Yesterday was a good day for the girls and me. It was nothing wildly unique or out of the ordinary, but it represented the fruits of my efforts to connect more with humans in real life.
Our morning started out typically enough, by dropping Finley off at the trainer and going to an appointment. Then we met a large part of our co-op group at a local park. The kids played tag, raced, and organized a kickball game while us moms organized ourselves into a circle and talked about all the things: current events, sourdough bread making, curriculum, our families, homeopathic remedies, and more.
We ended up staying for almost four hours, immersed in conversation and play. I left with a full heart, feeling really grounded and connected. Since my small group disbanded a couple years ago, I’ve been searching for a group of women like this.
From there we went to a Finley training lesson and then swim team practice. In the evening I met Julie and Jen for dinner. It had been too long since we last got together and I was thrilled to hug them and spend a couple hours catching up. We discussed our life happenings and goals, the current state of things, blogging, and more.
As I tucked myself into bed, I acknowledged how happy the day had made me. Not giddy or excited, but content, grounded, and connected.
A couple months ago I felt like I was giving so much of my energy to the social media world. Not just sharing my life but consuming everyone else’s thoughts continuously throughout the day, too. I was trying to meet unspoken expectations about how often to post, how much to engage, what to post about it, and saying things in the right way in a timely manner. The people pleasing side of me wanted to do things right, whatever the heck that means. I also felt like I was having conversations, something that typically fills me up, and in some ways I was, but it was more like snippets- quick comments here and there, small bits of connection, but nothing like a real life back and forth, embracing gray areas conversation.
Being on excessively was draining my energy, leaving me with less for my family and friends. Since making some changes to how I approach it, I’ve noticeably experienced more peace in my days, more patience for my kids, and more connection to friends.
I’ve been writing a mental list of the things that make happy: real conversations (not small talk), listening to the happenings in my friends’ lives and cheering them along, blogging, being outside, learning something new, a sleeping puppy, a good cup of tea, checking on my plants, playing games with the family, listening to David play the guitar, really good olives (and sometimes a martini to go with them). They are mostly simple things and none of them involve my phone. Well, maybe WORDLE…
There are other things certainly, but as so much in the world feels hard and heartbreaking and loud and angry, I find myself focused more on slower living and local community. I don’t have anything poignant enough to shout into the social media space, but I can ask questions and have conversations with friends. I don’t have the power to make widespread changes but I can water my elderly neighbors’ flowers, donate to our local food bank, and engage in conversation with the grocery store clerk. And I can share about these things if I feel inspired to do so or I don’t have to say a thing.
I don’t have all the answers to anything but I do understand the power of community because I see how much it can impact my life. And that is what I wish for us all- a stronger community. I’m trying harder to do my part- to call a friend, have a friendly exchange with a stranger, bring a meal, offer a smile, invite someone over with a messy house. We need each other. Sending you love, alongside this rambling post, on this rainy Thursday in North Carolina. <3