For old time’s sake

Yesterday morning, I sat in front of my computer waiting for more bad news to appear in my Twitter feed. Some part of me felt it was critical to remain constantly informed, regardless of my inability to actually do anything with most the news I’m reading.

Out of the blue, it dawned on me: This is not healthy behavior! So I stepped away from the computer with the twin intentions to (1) do something kinder to myself now and (2) check news only intermittently and briefly throughout the day.

But what was there to do?

My eyes landed on a couple of journals on a dining room curio cabinet. Continue reading “For old time’s sake”

Balm for my heart

This morning, I chatted with a friend on the phone for fifteen minutes. I had to fumble for the right words after many days largely homebound, but just hearing her voice was balm for my heart.

After I got off the phone, I realized I wanted needed more real voice-to-voice connection with people I love. I tried video-calling my sister Rache, but couldn’t reach her.

My family and I scrunched into frame to wish one family friend a belated happy birthday. She was out looking at adopting a puppy, so our call was short, but the loving connection very real. Continue reading “Balm for my heart”

When I Try

Last Sunday morning, I saw Brené Brown’s Instagram sticky note announcing a 15-minute streamed service that evening. I told my kids that we’d all be “attending” together.

On Sunday afternoon, my boys and I crowded around my husband’s cell phone to watch. Surprisingly, even my husband stopped what he was doing and listened in.

My heart felt so light as I listened to the service, singing along when music played. I felt both invigorated and inspired. Come what may, I’d be overflowing with empathy and kindness, having had such a wonderful opportunity to perspective!

I then watched the Democratic presidential primary debate between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden.

All that gratitude flowing through my heart seemed to evaporate from the premises. I went from compassionate to combative in a matter of moments, ultimately ending the two-hour debate feeling as if I were being pursued by a sabertooth tiger. Continue reading “When I Try”

So Human

Soon after I created my first blog in 1995, a reader emailed me a touching message: He’d never expected to something so human coming (to him) from a computer.

I’ve been thinking about that comment a lot the last day or two. There was a not-so-distant time when profoundly human voices were widely accessible online.

Those voices are still out there, but they’ve felt few and far between to me for several years now.

This all is on my mind due to a change I made last week. After three years away, I returned to Twitter to see if I could make it be a source of genuine connection.

In one week, I’ve remembered with crystal clarity why I left in the first place. For all the countless words posted there, there can be precious little genuine connection.

The moments of connection are undeniably powerful. I’d like to keep–and build, where I can!–those moments while leaving the rest.

I’m not sure how to do this, which amuses me since being human online came easily to me (to most?) in those early days. I’ll thus keep testing, seeing if it’s possible for me to routinely take part in genuine human connection there, and how.

But if I find myself logging off Twitter (or any online experience!), more lonely and tired than when I logged on, I’ll stop using it. I’ll seek connection where it seems likelier to be found, online or off.

I don’t know the answers, but I’m glad to be on what is, for me, the right path: the one pointed toward felt connection and community.