One night while out to dinner with my dad, he called the waiter over and proclaimed, “This meal was absolutely delicious. Please tell the chef it was the best I’ve ever had.”
I’d seen him go through that routine dozens of times. You could call it one of his quirks. Whenever he felt someone did something particularly awesome, he’d let them know. And that night, it suddenly clicked in my brain why he did. Mostly, because he explicitly told me.
“Meghan, you know why I do that don’t you? People rarely ever hear when they do a good job. Most of the feedback they receive is negative. So if someone impresses you, be sure to let them know. You may be the only person who ever tells them that, and it will mean the world to them.”
And I did. From that moment on I made it a point to let people know when they exceeded expectations. Speakers. Teachers. Artists. Chefs.
But just the other day, I realized I’ve completely neglected an entire group of people.
After prescribing a number of pills and treatments, my doctor, Dr. Ron Hunninghake of the Riordan Clinic, added nonchalantly, “Oh, and Meghan, tell that fiance of yours he needs to get to work. You need to be hugged 10 times a day.”
At first, I thought he was joking. After all, it was my first appointment with Dr. Ron. But then he proceeded to explain exactly why I needed 10 hugs a day, at the very least.
Turns out hugs may indeed be the healing touch. A number of studies have found hugs reduce blood pressure and more importantly, the stress hormone cortisol.
There’s no gift I find more valuable or meaningful than a thoughtful, handwritten letter. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, which is still hard for me to fathom. Maybe it’s because I like having something tangible I can go back to and remember how things were. Or maybe it’s because I find nothing more important than connecting and letting the people you love know exactly how you feel.
Whatever it is I love letters. Especially giving them, and for our wedding day, I figured our standard fare of scratching notes on random printer paper just wasn’t going to cut it. So I set out to find a set of beautiful stationery, and luckily, stumbled upon something much, much better. These gorgeous, fine writing papers. Stunningly beautiful in their simplicity, these papers let your words take center stage.
1. Handmade in Prague, Jan Petr Obr stationery is hand engraved and printed using the classical European paper making process that dates back to the 16th century.
2. Used by most royal courts in Europe, G. Lalo stationery originated in Paris as a handmade paper. While no longer handmade, G. Lalo paper is still created using traditional techniques. As a result, the paper maintains a handmade look while also appearing refined. Out of the three papers, it has the cleanest edge and most modern look.
3. Handmade in one of Europe’s most renowned paper-making centers, Amalfi, Italy, Amatruda stationery is crafted using the family’s manufacturing technique that originated in 1380. This is the paper I chose, and when it arrived, I literally caught my breath. It was even more beautiful than I’d imagined. Any letter you write on this paper will instantly feel more epic and romantic. As if it came from another time.