Wednesday, March 25, 2020

With friends like these.....

I've resolved to try to write one blog a day during this period of time where were are sheltered in place. Maybe it will be two weeks. Maybe two months, maybe longer.

For as long as I can remember, writing has been a comfort to me. It comes naturally, and when I am doing it, I feel free. Writing and taking long solitary walks are two things that help me feel in touch with my inner musings while also being connected to the outside world. 

This blog has been an important portal for me over the years, a place where I can connect with the outside world in my own weird, semi-introverted way. Connecting without getting too close, some might say. These days writing, and this blog in particular have become even more important. Each morning I do a free write and that almost always opens me up to some clear channel of information that I wasn't aware of. Then I rewrite and restructure that material into a blog. 

Sometimes I'll have an experience with my family or a friend or a stranger that sparks a thought and that will be the subject of my blog. Those are my favorite moments. It's as if the blog writes itself for me in that moment and when I get to my desk later that day or week it just flows out. This happened last week when I was trying to have a Zoom happy hour with my besties, "the posse" as we call ourselves. There are seven of us. We all have teenagers and live within four miles of each other. We try make time for a weekend or two away together every year. We set up times to have a drink once a month. We support each other through an ongoing text thread on a daily basis. I miss my girls. A lot.

So last week when we planned a Saturday night Zoom call at 6:15pm, each with our own refreshment ranging from Kombucha to Tumeric tea to Cabarnet Franc to THC, we were overjoyed to all be "together." But it was a shit show. We had persistent technical problems. We constantly interrupted each other.  We couldn't all figure out how to set up our screen views or muting tools or chat functions. We had family distractions in the background. We tried to connect for maybe fifteen minutes and then, suddenly the call was over. Our host, who had spent the whole time muted because when she talked it provided robotic, horrible feedback, just ended the meeting. Blip. Just like that, our happy hour was over. We were back in our little houses, sheltered in place.

Connection is harder right now. And though I am grateful for how technology is serving us during this time, connecting is not the same. An in person happy hour with the posse would never look like that. There would be a slow trickle of hellos with some time to catch up in pairs of twos and threes. And, at the end of the night there would be staggered goodbyes, a few of us without morning responsibilities hanging out later than the others. And of course we would all hug hello and goodbye. 

But I'll take it. I'll take the computer version of happy hour with the posse and I'll take the computer version of therapy and yoga and all the other things I do on this laptop. And just like I've connected from this blog for all these years,  I'm finding new and different ways to connect right now. Frustrating as they may be at times, I'm grateful for them all.  

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