My Year of Postcards

You know that feeling of getting a postcard from a friend? It can brighten any day. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could share that feeling with friends?

Well, that’s exactly what I was thinking when I sent a custom postcard to 100 friends each month in 2016.

That’s right – each month in 2016, I created, printed, and sent a postcard to 100 of my closest friends.

But, before you check out the postcards, I’ll attempt to answer a few of the most common questions I received about the project.

1) Why did you do this?

In December of 2015, I was at a concert with a fellow techie friend and we decided that we wanted to use our skills to promote happiness. Later that month, we launched gratefulforblank.com as a place for people to express gratitude. We invited friends to use the site, but it never reached a point where we actively promoted it. Over the course of 2016, a few people used it. But, primarily, it became an exercise in myself expressing gratitude.

Thinking back on the project and it’s shortcomings, I realized I wanted to do things differently in 2017. Namely – instead of passively waiting for people to take an action, I would actively inject happiness into their lives.

With that in mind – the idea of sending out monthly postcards was born. Who doesn’t love getting some mail?

2) Did you take all the photos?

Yes, I took all of the photos…

(the man on the beach on August’s postcard came from a trip to India in 2008.)

3) Who did the makeup for the October postcard?

My dear friend “Cousin Caitlin” did the makeup for our zombie spectacular. And, my Mom poured the blood and took the photo (THANKS MOM!).

4) What service did you use for this?

There was no service. This was my process:

  1. Collected all names, addresses, etc. via a Google Form that saved all information to a spreadsheet that I could update as needed
  2. Designed the fronts and had them printed them at PSPrint.com with blank backs each month
  3. Wrote up the backs
  4. Inserted everyone’s names and address by running a mail merge using Microsoft Word and print all the variations to pdf.
  5. Took the printed postcards to Office Max (so many stories…) to have the backs printed onto them
  6. Bought stamps at the post office, put them on each postcard, and put them in the mail
  7. Used Yet Another Mail Merge to send a personalized email to everyone to see if they received the latest postcard and/or had a change of address
  8. Wash and repeat 2 – 7 each month

And now, without further ado, I present:

The Postcards

When originally sending these, each came with the recipients name inserted into the messaging – along with their address printed directly onto the backs of the cards. Below is the front of each postcard as well as a generalized version of that message (or a custom printed back where applicable).

I hope that sharing these here helps to insert a little joy into your life, letting the project live on. ENJOY! 

p.s. October and December are well-worth the scroll…

January

 

I think you’re just fabulous and wanted to let you know. I hope it brightens your day.

I mean – who doesn’t love a postcard, right? That’s why I plan to send out a new postcard every month this year.

(don’t worry, you can opt out or change your info later)

You give me love, support, and inspiration and I hope to provide you with the same.

Let’s Do 2017 Right!

 

February

 

Happy February!

I luuuuuuuuv you.

I love your face. I wish I could see it now. But, you’ll have to settle for another month with our mugs in the mail.

(at least you can rotate that last postcard out if you want)

Let this postcard remind you to keep bringing love into your life – wherever you look.

Remember the good vibes? Get out there and push ‘em – it’s contagious!

 

March

 

I bet you’ve been waiting to get your paws on this month’s postcard.

Well, nobody’s purrrrfect. We had a little printing error. But, cool your catnip, March is here – and it’s…whatever.

(Seriously, where my federal holidays at? I kneeead a nap)

Let Mochi, our cat, remind you to celebrate whatever you have. Meow, get out there and chase the ball of twine they call life.

 

April

 

Sometimes you just need a change. Thankfully, spring is in the air…

We spent this past weekend witnessing California flowers in superbloom. The colorful hills brought inspiration and excitement for the seasons to come.

(and, it was a much needed – writing these can be hard, but who looks at the back anyway?)

As winter recedes, as yourself – what change do you want to see? Then get out and EXPRESS YOURSELF!

 

May

 

“Dare to wear the foolish clown face.”

           – Frank Sinatra

It takes a special person to be able to dress like a clown face and parade for the world. It can take even more courage to remove the makeup and just be you.

But, you know what, Lindsey? I like it when you do both.

I love the clown in you. The goofball. Ready to play. Laughing. Smiling. Lightening my life.

So, where are our clowns? Send in the clowns.

 

June

 

Pfffffffffft!

I like fun. Don’t you?

Thankfully– the summer good times have arrived. It’s time to go on adventures, bust out the games, and laugh at all the sillies.

So, climb a mountain, tell a joke, send some fArt in the mail, travel to a far off land, dance until you collapse, and bring a little joy into your life and those around you!

 

July

 

Sometimes, it’s better to strive for consistency than perfection.

I set out to bring joy into your life every month in 2017. And, this postcard pushes me past halfway to my goal.

(I just hope you like receiving ‘em as much as I like sending ‘em)

What do you want? Keep with it. Create a habit, better yourself, make a change –

GO OUT AND GET IT!

 

August

 

Summer is here. But, head this WARNING:

“Here comes summer,

Here comes summer,

Chirping robin, budding rose.

Here comes summer,

Here comes summer,

Gentle showers, summer clothes.

Here comes summer,

Here comes summer—

Whooshshiverthere it goes.”

– “Here Comes” by Shel Silverstein

 

September

 

Hola Amigo!

Cada gallo en su gallinero.

¿Que pasa contigo, Morgan & Leslie?

Este verano, fuimos a Oaxaca para beber mescal, a Austin para recordar amigos, a las Montañas de Sierra para estar en la naturaleza, y un finca en Oregon para celebrar el amor.

¿Qué has hecho? Espero que tu experiencias te hayan traído alegría.

Salud.

 

October

November

 

I’m grateful for the Wilderness Act of 1964 and the beautiful lands it has helped protect– including Kings Canyon on this card.

I appreciate the encouragement to send these postcards – and lessons I’ve learned doing so each month.

I’m fortunate to share my life with such an adventurous and loving partner.

And, I’m thankful to have you in my life.

 

December

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