Most of us are so bad at saying good things about ourselves. I’m trying to be better at focusing on what I’m good at and letting go those mistakes (such as checking places are open before rocking up to them) that we can’t change. Looking back over the last 7 days, as well as being flat out launching a new website, ferrying the kids around, separating the cat and the dog and celebrating my step-daughter’s birthday, I have been in touch with local friends, colleagues, people from church, C, who I run Contact Centre with and friends in America, Spain, Holland, Australia and New Zealand.
This list kinda surprises me as I remember signing up to a penpal scheme aged 11 thinking it would be great fun (remember there was no internet in those days) and I loved writing so surely it was the perfect combination. I added my name to the list and then didn’t do much else. After a while a letter arrived in the post from some boy in Italy. It was nicely written, with a passport photo attached, and I knew I should have replied but I just couldn’t be bothered. Sometimes I wonder whether he ended up with a better penpal than me, he seemed to have all the right ingredients to be a great communicator.
These days I’m a little more mature, only keep in touch with actual, live friends whom I’ve met in person and do so via WhatsApp voicenotes. Without them, many of my friendships would wither and die. Most of my friends were resistant to them at first but I persevered and eventually they all came round to it realising the only way to make me stop warbling at them and sending threatening texts saying ‘I know you’ve listened to my voicenote, the microphone on WhatsApp has turned blue’ was by replying themselves. Usually they would send a text reply until I hit the right note of saying something so annoying that they had to berate me in person. Now we’re regular catcher-uppers via voice texts and it makes us all so much more connected and up to date with each others’ lives.