note writing game too. For a recent trip I jotted down facts (population stats; key phrases to know; etc.) about the city he’d be working in, and equally important facts about life at home (we miss you more today; things are boring here without you; etc.) on little scraps of paper. I layered these notes and a few photos between the clothes in his suitcase as a surprise to unpack miles (fact: 4,081 miles) away from home.
Here’s the thing, notes like these can completely change someone’s day, and it doesn’t take much. Seeing as it’s February 1, it’s about to start dumping diamond and long-stem roses advertising. To combat all that in the coming weeks, take a moment to write a sweet, funny or flirty message to someone that you care about––a roommate, co-worker, the waitress at lunch, your neighbor. Leave a poem on the kitchen counter, impart one kind line on the back of a receipt, or scrawl a waxy crayon heart on construction paper to simply say ‘I like you’. It’s way more lasting than roses.