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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Think Kit day 4- a wise woman once wrote...

Today's Think Kit topic: What was the wisest decision you made this year? Who did it impact? Describe your decision-making process, discuss the results, or just share a little learned wisdom.

For me 2013 feels like the year of bad decisions for me... if I were more superstitious I'd blame the number 13 but.... so trying to come up with the wisest decision I mad this year was hard. It was so difficult, in fact, that I almost skipped this post altogether, or picked another topic.  But...

Sometimes the small decisions are the ones that can be the wisest. And maybe this wasn't the wisest decision I made all year, but it sure was a good one.

In February I heard about this thing called Tradeschool, where free classes were offered. That's right- free! Classes! Free knowledge! I could trade items for people to teach me stuff! What a fabulous concept and completely right up my ally since I'm a lover of life long learning!

I signed up for a something called a letter writing social. Oh, I swear I won't wax poetic about my love of letter writing since I've done that a million times and bored you all to death (but if you're a new reader and want to hear my poetic waxings, go here, here, and here...). Let' suffice it to say I love to write letters and believe in putting pen to paper. That being said I thought a letter writing social would be great.

AND IT WAS! It went beyond great! It was amazing, fun, fabulous, interesting, and knowledgeable. And it really changed my entire year in several ways. 

I had no idea there was such a phenomena as mail art. And let me tell ya, there is. Google it. It's pretty cool, a whole movement. It's a real art genre. Wicked interesting and I love learning something new. So with this in mind, I have to say there is no more plain Jane envelopes get sent from this girl anymore. Everything gets 'arted' up a little bit. I don't care if I do nothing more than a few stickers and some washi tape or if I try to draw something or use an unusual mailing packaging, nothing with a stamp on it leaves me without some creativity added. (great book to learn more: Good Mail Day)

In addition to learning about mail art and attempting to create my own, I've also become interested in the history of the USPS and stamps. I'm not a stamp collector now (and probably never will be) but I like looking at the stamps through history, learning about the post office, learning about mailing processes and deliveries. My family teases me that I'm single handedly trying to save the post office. Perhaps there's some truth to that... Thus I've also reinforced my status as huge nerd girl of the family.

While at the letter writing social, I also found out about some pen-pal web sites. THIS IS WONDERFUL! I signed up and suddenly I started receiving mail from strangers around the world. This was last March and I'm still writing letters to many of those folks, and new friends, since then. I send several dozen letters/ postcards/ packages a month, and receive the same! It's so nice to go to the maibox and have something other than bills, leaflets and junk. I had so much mail that I even now have rented my own Post Office Box! Nothing makes me smile more than opening that box to a stack of letters!

To top it off, I experienced the Trade School concept and love it. I've taken several classes throughout the whole year. It's a great way to learn something new, meet interesting people, do something different, and be part of a community. The ladies who organize Trade School Indy are just wonderful women!

So while this wasn't a huge decision and maybe not the "wisest" it certainly was one of the best decisions I made this year. I found an interest that influenced me all year, I met great people that I still see when I'm able, and it really has helped push my creative-ness to a new level. And... it makes me happy. And that, my friends, it the key for me in 2013. I want to be happy, and trade school, letter writing, the USPS, and mail art sure puts a smile on my face.

Happy mail!
Maggie

4 comments:

Lilith said...

Wish there was something like that up near here so I could try it out!

Gulo said...

Nice to see you back :)

Curley said...

I'm glad that you found something that makes you happy. You deserve to be happy. And your mail art is really cool.

shouldhavezagged said...

Glad to have met you at that letter writing social! I've had fun seeing you at other events, too. I hope you find yourself in The Capital more this year.