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Connection: Correspondence & Community {Growth from A to Z}

Growth from A to Z -- C: Connection (Correspondence & Hospitality)

Day 3 of the Growth from A to Z series is C: Connection.  A common lament in our modern culture is that, despite the internet, social media, and cell phones, people feel disconnected.  In this post I want to talk about two primary types of connection: the long-distance connection of correspondence (letter- or card-writing), and the up-close connection of hospitality.  (I’ll also briefly touch on friendships in general.)

Correspondence

Correspondence is probably the most accessible form of connection for most of us, because it doesn’t require that we leave the house, have friends nearby, or be available at the same time as the recipient.  It’s also scaleable; you can write something as short as a sentence or two on a postcard, or you can write a letter that goes on for pages.  But many of us don’t have much experience writing letters and don’t know what to say.

What to Write

My sister ran a series last month at her blog, Moss + Ink, with some great letter-writing prompts.  They’re very specific, which makes them pretty helpful for those of us who don’t even have a starting point for who to write for and about what.  I think she’ll be bundling them together at some point but for now the best way to find them is on her Instagram account.

If you’re looking for a more general reference for what to write in cards or letters for various occasions, you might like Words to the Rescue  (and/or volume 2).  These phrase books are handy for a variety of occasions.

Miscellaneous Tips

  • Start small.  If you’re intimidated by the idea of sending a whole letter, try sending just a note card, or even a postcard.  (A standard-sized postcard can also be sent with slightly less postage.)  (What are current postage prices?  What is a postcard?)
  • Or go “big.”  If it’s inspiring to you, then going “fancy” might serve you better than going “simple.”  Invest in some beautiful note cards and/or quality stationery, a great pen (maybe even a fountain pen), and if you’re feeling really nostalgic, wax sealing supplies.
  • Stay stocked.  Ensuring you always have writing materials and stamps on hand will enable you to write whenever you decide to, rather than having to wait until you’ve bought what you need.
  • Keep your address book up-to-date.  It’s harder to send a letter if you have to track the address down first!

Making Friends

Although this post is primarily focused on connecting with the people you already have a relationship with, I want to touch briefly on the topic of making friends.  Many of us, myself included, never really learned skills for getting to know new people.  We all kind of stumble about awkwardly when attempting to build a friendship!  I’ve recently picked  up a copy of Fruitful Friendships from Lara at Cultivate What Matters (the creator of PowerSheets, which I haven’t had a chance to try because they’re out of stock!) and I love how practical it is.

I have to be honest and say I haven’t had it long enough to really work through it, but I’m pretty impressed by what I’ve seen skimming over it, and believe it’s going to be very helpful.

Hospitality

Hospitality is at the opposite end of the spectrum from correspondence, in that it’s pretty up-close and personal.  You can’t really extend Hospitality to someone who isn’t present!

Although hospitality is, most properly, the hosting of people at your own home, I also consider it a form of hospitality to provide home-like needs to others — as, for instance, taking a meal to or cleaning the house for someone who just had a baby or is recovering from surgery.  There are a number of things we can do to make this a bit less scary.

  • Have a plan.  This doesn’t have to be complex (at all!), but just having an idea of what you will do when someone comes over can take the panic out of the idea.  Where will you hang coats?  (Do you need extra hangers in the coat closet?)  Where’s the best seating?  Do you have food to offer?
  • Keep quick, last-minute-friendly snack and/or dinner options on hand.  (There’s a great resource in the upcoming Ultimate Homemaking Bundles just for this, as well as one for keeping last-minute dinner options prepped in general.)
  • Make a checklist.  Many people probably don’t need this, but if you’re scatterbrained like me, you might need a brief cheat sheet somewhere that reminds you of the basics.  I forget to do simple things like offer to take coats and ask if my guests would like something to drink.  I’m plenty willing to serve in these ways; I just forget to ask!

Of course, keeping the house fairly clean and tidy most of the time also helps!  Easier said than done, I know, but it is less scary to have unexpected company drop by if you feel like the house is presentable.

If you host overnight guests, consider keeping a basket to corral the various toiletry samples that come your way.  They can come in handy for guests who forget theirs, or who find themselves staying over unexpectedly.

Please share your favorite hospitality tips, tricks, and/or resources in the comments!

Growth from A to Z -- C: Connection (Correspondence & Hospitality)Growth from A to Z -- C: Connection (Correspondence & Hospitality)

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Connection: Correspondence & Community {Growth from A to Z} is a post from: Titus 2 Homemaker


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This post first appeared on Titus 2 Homemaker - Hope And Help For The Domestic, please read the originial post: here

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