It's been a week of spring cleaning and reorganizing. Since the weather hasn't been too great, it's pretty easy to decide to stay home and get things done.
I got up this morning with the goal of cleaning out my business file cabinet. It's overstuffed and underutilized because I can barely get a piece of paper in or out of a manila folder. So I pulled a big trash bag into the office and set to work. Things were buzzing along really well...the bag was half full...when I reached the correspondence file. This file has been growing since 1997 when I first decided it was important to keep the personal correspondence related to my business. It had also become the depository of museum brochures, artist's cards, and lots of ticket stubs. I'd been standing over the file cabinet up to this point but when I pulled out the folder, paper began to spill out from both sides so I decided to sit down and go through it.
As I opened the cards and letters and started reading the notes from customers and friends, I felt a rush of happiness. So many memories- customers who have long since become friends...friends who've become the best of customers. It was impossible to distinguish between business and personal in the pile of correspondence. I had completely forgotten about the thank you note from Grace Slick who loved the Linkage pendant that Jennifer and I designed for her. I remembered Katrin's foray into political art as I re-read the press clipping on her gallery showing in Santa Monica. Then there was Jenny's sweet acknowledgment of a little blurb about my work in a national magazine.... a thank you note for inspiring creativity...a request for a critique of another artist's work...
I have this thing for handwritten notes. So much, in fact, that about 10 years ago I decided to write letters to four people whose relationship made a difference in my life. I came across two of the response letters in the folder today. One was from my junior college English teacher whose positive margin notes encouraged me to write. The other was from a former boss who taught me to challenge myself with every project he assigned. Re-reading their letters reminded me of the importance of telling people how much they mean to you and helped me understand how thankful they were to know they'd made a difference. That really hit home today. I spent almost an hour going through the file and ended up keeping every single note.