CONTACT TO FEEL CONNECTED
One thing I always say is that I need contact to feel connected. I see some of my closest friends who live down the street every single day and others at least a couple of times a week for happy hour + dinner dates. All of my friends and family know that when I call, it’s going to be via FaceTime because I want all of them. I want to see their faces, their reactions, their expressions, everything. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t need constant contact, but I need to know what’s happening their lives to feel connected to them. And vice versa. I’m more of a ‘call ya in a bit’ or ‘running by your house in 5’ than a let’s catch up on the last month of our lives for 45 minutes. That desire for true ‘face time’ on the phone or in person, has really only developed in me over the last couple of years. I think working from home, as well as narrowing in on my small circle of friends as I’ve gotten older has really attributed to my need for that. It’s just part of me, I crave connection from the people I love most.
So how has quarantine affected that? We’re one full week in, with little to no direction or insight of where this is headed, and for people like me – it’s quite daunting. J is still going to work each day, which in a glass half-full sort of way makes me feel like things are somewhat normal, but in reality they’re far from it. Obviously, the minute we understood the weight of the situation, we’ve been at home ever since. We’re not even mandated to do so, as of yet, but in order to protect myself and in turn protect Tiny, it feels like the right thing to do. In a lot of ways, things still feel like they’re moving + shaking, but all with a dot, dot dot, and a question mark at the end. The FaceTime calls are in full swing, but the rest of it feels very isolating. (Again, I understand that’s the point in all of this, but I’m simply elaborating on the feelings + realizations it’s brought on.) That said, it’s really allowed me time to hone in on what I’m missing most during this time and for me, it’s easy. It’s the connection piece of my soul.
I gave up busyness a long time ago. I no longer fill my days with things or people I feel obligated to and the last thing I crave is a distraction. I always choose life over everything else, which may not be the best rule-of-thumb, but it’s what makes me, me. I’m alone a lot and I love that time just as much. The older I’ve gotten, the more I long for that balance. The happy medium of being completely content on your own, all while cultivating and nourishing the relationships that mean the most. I’m a feeler who loves hard and what I’ve realized this week is that it’s not the lunch dates or the dinner plans that I need, it’s the people I surround myself with that fulfill my soul. The ones that stop by the house without calling for a quick cup of coffee in between meetings, the ones that plan an impromptu happy hour drink after a long day, and the ones we gather around our table at night. From having J by my side to my best friends, my heart is so full when our lives are.
To be completely honest, J is my safe place and wherever he is is where I feel most at home. We’re so grateful that our little cottage is our favorite place in the world and there’s no where on earth we’d rather be tied to for weeks upon end. However, the sweetest part of all of it is the life we’ve built together. The people we choose to do life with and the pure joy they add to our lives. The memories we get to make within these four walls and the gratefulness we feel for genuine connection.
I say all of that to say this – never let yourself get caught up in the obligatory ties of relationships. Try to find the balance between being content in the stillness of independence and loving others because they add so much to your life. Don’t take the little things for granted – there will be days when they feel like big things. Throughout this wild season, focus on doing something small for someone else that makes a big impact. Use this time to discern what and who you’re filling your time with – what you say yes and what you say no to. Be intentional about pouring into people. If there’s a broken relationship in your life that’s still worth fighting for, heal it. The right people hear you differently. Work hard at your relationships on the good days, so that when the bad ones inevitably come, they sting a little less because you have a tribe of people to do life with.
Even during this time of staying in and slowing down, the unknown and the heaviness – we are all so immensely blessed. For our health, for our families and for each other.