Life in Isolation

>> Thursday, July 6, 2017

I recently had a good chat with an old friend via Instagram messages. I only share where we had the conversation because it’s funny how little snippets of connection can impact the day. We live in quite a world, don’t we? I remember when I’d turn on our old Apple computer and head the “Uh-Oh” of ICQ ring out over the speakers. Or the ding of an email coming when I was just, like, 12 years old. Back then, talking with people -- even people I knew in real life -- was such an insane novelty.

Now? It’s a way of life, for better or worse.

As a work-at-home mom and freelance writer, I conduct the majority of my business online. I chat up my editors on the opposite coast throughout the day, but I’ve never met them. I click over to Facebook messages (because I still use those despite mostly quitting Facebook) to say hey to a few people before heading back to work during naps or spending the majority of my day with a nonverbal baby. My days are quiet. So quiet that when I’m around people, I actually get irked at the noise. I often joke I’m an old lady because I feel like I’m always shushing people.

I think this last year has been particularly difficult because, while I’ve been isolated in the past, it reached new heights. When Ada was in the 3s and 4s, I would shuttle her off to preschool, chat with the other parents and teachers everyday, and often meet up for post-school play-dates, etc. I’d go to the gym or meet up with people when Ada was at school. And now, the bus does the shuttling. I only email with the teacher. Any opportunity I had to volunteer was often hampered by Eloise’s nap schedule. And with a baby napping so much, getting out of the house when I had free time was challenging.

Isolation is something I deal with regularly. It’s gotten better over the summer with Stephen home, and I can feel a huge difference. So much so that I know I really need to work on in my own life, when fall comes again. I’ve already started by making a concerted effort to hang out with friends. But schedules when you have little kids is tough. Many of my friends have children in school or older toddlers/preschoolers. I am definitely looking forward to getting on the one-nap-a-day schedule.

Now that E is older, I think I’m going to try my best to commit to going to story hour at the library once a week. That may be my first step. As an introvert, this doesn’t come naturally to me. This all said, I do feel fortunate to live in a time where we can have meaningful connections with friends via online platforms. I even love connecting with people I’ve never met. Sometimes I feel like I have more in common with this group I’ve carefully curated. It no longer feels artificial. It feels awesome to know there are other people out there who can relate to the daily highs and lows.

Anyway, we’re off for our two-week vacation to Cape May soon. I am hoping to get some time to share some shorter, but more regular thoughts during this time. Oh, and some photos of my trip. I love good beach photos. We’re hoping to hit up a few new spots this year, like Cape May Point beach. If you have suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

And while I’m crowdsourcing: What are things you do to combat isolation in your own life? 

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