365 Challenge: Day 130 – Prompted

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Prompted: assisted or encouraged to do or say something

prompt.jpg

When I was 16 years old, our English teacher had us write letters to ourselves, listing a few goals, some fears, and things currently on our mind. He took them, nothing that he’d mail them to us in 5 years. A few people laughed, as they didn’t intend on living in the same place when the time came due. Others were afraid to reveal any secrets in case someone else opened it. But the vast majority took the risk and played along. I was one of those people. I listed the 5 goals I hoped to achieve, the 5 things I was most scared of and the 5 things I was trying to sort out in my head. It felt easy and harmless. I had low expectations of ever actually receiving it… the man might not live that long. But he did. And somewhere in the neighborhood of five years, I received the letter in the mail the year I graduated from college at my parents’ home, which is where I still lived during the summer.

It was a surprise. I’d forgotten most of what I had written. When it arrived, I tore it open with nimble fingers. My eyes feverishly scanned the cryptic handwriting; I’ve never been one to write with a deft hand. Did I honestly write some of those things? In the wrong hands, it’d be an easy blackmail scheme.  Thankfully, my secrets remained hidden as I decided what receiving the letter meant to me. Should I interpret it as a nudge to get back on track? Perhaps a reminder to realize what I’d accomplished? No… I saw it as a sign… a sign that this was a fantastic idea! We should all think about writing ourselves letters with some encouraging advice to help us cross the finish line on whatever our goals or tasks might be.

I love Wallace and Gromit. Any other fans?

As a kid, I LOVED getting mail. I made my parents leave it in the mailbox all day, so that when I arrived home from school, I could retrieve it myself and experience the joy of someone sending me a surprise or even an expected message. As I grew older, and started receiving those nasty monthly bills masquerading as wonderful news from different companies and services, I began to dislike the mail. Actually, as I began using electronic email, I found myself not interested in paper communications… online was something new to capture my attention. A few decades years later, I don’t check the mail because there’s never anything good in it. If I have a package or a delivery, the building’s system sends me an email to pick it up or request a drop off at a certain time that evening. In a way, it’s turned itself around, meaning… now I am tired of all these electronic notices, messages and communications. If you really want my attention, send me something in the mail that I have to open to understand what it is you need from me.

No, I don’t want a summons or official notice. Just something with a pretty color, different shape and interesting cover. Make me want to open it. Tempt me with your creativity. That’s the kind of prompt I need to be excited about checking the mail again… that is, unless, we adopted my high school teacher’s method. Hmmm… let’s think this one through together… are there a few goals you have in mind, but tired of tracking them on your phone, computer or journal? Do those sticky notes sometimes seem overwhelming? Maybe you don’t trust yourself to check the status or due date… so why not find a friend who will help you through this solution? Write yourself a letter with all the big things you need to focus on, then give it to them to mail at some point in the future. Perhaps it’s at a date of their choosing… but let them create the envelope so it’s a surprise when it arrives. And you can experience the same cool feeling of opening up your own little present!

I’m not actually joking on this one. Sometimes we all need reminders to do something, to feel something or to consider something. And we also find ourselves easily able to ignore electronic notifications or even our own sticky notes and journal entries. But you can’t really ignore something fun and colorful that arrives in the mail. For instance, if you have a friend who is very shy, send him/her a bold envelope with stamps of half-naked men or women posted all about it. I’d suggest naked, as we all know I’m fine with it, but I don’t know all the laws and wouldn’t want to get anyone arrested, now would I?

{Insert a very sinister and dark laugh!} Wouldn’t that be an amazing shared experience?

I suppose what I am actually suggesting is that we should all write letters to ourselves, praising something we’ve done, reminding ourselves of some big accomplishment we’ve recently attained… suggestions for how to keep motivating our future plans and ideas… and get our friends and/or family involved to mail it out when it’s most needed. So as you’re opening up that jury summons, late notice, exorbitant cable bill, or change in some service you don’t want altered, you also have that really awesome letter to brighten your day and keep you focused on the future prize. And if your friends are in charge of it, think of all the fun you could have? Sending something from “Playboy Magazine” to a friend who wouldn’t ever look at that magazine. Or sending what looks like a list of nunneries or monasteries to a friend who’s about to get married and wants reminders about the wedding! Prompts with Passion. Prompts with Power. Prompts with a Poof!

We all need a prompt every now and then. And that’s part of the friendship circle’s set of responsibilities. So… if someone needs a prompt, I’m offering my availability to help you if it’s needed. I’m also going to write my own letter about what I hope to accomplish in 6 months, then decide who’s the lucky victim. Don’t worry, I will likely pick someone I’ve know for a few years, which rules out all my online friends for right now… but rest assured, your time will come! Any thoughts? Any ideas? Silly idea or something to give a chance to? Share away…

 

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Kiersten @ Once Upon A Spine. Kiersten and I met about two months ago through a few books we were both reading, as well as connecting over previous life experiences and just generally being fun and weird people. I love the name of her site, and she has fantastic book reviews and content all about the literary things in life. She’s also very open and friendly, sharing many experiences that she’s dealt with over the years, learning how to grow from them and also how to keep herself focused on future goals. She’s refreshing and shares frequently, which makes her someone I am often chatting with. Between cat/dog humor, her own writing and young adult fiction (TV or Books), we always find things to talk about. I enjoy hearing from her and think she’d be a great addition to anyone’s list of followed blogs. So please go check out her site. And if you don’t believe me, here’s a small tidbit from her “About Me” section, where she tells us:
    • “I’m a Jersey girl currently living in Charlotte, NC with my two fur babies. I am an unapologetic nerd and chronic worrywart at heart. The focus of this blog is to share my love of literature, to write reviews of the books I’ve been reading, and to (hopefully) spark inspiration for my own stories. In addition to reading, some of my other hobbies include dance, cooking and baking, crafting, and cleaning up cat barf. I’m also a diehard fan of Harry Potter and Gilmore Girls.”

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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36 thoughts on “365 Challenge: Day 130 – Prompted

    Kiersten said:
    July 20, 2017 at 6:07 AM

    Thank you for the blog love. I really appreciate it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    declutteringmylifeweb said:
    July 20, 2017 at 6:14 AM

    Two years ago I got in a short gloomy period because of some disappointments (not love affair). And a friend of mine suggested me to think about my old problems as of 5 years before and to analyse their status as of that day. Actually I acknowledged that even if some of them had not been solved yet , they seemed so insignificant. I stopped worrying because I realised that my life would adapt to a problem, resolution or indifferent resignation.

    Liked by 1 person

    Roda said:
    July 20, 2017 at 6:48 AM

    Real Mail…letters…Wallace and Gromit! These are a few of my favorite things!

    Liked by 3 people

    melaniemolewriter said:
    July 20, 2017 at 8:00 AM

    What a lovely idea. It’s self care for your soul, and writing all wrapped up in one. Perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

    roseelaineblog said:
    July 20, 2017 at 10:01 AM

    📮 it’s in the post ✨

    Liked by 1 person

    Mama Cass said:
    July 20, 2017 at 10:54 AM

    Jay, good morning my friend. I do love reading your blog. You write with such honesty and passion. This one in particular put a song in my head in my ever-changing non-stop playing jukebox, by Mary Chapin Carpenter called “something tamed, something wild”. We are very hard on ourselves and this is a good reminder to be gentle and kind.

    Liked by 1 person

    Stephanie said:
    July 20, 2017 at 12:45 PM

    Wonderful post Jay, as always! This one especially resonated today. I do think we all need that motivation and prompting you write about. It’s so easy to take care of everyone around you and forget about yourself and your own needs or even just all the wonderful accomplishments you’ve done! Thanks for the prompt…😉😄😊

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      July 20, 2017 at 12:47 PM

      Thank you. I’m glad I could help today. Sometimes it’s the little things and reminders. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        Stephanie said:
        July 20, 2017 at 12:51 PM

        It definitely is! When we’re so used to taking care of others even when resting or trying to take care of our health, etc we forget. I’m notorious for neglecting my mental self care and telling myself…hey, it’s all good, great job, etc! I need to do more self care and less worrying and stress! I’m taking this to heart today ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        July 20, 2017 at 12:53 PM

        Awesome, yes please take care of yourself!

        Liked by 1 person

        Stephanie said:
        July 20, 2017 at 1:01 PM

        I’m getting better every day at putting my health first…well, me first 😊 Not that I’m neglecting anything else or anyone else. But finally acknowledging my limitations and doing what I can when I can. That’s me at my best and then the best for my family. I’m learning….

        Liked by 1 person

    mistysbookspace said:
    July 20, 2017 at 1:12 PM

    This is such a great idea Jay!! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    zumpoems said:
    July 20, 2017 at 2:52 PM

    Like how you cover multiple topics but all naturally. Enjoyed reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    BrizzleLass said:
    July 20, 2017 at 4:12 PM

    I love this idea so much! I’ve moved away from electronic notifications as much as possible so I like weird and wonderful ways of reminding myself about the most mundane things! Last week I was given some sticky notes in the shape of speech bubbles and have had so much fun with those! I also love the idea of writing some goals down for future you. I think I will do that and ask someone to send it to me in a few years!

    Also, you love Wallace & Gromit?! I have some awesome postcards from the Aardman shop here happy to send you one 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      July 20, 2017 at 4:28 PM

      Great plan with the sticky notes in speech format! Yes, I do love them! The short movies are amazing!!! Yes definitely!

      Like

    Valerie @ Valerie's Musings said:
    July 20, 2017 at 5:41 PM

    Great post! I had an 8th grade teacher who did that so we got them at the end of our first year of college. It was interesting. I never wrote anything too “off the wall” because I was too terrified of someone reading it and locking me up in a mental hospital (seriously. It was a huge fear of mine as a teen).

    I never thought to do it other than that one time. Interesting idea!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      July 20, 2017 at 5:42 PM

      Might be fun to try again!

      Our book is here!!! I can start it probably Tuesday or Wednesday next week!

      Liked by 1 person

    wakinguponthewrongsideof50 said:
    July 21, 2017 at 8:45 AM

    Are you the one that’s been sending me the photos? Thanks!😙😜😋

    Liked by 1 person

    Rae Longest said:
    July 23, 2017 at 11:44 AM

    I am one of the last, living note and letter writers in Texas. I send four letters a week (often six or eight 8″x10″ pages (I write large because most of my recipients are elderly, one 101.) I also write about eight or ten notes and cards with long notes, often requiring an additional page to “finish” my thoughts each week. They may be get well thoughts or simply thank you’s or encouragement cards/notes. I enjoy it immensely as it is an outlet for my creativity and good practice for my writing skills. I enjoy this probably more than the people who receive my cards, letters, and notes. It even relaxes me!

    Liked by 1 person

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