With no podcast to prepare or record, what do we do with our time? Plenty! In fact there is so much that we want to do that the momentary relief of no episode to prepare and record was quickly overtaken by a solid list of “Really Important Things to Do”.
It was lovely to have the whole of Sunday at our disposal. A whole day off to do exactly what we wanted to. A long walk in the morning, a stop off for breakfast at our favourite local restaurant and pottering around for the rest of the day. Reading, listening to podcasts, Chantal’s favourite thing to do while making more progress on the latest crocheted blanket, and connecting with friends across the oceans and lands. A real rest of a day.
Reconnecting with an old friend
The highlight of the weekend was reconnecting with an old friend. We (Lorna and Chantal) had met in the sleep deprived, stumbling early days of first babies at a post-natal group. It was a blessing for both of us.
I am one of four children all birthed within five years. My mother had beautiful, obedient babies that slept through at some god ordained time of 6 weeks (whose babies do that?) and all toddled around like the plump, red cheeked cherubs from an Enid Blyton book. I am sure it was not all thumb-plugged sleepiness and gurgling joy but that was how it was marketed to me. So obviously I was going to have a similar experience as I entered motherhood. Obviously.
Support through the haze
Not! My first beautiful cherub was colicky and allergic to sleeping. Alarmed and pained at this unexpected turn of events I flopped around in a haze of new mother mess. The well turned out, organised me paled into a dim memory. Lorna was equally in shock. Equally at a loss at what to do with her bundle of joy. We supported each other through those soggy days of dirty nappies, stained shirts and life altering decisions about when to start solids.
She moved to Cape Town and then to the US, returned for a short while and then went back to the US west coast. We lost touch. Until something made her think of me and she messaged me. Hence the zoom call at 17h00 my time, 09h00 hers. We caught up on about two decades of lost time while she was having breakfast and I was planning dinner.
A Really Important Thing to Do
Reconnecting with that friend was a Really Important Thing to Do. It reminded Matthew and I of how important our pillar of Relating is. (There are five pillars: Thinking, Feeling, Nourishing, Moving and Relating).
Relating revolves around nurturing relationships in our personal and work lives. It is about building community and connectedness and spreading the warmth that comes with being social beings. We need each other for our emotional fitness and mental well being.
We look forward to our monthly dinner date with our Masters-studying friends as an opportunity to catch up over a surprise meal. We take turns choosing where to go which also adds to the novelty and fun.
Earlier in the week Matthew was able to connect and “relate” with an overseas work colleague who’d become a friend. She was visiting her family in Poland and thanks to the joys of technology and smartphones they were able to engage around future possibilities of teatime treats when she comes to visit South Africa - a dream of hers.
Tending towards the introverted
Neither Matthew nor I have a large number of friends. Tending towards the introverted side we both prefer to cultivate a small group of close friends that we meet up with in couples or individually. That way we can have deeper connecting conversations that inspire and energise us.
Small talk and surface engagements quickly tire us, sending us scuttling home early to curl up in a quiet corner or in front of a softly crackling fire to recuperate. If you are an extrovert this will make no sense, introverts will relate.
Sustain and nurture
Our close relationships with people we care about sustain us and certainly supported us through the awfulness of lockdown solitude and uncertainty. The joy of reuniting with an old friend gave me a warm boost. I look forward to nurturing this connection into the future. It is also a reminder for Matthew and I to add other friends not seen or connected with for a while to the list of “Really Important Things to Do”.
Do you have a list of “Really Important Things to Do”? Are your friends on that list?
About the author
5th Place offers specialised psychological services in the form of coaching and therapy for immediate relief from stress, anxiety, & other mental health challenges. It works fast, deep and quick. For individuals and groups, children, teens and adults.