Tag Archives: social interaction

Class Reunion–35 years and counting

So I broke down and went to my first class reunion last weekend…okay it was my third-fifth class reunion, just the first one I’ve ever really attended. I went to the fifth, but stayed twenty minutes and left. It felt like high school and I didn’t need that again.  It is so interesting to see that little microcosm of society! For the most part, everyone has stopped worrying about “who is better than” and “who has more,” yet there were those “select” few.  You know, the “ones” who still talk to the only the other “ones.”  And they look around the room making eye contact with rest of us lowly minions, thinking that we are pining for their attention.  I noticed them about a half an hour before I left…and I was there five hours.  Someone I was talking to pointed it out to me, so I paid attention.  I realized that there was this “group of four,” not including their very uncomfortable spouses, who were having a very difficult time getting the rest of the mingling crowd to pay attention to them.  They tried a lot of things: they laughed very loudly, then looked around to see who noticed; they all walked to the bar together giggling at whatever, pretending not to look around; and they did the same on their social visit to the restroom.  Their extreme disappointment when no one cared what they did was evident…everyone else had moved on…had grown up…had seemingly left them behind.

It really was good to see people again.  I wish that  more people attended, but who am I to talk, it took thirty-five years for me to attend!  I realized when I got there that I miss the friends I made in high school.  I haven’t seen most of them for thirty-five years.  It isn’t anyone’s fault, life just happens.  I never felt like I fit in then; after this weekend, I know it doesn’t matter anymore.  That is a refreshing feeling.  It is sad that it took thirty-five years for me to feel that way, yet it is great that it happened at all!  I also realized how truly blessed I am to have reconnected with the friends I have since moving back to my hometown.  They have made this transition so much better.  I would be lost without them.  It is good to have this time in my life to reflect on what is important and what is valuable; what is lasting and what is true; what is golden and what is treasured.

 

 

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Reclusive or Selective: The Semantic Game

I’ve told myself that I am not becoming reclusive; I am just more selective about what I do. I am not sure if I am just playing a semantic game with myself, but I am sure that my activities are changing.  I no longer log on to Facebook daily, but I do try to check in at least weekly to keep up with the people I talk to via messages.  I just don’t see much value in all the posts, seems like people put the silliest stuff on there.  I mean I guess it’s important to someone what you had for dinner, just not so much to me.  I also don’t tweet, don’t Pin anything nor am I linked in to anyone.  I really don’t spend that much time surfing any more either.  If there is something I need or want to know, I can usually find it with a quick search, read the articles and be done in fifteen or twenty minutes.   I also don’t go out as much as I used to.  I am quite content to stay in my house with my fur-kids. And they seem to get quite upset when I leave them.  Actually, it is getting hard to get me out of my house, not because I am afraid to leave, rather because I am just so comfortable here.  And I am always concerned that I will have to leave because of pain and cause disruption in the activity.  This causes me to stay home a lot also.

I did go “out” over this past weekend, however, and it was an interesting experience.  The “plan” was to go to a street dance that was a local fundraiser for the downtown district where I live.  Of course it was raining a lot, so they moved the party inside.  And they eliminated all the food vendors.  That meant going out to dinner, which we did and it was lovely!  The food was great, the company wonderful and the conversation fun.  Then to the “club” where the party was, which pointed out to me that it had been a long time since I have been in a club and I am getting old.  Wow, was it loud in there!  It didn’t take me long to re-acclimate myself and I found myself loving it! One of my favorite things to do is to “people watch” and there was the perfect spot above the main floor to do just that.  And the band, who were very good, was in the other room so they weren’t so loud! As a bonus, I had a fascinating conversation about a myriad of topics with a very cool woman.  I am glad that despite my desire to stay home, I went and had a great time. I was not able to complete the evening this weekend, as I came home early due to “wearing out,” but the going out was a good thing.

Being selective about what I do is a good thing, and I will continue.  Unfortunately, my stamina is not what it was and I cannot do all the things I’d like.  So I will have to make choices just like everyone else, even if mine are a little more limited.  Looking at the possibilities as though there are possibilities will make a huge difference in my choices.  

External vs Internal: Does It Really Matter?

There have not been many external events happening recently, unless you count the illness stuff and I really don’t want to.  Or you count the recovery from illness, which is a bit better to focus on, I guess.  Other than that there has just been a lot of sleeping, watching TV and reading, which I guess does fall into that recovery category.  Internally, however, things are beginning to shift again.  I am feeling the need to get out of the house, not for purely social reasons, although those are important enough, but also for observational reasons.  I need to be observing life–people, places and things–so that I can write.  And I am writing again, oh, I guess that is an external change.  It feels so internal to me that I don’t notice when words actually leave my head and get put on paper…well, on the computer screen.  It is especially nice when they STAY on the screen after I put them there.  Yes, I “lost” two hours of writing the other day, just gone to great abyss of…wherever that shit goes when it goes somewhere!  The important fact here is that it is gone…bye-bye…see ya (NOT).  That was the bad news.  The other bad news is that I can’t just rewrite it, those words came once, not sure they will come again, although I will try.  The good news, I spent yesterday setting up a new writing system (another external change)! So hopefully that won’t happen ever again.  I hope.  At least not this week.  Or this month.  Or this year.

So, I am excited about today because I get to spend it writing.  I really hope the words come.  If not it doesn’t matter.  I have a new mantra…Keep My Butt In The Chair! I say it to myself a lot now.  It is the only way that I am ever going to finish anything! It is the only way that anyone ever finishes anything.  I know I don’t have a lot of stamina and I can’t stay in that chair for long, but I have to give it a try.  You know, one hour of writing, two hours of napping, one hour of writing, two hours of napping, etc.  That is about how life goes, no matter what I try to do.  And somewhere I will slip in my “observation” time.  It will happen.  I just have to keep my motivation and my dream in front of me.  And the other negative crap, self-defeating thoughts, in that great abyss of…

I am also finding that the balance is hard.  The amount of time “required” being alone so that I can gather my thoughts so I am able put words together into a story, along with not being so isolated that I forget how to interact with people.  It becomes easier and easier to become reclusive.  I do miss laughing though!  I find I don’t laugh anymore.  I haven’t for a long time.  And I miss it more and more.  I realize now, that even when I find something funny, I have a hard time laughing at it.  I wonder, is laughing a skill that one learns and forgets?  Or is laughing something that, with enough pain, too difficult to bring back?  Either way, I want it back!  I love to laugh…or at least I used to!  I used humor at work all the time, I was known for it and it worked! I do not know how to get it back, but I do know I am going to work at it.

It seems I’ve made a list for myself:  Keep my butt in the chair; Make observation time; Keep my dream in front of me; Find the balance; Re-learn how to laugh again.

Okay, I’m exhausted just looking at the list!   Is it nap time, yet?

Social Graces Gone Awry

“Cell phones only inhibit everyone’s social skills.”  “Smart phones are making everyone imbeciles.” And my favorite:  “Kids today can’t talk to anyone face-to-face, they can’t write in whole words and there is no use expecting them to have respect for anyone.”

Now, I think these are some pretty harsh statements, but I have heard them all within the past two or three weeks, and from different people. I agree there has been a profound impact on society since the cell phone, bur really, since the smart phone and social networking.  I see some huge advantages of social networking, and yes I will be posting this to Facebook when I its complete!  There have been days that my only interaction with others has been through Facebook, not by choice but by circumstance.  And I have met some very nice people through Facebook, that I would never have met in any other way. Of course, you can feel it coming, there is a downside.  Like getting together with friends and the entire evening one of them is on Facebook “chatting.”  It is curious to me…why would someone go out with friends, only to not interact with them?  Why does someone pretend to be interacting with the person(s) they are with, when in actuality, they are “with” their social network on Facebook?  Or, for that matter, why does someone  text others, surf the net or play games when in a social situation?  When this happens to me, it screams “You are boring me, but I feel I have to be with you, so I am going to ignore you and do something else.”

Maybe this is just because I grew up without these devices, although I am pretty much into all the latest gadgets. I had a cell phone as soon as they came out, in a reasonable size, in the early 1990’s. I cannot tell you how many I have had since then, but I know I’ve had at least three iPhones. I am on my second iPad, my third Kindle, etc.  I say this only to let you, the reader, know that I may not have grown up with “gadgets” but I have fully embraced them!  I feel lost if I leave my cell phone at home.  I’ve always put it on the table next to me so I would be sure to see it.  I’ve texted people while playing cards and, yes, I have gone on Facebook just to “see what’s happening.” And for all those times, I am sorry.  I never meant to say that I was bored or that you were not important. I realize now how it must have felt.   From now on, when I am with friends, I will leave it in my pocket. I will ignore it when it rings, text or call.  I know what it feels like when someone your with takes a call or answers a text…”this is more important that you…”

I have found myself taking my iPad, iPhone and whatever other “i’s” I can find with me to places I know I need them.  Places where I know, or at least history has taught me, that this will be the activity at some point.  I hate being the “if you can’t beat them join them” type…I’ve always been the “rebel,” and I am much more comfortable with that role. But sometimes, you know you are beat.  After all, I looked up one afternoon when I didn’t have my electronic companions, and everyone in the room was engrossed in their iPad or Kindle. After an hour or so of just watching them, I chose to go home.  It was only Christmas after all…a time for family and fellowship.  I’m guessing that has become something we do electronically now?