It's been a while since you've written a letter. It's been even longer since you've received one. Letters are powerful things; they make your heart soar as they flop through the letterbox, wondering who could be sending you something that isn't a bill, an advertising leaflet, or a frustrating 'Sorry We Missed You' card. It's heart-warming to realise that someone cares enough, in this technologically-focused society, to put pen to paper and pour their thoughts, feelings, ideas and musings out before you with openness and honesty.
You tried, a few times, to recapture the art of letter-writing. You even sent a few out once. But the effort, the very act of setting aside time for others - even with the kindest of folk - can sometimes be a struggle. Life gets in the way. Emails marked 'High Importance' need responding to within moments, dirty crockery that has graced your work surfaces for longer than it should have needs washing, clothes need putting away, the bills need paying... and so it goes on. There will always be an excuse. There will always be something you should be doing.
So it's time to stop. Stop trying to please everyone all the time. Stop trying to be the best at everything and instead focus on doing the best you can do with the time and tools available. Stop making excuses and start prioritising. Family. Friends. Love. Laughter. Without these, what's the point? Start being kinder and make time for others without watching the minutes tick by, anxiously contemplating when your to-do list is going to diminish. You need to realise that it never will, not now, not ever.
I don't really know where all this has come from. Sometimes you sit down and the words just appear on the page without you really realising their origins. Sometimes that's the best way.
This is the first letter, but not the last. Keep going.
Photo via Unsplash.
Eleanor is obsessed with stories. She writes for a number of online spaces including This is Your Kingdom, edits Creative Countryside, curates #aseasonalyear and teaches at Chalk House. In addition, she is currently studying for an MA in Creative Non-Fiction Writing. You'll find her roving the fields of the Lincolnshire Wolds or planning her next rural adventure.