The Red Pen Blog

I got red pens today.


A red pen is no big deal.   Maybe to red pen manufacture-ers it’s a big deal.  But to most people it’s not something you think about on a regular basis.  Or fixate on.  Or generally think about in any lingering way.  If you do, please get help.  That can’t be healthy.

As a rule I try to be thoughtful, considerate and even generous.  This has nothing to do with red pens, generally speaking.

As a blessing, most everyone I know in life is even more thoughtful, more considerate, and more generous.   This will lead us to the subject of red pens.

That’s why I got red pens today.  (Now we have touched on the subject.)

I have a few issues standard ways of doing things in my work world.   I make my list of daily ‘to do’ tasks  in blue (or black, come on, I’m not crazy and can only use one color).   I then cross out my tasks in red.  And yes, there is a purpose to this.  I can easily decipher the red in the list to see what has been accomplished and what yet needs to be done.  It’s all about time management.  You have no idea the fractions of seconds I have saved in my life by having this dandy little  system. Some people do not see the value in this.   If they are by my desk and need a pen, they will grab one, and innocently walk off with it.  It happens everywhere.  I am fairly certain it is not done to cause me stress…. I’m sure I have been standing by a desk, needed a pen, grabbed one and inadvertently walk off with the pen.

A week or two ago I returned to work one morning, got everything ready.  Had to cross off something I had completed.   Because, come on, it’s not really done until it’s crossed off.  In red.   And my red pen was no where.   No where.  At all.   I looked in drawers, in my files, on the floor, it was no where.

A coworker (friend) happened to listen to my lament about my missing red pen.

Then today, all these days later,  I walk in to her office to tell her hello.

And she hands me a pack of red pens.

Not because she thought I was unstable.

But because while she was out doing something she saw red pens.  Thought of me.  Bought them.  Took them home.  Brought them to work.  Gave them to me.

It’s just a pen.  Right?



It could be more.

It was a thoughtful gesture.  I told her she was my favorite today.  And I told her that the pens are very nice.  But what is even nicer, is the thought.  At some point during her regular life when I am not in her midst she was going about her regular life activities.   And, unbeknownst to me, she thought of me.  I asked her if she ever stopped to wonder at the idea that at any given moment in time someone, somewhere, might be thinking of her and she has no idea.

Isn’t that a nice thing to think about?

That we live our lives without knowing the wonderful thoughts that are going about the world.   About us.    And yes, I choose to believe they are wonderful.   It is not, redundant repeat, because I am crazy.

I told her I thought I would write about that.  And she said “what?  And call it the ‘Red Pen Blog’?”



But it’s not about the pen.

NOT because I have issues. But because she is nice.

27 thoughts on “The Red Pen Blog

  1. What a really lovely thing…and you’re right. It’s not about the pens at all. Things like this are so wonderful and kind in their simplicity … and that’s really all we need, I think.


  2. This is the funniest damn thing I’ve read in a while, Colleen! I swear! I don’t have the exacty issue you do, but I DO have a thing for office supplies. Yes, I do. I swear, Colleen, this is a good one! I need the laugh. ANd happy Catfish and Mandala to you!


    • 🙂 I am glad you understand. And these are not “issues”. Right? I mean, the reason we are the way we are makes SENSE. Right? Exactly!

      Thanks for the book suggestion. I just finished a good book yesterday and I am needing another one! 🙂 I will let you know what I think. Which of course means, if I have ANOTHER good book that keeps putting me behind on your blog past. Which means as long as I keep reading good books Sara is in Vietnam and YOU are not. Not yet. SO I need to move on there so you can join her! 🙂

      Hugs returned!


  3. HA! I went to an early breakfast with my husband this morning. We chatted with the waitress and ordered. Husband reaches into his shirt pocket to make a note. His RED PEN – it is not there. He methodically puts it in his pocket every morning. Shame on me, I distracted him with “Let’s get breakfast before work.” He rushed and I caused him to falter. Sorry dear husband… He likes his RED PEN as much as you do. Red ink, purple ink, lime green ink, pink ink – they are all the special inks. Thanks for reminding me that I fell in love with colored inks many years ago – in grade school. Wonderful, warm, innocent memories of what was a delicious, decadent indulgence in my little doodle-bug world! 🙂


    • Uhoh, wait. Maybe that was misleading…. No I do NOT make lists in multiple colors. That would be so very wrong! 🙂 What I meant was, the list could be made in black OR blue. (Preferably blue but my blue pens always run out faster… I HAVE to use black).



  4. No, it’s not about the pens … it’s about caring and being concerned … it’s about friendship and to notice what will make a big difference to somebody else. To hear a problem, but not make a fuss about it. Love the post.


  5. I love how you think! And I totally GET what you were trying to say! She thought of you when she didn’t have to and that is awesome!
    Also awesome is the fact that you love red pens! I Adore my red pens and pencils! Even though we homeschool I still use red to correct. The kids are not allowed to touch my stash even though I think they would love to throw them all away! 🙂


  6. Those are the best kind of gifts — the thoughtful. 🙂

    I like pens of all colors, but have been using a red pen more often of late for writing down quotes I like. Not sure why I switched to red (I’m not crazy either… well, maybe a little), but I like it.


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