Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Ground Rules

This is my fourth year participating in the Month of Letters Postcards challenge, so the basic premise - send something in the mail every day in February with mail service - I've pretty much got down. There is inevitably one hiccup, but overall I always manage to send out as much mail as I planned. How, then, to make this year different?

Part of me chafes at the notion of having to constantly expand/improve (is this just a terribly American thing? We never seem to allow things to just be. Maybe I'm just cranky over having recently submitted my annual performance goals at work). But I also love a challenge and (annoyingly) thrive under structure. Last year I had some fancy notions of doing more, but they were just vague ideas so of course I didn't pay any attention until it was close to the end and too late to make them happen. With the idea of public accountability in mind, here are my 2016 Month of Postcards goals:

  • Send at least 1 postcard every day there is mail (easy).
  • Each day must have a new recipient. When I first started, this wasn't realistic, but it's totally doable at this point. I confess that by the end of the month I sometimes am feeling lazy, and it can be easier to dash something quick off to someone who already received a postcard (and thus might not mind a half-assed piece of correspondence) than to come up with something interesting for a new person. Also - last year I got mail back during the month, and wanted to keep engaging with those folks. Under this rule I can still send mail to previous recipients, I just have to do it in addition to sending a postcard to a new person.
  • 5 for reals letters. This is my challenge goal - last year I wanted to include letters but the month escaped me. I may not hit the targeted 5, but having this looming over my head should help me carve out space to write.
  • Birthday and other event cards and thank yous don't count. Dang. 
  • Use only the postcards on hand. This should be a no-brainer, considering that I've got enough postcards in my house to send every day of the year (at least), but I have a really hard time getting out of certain stores without at least a couple tucked into my bag. I keep expecting Tilly to stage an intervention. 

Maybe this will help, maybe I'll come back in March and laugh at my foolishness.

To kick off the month, here is the February 1 postcard - the only one I bought in Barcelona last month that wasn't mailed from Spain (and subsequently lost en route):

This is a sketch by Josep Maria Subirachs, an example of the style he and his team used for the Passion fa├žade of the Sagrada Familia. which is the one thing everyone absolutely must-see in Barcelona. It's breathtaking, and amazingly still under construction. There wasn't a ton of difference between my last visit and this one, but it's the one tourist destination that I would visit each time I came to the city.

bonus photo of the interior of the Sagrada Familia

Until next time...

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