I get these weeks – we all do – when I have a hard time connecting to the world. It really borderlines on being an antisocial issue at times. I get drawn into my head, and fixate on something that needs to be done, then I get this crazy tunnelvision, and lose touch with the world, or rather, the people in it. I shop, I eat, yeah. I take my son to the things he needs to do, but if it isn’t mandatory and scheduled, I won’t take part in it.
I don’t call people. I don’t reach out. Sometimes it even bleeds into the next week. I never really realized I did this until I really looked at my social time with friends, and I got the pattern. Then I felt a little ill. I was taking part in blocking myself off. Shutting down. Keeping myself to myself, which is okay, except for the part where I shut others out by not contacting them.
I don’t know if you are like this. Maybe we all are, but how do we keep up those relationships? Be a good friend? Call our mothers, and still get that alone time we all need?
It might be different for you, but for me, I need a BING! on my phone. A calendar to write in names on days when I make a point to call them; A continual lifeline back to the world. I found if I constantly schedule things, with enough alone time in between, I won’t lose that link. I won’t shut myself away. Well, I do, but not for as long as I used to.
I do know that nothing is more beautiful in the world than the people in it. I remind myself of that, noting that a work of art is pretty. A fresh design, clean and lovely. A nice, tidy house is wonderful. However, a good exchange with a friend is irreplaceable. Spending time making macaroni art with my son is more meaningful than any of the art my Illustrator marathons can produce. Seeing my boy’s face light up at the prospect of spending one uninterrupted hour with me playing trucks is more beautiful and fulfilling than any house project, painted wall, or manicured garden can ever be to me. Further, I will not have this time with him again. He will grow, make lots of friends, and be off on his own someday. The wall will be there. The garden will be there. This time will not be.
My life has been spent creating things. Creating a beautiful home, beautiful jewelry. Beautiful art. Beautiful food, and parties. All of these things are lovely in their own way, and under no circumstances will I ever stop creating and moving through the world in my own way. Now, however, instead of just making things, I have been trying also to balance that with more time making connections, interactions, and moments. Sharing myself with others and making the world beautiful in that way as well. Putting good energy out there. It sounds very simple, but you would be surprised how often we forget to balance this. I want, before any more time slips by, to reconnect and exchange as much as I can with the people in the world, rather than the things of the world. It might sound hurtful to some that I would have to write a name into a calendar to remember to say “hi” but when you consider that you write your most important things down, isn’t this just as important?
So as a challenge to you, in your own way, I urge you to check in and be sure you are happy with your days, feel complete in the time you spend with your loved ones, confident that if tomorrow never comes, you know that they’re sure you love and cherish them.