Skip to main content

You're so...DELETE.

Every once in awhile, someone sends me a handwritten card. Out of the blue, my sweet Chloe will send a beautiful, touching, or sometimes silly card but inside are her words, handwritten, which seem ever-so-much-more personal than a text or email or facebook post. A few other friends also do this, and I treasure these little keepsakes. Yes, I love the ability to communicate instantly, but there is something about those cards ... like there is a little piece of the sender's heart in there.

Spurred by my own affinity for receiving them and my constant pursuit to find unique and different ways to encourage and love people, I bought some beautiful note cards and decided to handwrite notes to a few people in the hopes that they would feel as touched as I always do to receive one.

Here's what I didn't bargain for: I have become dependent on delete. When you are handwriting a letter, especially on an expensive note card, you're committed once you put that ink on the paper. Ughh...I tried saying sentences over in my head before writing them. Still, upon re-reading, I felt, "Oh no ... that sounds stupid. Did you misspell that word? Honestly? That looks like an m but it's really an r. Does that make sense? Is this legible? Jeeze, are you illiterate?"

I may have mentioned before that my inner voice is a nasty shrew.

I am by nature an editor, not a writer. I'm way more comfortable fiddling around with words that are already on the page than actually putting them there. I really like to edit and proofread. It makes me giddy to make writing sound clearer and more concise. It's like polishing silver. I like that as well. I'm an odd duck.

Anyway, when I do write, it's usually a lot of nonsense--kind of like having a conversation with me. If we have spoken in person, you may have considered me snobby or not very bright or even pondered if English was my native language. True. I promise I'm not snobby; I'm not a mensa member either, and I'm certainly not bilingual. I'm way more comfortable listening than talking. And since my tongue is usually tied, I'm going to spend the rest of my day--or week, depending on how significant the perceived flub--analyzing what I said and how stupid it sounded and perhaps if it was even offensive. Oh no, I hope not, but maybe?

My head is a dark and exhausting place to reside sometimes.

Anyway, my saving grace with typing is edit, delete, cut, paste, read, reread, does this make sense, reword that; it's already not all ready already. I usually spend twice as much time editing as I do writing, and even then sometimes something will slip through the cracks, and my brother will put me on blast.

So, handwriting is like jumping without a safety net. I've become so dependent on all Word's great tools to optimize my writing and only reveal it at its best that it's a bit unnerving sending anything out unpolished. (I wasn't showing off using its and it's there, but you're welcome if that particular grammatical conundrum has been vexing your mind.) This is also why I'm tiptoeing into the water with great trepidation trusting my raw writing only to people I am pretty confident aren't going to smash my heart with the hammer I've just given them.

All of this brought me back to something my young friend, who happens to be an amazing speaker and championship encourager, said last week at church, "When negative things come into your head, simply say, 'Delete.'" We don't have to own negative self-chatter or criticism from others any more than we need to let an extra letter or a rogue apostrophe go. Just ... Delete it.

Try it. It's more fun than polishing silver. I'll give you an example from my own inner shrew:

"You didn't even make it to the gym today. You're lazy and worthless" Delete
"You should have gotten more accomplished today. You're irresponsible." Delete
"You didn't even manage to do yoga. You're never going to be in better shape." Delete
"You should wash your hair..." DELETE!!! Sometimes, that b#$%h really hits below the belt.

While I have been using the delete button to make writing sound better for a long time, I'm just learning how to use it to make myself feel better about negativity from outside and from within. Now that I know this tool is at my disposal though I plan to wield it like my trusty red pen.

What nonsensical negative chatter do you need to delete?


  1. My inner voice is also a nasty shrew. I have that stuff going on in my head constantly. And I've also had the same problems with handwritten notes. Or speaking on the phone. It's why I prefer to email people -- I can edit, edit, edit.

  2. It's exhausting; isn't it? I agree with everything you said. Email and text are definitely my preferred methods as well :) Thanks for reading, Mel!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Did I Love Him Enough?

I just started reading a new book. It's called Weight Loss for People Who Feel Too Much by Colette Baron-Reid, who I discovered on my current favorite podcast: This is Fifty With Sheri and Nancy. It is blowing my mind and showing me that some of the extra pounds I'm carrying don't even belong to me. Seriously. This is yours, this is his, this is hers, and oh wait, THAT? That belongs to a person who isn't even part of my life anymore! Great. Take your shit back.

More on that later. But, listen to the podcast. Seriously, you will love it!

Anyway, while in this super zen, grown-up, boundary-setting, higher self head space, I need to tackle an issue I've been avoiding for about 18 years but really strongly avoiding for the last 6 months. My son is growing up. He graduates from high school on Sunday, and in a few months, he's moving to Columbus to attend THE Ohio State University.

Can I tell you a secret? I used to LOVE everything about THE Ohio State University, bu…

Why Didn't I Report It?

When I was 17, I went with friends to a party at a boy's house from another school. I drank too much and passed out. I don't remember much about the incident, but I woke up with my friend screaming at a boy, pulling me up and dragging me to the car. She told me that she came looking for me and found me passed out. The boy had his penis in my face. I don't remember it. Thankfully.

I never told my parents who would have said, "How stupid could you be? You shouldn't have put yourself in that position." They would not have said, "No one should put his penis in your face without your consent."

A few months ago, I saw a picture of that boy on social media. He's a man now. With a beautiful family. He probably doesn't remember that night. I wondered: What might have happened if my friend didn't walk in and tell him to get his dick out of my face? Were there were other girls whose friends didn't come looking for them? Did they ever tell anyone…

Before and After

We all have defining moments...instances when something happens--good or bad--and you know from that point forward you'll measure your life in terms of before and after that event. Of course there are sometimes more than one, but there is nearly always one.

For me, it was my brother's death. February 5, 1989. There have been others. A dear friend's death in 1992. Another brother died in 1997. My dad died in 2011. But February 5, that was the one for me.

I started to think of and look at things in terms of before Chris died and after.

Before Chris died, I believed in magic. In God. In miracles. After, I believed that you should never let yourself get too comfortable or trust happiness because it would be ripped away from you.

Before Chris died, I often felt special and love and cherished. For too long after, I felt pretty worthless.

Before Chris died, I believed that I was brave and strong. After he died, I felt weak and afraid when I needed to be brave and strong.

Before …