Do you remember the days when phones were just phones?
Did you ever have to “wait in line” for the one phone line at home?
When you were a teenager, maybe you use the phone upstairs, and the cord would get twisted while you had to make sure your younger sister wasn’t listening in on the downstairs line… ah those were the days.
I guess I’m dating myself here! But today I spent time on the phone with a few friends who called me. It was delightful to talk with them, not to bother with email, but to have actual conversations. We did not need any fancy software to talk, and hearing their voices really helped me feel connected.
We had time to talk, and we spoke about the different experiences we’d had since this virus situation started becoming part of the public health recommendations for self-quarantine.
I also had time to talk with my sister on the phone. She’s an R.N. and she’s making preparations in case she needs to self-quarantine after she treats sick patients in the hospital. Our parents are in their 70’s and she is thinking in advance about how to protect them by keeping her distance, though their county has not reported any cases yet.
There is a lost art to a good phone conversation. I prefer phone calls to video calls. I find that I take notice of the tone of voice more, and get less distracted by seeing my image (or someone else’s image) on a video screen. I am actually enjoying this part of our self-enforced exile. I find that when I focus on my gratitude, there is less room for fear and anxiety.
What helps you stay calm in the midst of uncertainty? Have you tried talking with friends on the phone lately?
I am so excited that my lovely yoga sister and friend Megs is offering two yoga series’ in February!
These are part of her practicum and I am truly impressed with her graphic design skills. Any of y’all in the Twin Cities?!? Check them out! Megs is a lovely yogi and she also teaches Pilates. I am very excited for what she has to offer and what I will learn from her.
I think in my next life I will be a marketing person for yoga-related businesses. 🙂
Oh well, if things don’t work out in my current clinical research career… I will have to pivot. I actually really enjoy my current career, but there’s no rule that says we can’t do more than one thing we love.
I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know so many outstanding women in my yoga cohort. They are doing amazing and brave work! And they are such great teachers that I love taking their classes!
February is coming soon, friends. You’ve already started to see the stores fill with Valentine chocolate, not so long after many of us made pledges toward some type of new healthy habit for the year.
Actually, I’m not so fond of resolutions in the new year. January in Minnesota is hard. The weather is ugly, and though we are gaining a minute or two of light a day, it’s still dark. We’re all pretty over-spent and broke after the holidays if we weren’t so good at budgeting the year before. And most of us gained 2-3 (or 7-10) pounds since Halloween. Ugh. Those slim jeans don’t feel so great right now.
Well, bears hibernate! Why can’t we?!? Why were my ancestors so good at storing fat? Oh right, so I wouldn’t starve to death. Give gratitude to the ance(stores) who’s superior fat storage (and hunting skills) are the reason I’m here today.
Speaking for myself, and our human species. 😉
February, month of romance rolls around and we feel annoyed because everyone seems to have someone. If we don’t have someone, what are we supposed to do with all this Valentine chocolate except eat it ourselves?!? I’m outing myself as a person who has struggled with eating and body image issues. SO many women struggle with this, the majority of us, as it turns out.
I keep reading about epidemic levels of loneliness in our society. I believe it. We may be the most “connected” in terms of our possible virtual networks, but this can crowd our ability to maintain our close relationships. Being a true friend (or family member) takes time and energy.
Having a handful of really close and healthy relationships (and/or a pet perhaps) outweighs dozens (or hundreds) of online-only friends. But in professional networks where loose ties are also meaningful in terms of opportunities, it is important to maintain a bit of both.
Food is one way some of us fill our spiritual loneliness, as I learned from Geneen Roth. The comfort it provides is only temporary and gives nothing “back.” Friendships are for mutual benefit.
And what do we do when we (introverts) feel overwhelmed and burned out by too much social interaction?
We must learn to down-regulate our nervous systems. We must learn how to let go of what does not serve us. We sometimes must turn down social interactions, even with people we (usually) enjoy in order to take care of ourselves.
Our species simply has not evolved emotionally for the level of inter-connectedness we now experience on the planet. We once saw ourselves as isolated tribes. Now, we know that we are in this together. Kill our environment, kill our planet, we all perish. Not pretty.
What yoga offers to me (and others) are tools to balance our nervous systems. We can cope with our feelings of stress, our difficult emotions and even our physical pain. Most of us desperately need daily and weekly doses of quiet internal reflection to center and ground ourselves. Even if it is for 3-5 minutes a couple of times a day, give yourself that opportunity.
Your loved ones will thank you. You will thank yourself. And the world will be better served if you are generous in caring well for your whole being.
I had three unexpected gifts show up within the last 2 days, one at work and one delivered at home. All of them put a big smile on my face and gratitude in my heart. I’m not the best at getting gifts for people. I am more inclined to try to spend time with people I enjoy. But I really enjoyed receiving these kind gifts, and it helped me feel the spirit of the holidays.
May you have a wonderful holiday season and enjoy the blessings you receive.
Since my last post on loneliness, I decided to take a small action in breaking out of my “home comfort zone”. As it sounds, I spend a lot of time at home working and living without a lot of face time with other folks. Like many people, making the effort to get out there and […]
Friends, I hope you enjoy this post from blogger friend Dwight. It is harder to make friends sometimes as we get older. But so very necessary for a good and well-balanced life. I appreciate Dwight’s vulnerability and bravery here.
As I go on a long weekend with my hubby to Tofte, MN to celebrate our upcoming 2-year anniversary, I found a post I love from our honeymoon trip last year to the U.K. I am sharing an edited version below.
On Sunday night, after I had walked my dear husband for over 20,000 steps, I took him out for a nice dinner. I had the intention of walking the 90 minute coastal path from Cremyll to Cawsand, but we got lost once, adding steps. Since the path was winding, it was a bit longer than advertised, and took us closer to 2.5 hours.
We headed down to the Barbican with our tired legs after a rest at our AirBnB, finding a steakhouse on the far side of the Marina (even more walking). No matter, once we were there we were treated to a feast.
The meal was delicious, but even more so, the service was excellent. Our waitress (Elizabeth) took such good care of us for the evening, and she kept calling us “my lovelies” when asking if there was anything we needed. I told my husband how much that tickled me – I enjoy being called “my lovely.”
Just before bringing our dessert she asked us where we were from, admitting that she could not quite place our accents. We sheepishly confessed were were from Minnesota in the U.S., after saying we sometimes like others to think we are Canadian (you know the ugly American phenomenon?).
She asked if we were celebrating anything. We mentioned our 1-year anniversary coming up, along with my husband’s 50th birthday next month.
So for the final dessert she brought out beautiful dishes – one with “Happy Birthday” written in chocolate sauce and one with “Happy Anniversary” written on it. It was so very kind and thoughtful of her to find out why we were there and to take the special effort to make us feel so welcome. But we dearly appreciated it, and I am sure it will be one of the more memorable evenings of the trip.
It reminded me that when someone takes the time to make you feel welcome and appreciated, I respond in kind. I realize that this was her job, but she went several steps further than needed. Sometimes it may be an extra smile you give to someone, or a thoughtful and kind deed. But no gesture, in my view, is ever wasted.
Does it make your heart happy to delight others? In what way can you delight someone you love today?