So it’s Saturday. WHO KNEW?! And Toban is using the power washer (classic mennonite stress-cleaning) and Zach is in a tree holding a bucket that, when last I checked, had a snake and a skink in it. Who he claims “are friends and knew each other already.” Great, great. Not entirely clear what garden snakes eat but I’ll google it when we’re done talking.
I know that in this awful time that it’s hard to KEEP TIME. So maybe we could do that together?
It’s no secret that this is a time of so much suffering. THAT IS A GIVEN. So I thought it might be a good time to talk to people who help give us all better language for what we are experiencing and some hope around how to manage it.
So today, can we talk about loneliness?
This is a wonderful time to stop feeling weird about saying: hey, I’m lonely.
Loneliness is one of those realities that carry a lot of shame. If I say I’m lonely, am I admitting that I’m unpopular? Or unlikeable? Or that I don’t have it together?
I got the chance to chat this week on Instagram LIVE with the 19th US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy who specializes in how this feels.
He traveled the country during his time as “America’s Doctor” and found that one of the biggest compounders of any problem was the lack of meaningful connection.
So this week I thought we could focus on some of the lessons from Dr. Murthy about finding MEANINGFUL connections to cut through some of the distance. Dr. Murthy joins me at minute 11:45. Please forgive my technical jumbles before then; technology is hard for professors, alright everybody!
Here are my favorite takeaways from this conversation:
1. Find your three. Quality matters over quantity. (minutes 14:36-15:51)
2. It doesn’t have to take long to make a meaningful connection. (minutes 16:01-18:02)
3. There is no shame in this. We are meant for each other. (minutes 13:20-14:35)
(We made that lovely Instagram Story template for you to use on social media to shout out to the three people you turn to when things feel hard. Save to your phone, post, and tag your friends.)
Since time is feeling extremely blurry lately, I thought maybe you’d want to join me in giving some shape to the week as we focus on connection. We can share an image or video online and do this together.
Sunday: Church was never just a building. Where are you finding sustaining spiritual community? Can you find them online?
Monday: Be a good neighbor… to your literal neighbors. I loved this idea from Cup of Jo that encourages people to put up rainbows in their windows to encourage neighbors.
Tuesday: As Mister Rogers always said, “Find the Helpers.” Who can you shelter today? Together Rising is raising money to send personal protective equipment to those on the frontlines in healthcare. If you have a little extra and want to give to a worthy cause, click here.
Wednesday: I am deeming this Random Act of Absurdity Day. Here is my pitch for doing something for no reason whatsoever.
Friday: (Un) officially Casual Friday—it’s okay to give up. In fact, please do. I’ll be wearing my fanciest dress all day. Zach will probably be in his dinosaur costume. Show me what you got.
Saturday: Get outside. From balconies to forests, what does the fresh air feel like to you?
Will you join me? Post your photos or videos and use #lifetogetherapart, so we can see and celebrate what it means to make meaningful connections as we live life together… apart.
Onwards, together dear ones.