Tag Archives: connection

things to buy on a market

All about the Shoes

Something about a pile of shoes by the front door just makes me grin. Maybe you feel that way too.

Shoes

The pile reminds me that people have come into my home and decided to relax and enter into whatever happens within our walls. They have chosen connection over a myriad of other options.

It also tells me that my “tribe” has gathered. These are my “peeps.” We belong together whether by blood or by choice. We have chosen to take the time to talk and listen and laugh together. We know each other and stand as witnesses to each others’ lives.

The random pairs of shoes tossed on top of each other also illustrates that life lived together can look and feel messy. As we pop into each others’ spaces, we don’t always do it with perfect manners or precise, kind words. (And sometimes, let’s face it, just like a pile of shoes, we do carry with us a certain, well, odor.)

Connection is still worth it, don’t you think?

Hope you find some kick-your-shoes-off-and-connect time this summer. :)

And speaking of connection, don’t forget that we are celebrating friendship here on the blog in August in honor of International Friendship Day on August 7. Every Monday in August I will share with you a Storm Sister story from a reader.

If you have a Storm Sister and want to tell me about her, even in just a sentence or two, I would love to send you both a FriendChips calendar and tell your story in August. Just reply to this blog in the comment section.

FriendChips

 

socialmedia

Personal Pain on Social Media?

I hit a rough patch recently. We all do, right?

So how do we navigate these challenging times, these moments that take our breath away and make us feel weak and inadequate?

And, for those of us who maintain a social media presence, how do we talk or not talk about these moments in the public forum?

Sharing grief on social media can help navigate loss, or so say some experts.

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/4784659

http://www.newsweek.com/parting-such-tweet-sorrow-245058

Both these articles talk about the power of connection social media can provide—an antidote to the isolation that grieving, struggling people often seek.

But how do we talk about our pain and sorrow on a social media without whining, without giving details that might hurt others, or without giving more information than people have time to read?

I chose to mention my rough patch in vague terms, and I also stated that I could not/should not share details.

Best approach? Not sure.

But I wanted to let readers (you!) know that my life contains struggle just as it also contains joy. No perfect life here.

I also wanted to protect myself and those I love by not saying things that would live forever on the Internet, long after this rough patch passes.

I also opted out of social media for a period in order to “circle the wagons” with a few close flesh-and-blood friends and gain perspective. And, in true introvert fashion, I needed long stretches of quiet to think, read, and pray.

Thank you for understanding. Thank you for not asking for details. BUT thank you for being there.

“I’m praying.”

“Want to have lunch?”

“Be sure you aren’t isolating.”

One of you reminded me: “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
 they shall mount up with wings like eagles; 
they shall run and not be weary; 
they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

Thank you, Dear Readers, for hearing my pain and for drawing me back to God. Thank you for living as Storm Sisters.

Grateful!

cabin

In a Cabin in the Woods

I always thought I wanted one day to live in a little cabin, tucked away in the woods.

Peaceful. Remote. Beautiful.

So I fulfilled that dream for a few days just last week. John and I rented a two-bedroom cabin high in the hills above Evergreen, Colorado. Getting there meant traversing a rutted, steep dirt road. So thankful we had a jeep!

Inside, the cabin did not disappoint. Modern appliances. Running water. Flushing toilet. Cozy rooms. Comfortable sofas.

After the harrowing ride up the mountain the first afternoon, I felt elated at the prospect of big gulps of peace and solitude.

I requested a quiet day the next day. “Let’s just sit and read for a day.” John acquiesced.

So the next morning I pulled out my Kindle. He perused the bookshelves in the cabin. I settled into a comfortable chair. He plopped on the sofa.

Occasionally we read bit to each other from our books or stopped for a snack. Except for these word-filled interludes, all other words spoke only from a page or a Kindle screen.

Ah!

My introverted self recharged. Almost like plugging my phone into an electrical socket. My recharge-meter slowly crept toward 100 percent.

But then something unexpected happened.

By that evening, I became restless. Ironically, my out-going, city-loving husband lay contentedly on the sofa and continued to read.

What had happened to me?

John and I always laugh about how similar we are to the couple in the old TV show, Green Acres. Remember it?

Eva Gabor, a confirmed city-girl comes to live on the farm with Eddie Albert, a confirmed country boy and her new husband.

In the intro to the show every week, Ed sings (while in a three piece suit doing farm chores), “Farm living is the life for me. Land spreading out so far and wide. Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside.”

Eva crones in response, “New York is where I’d rather stay. I get allergic smelling hay. I just adore a penthouse view. Darling, I love you, but give me Park Avenue.”

You can watch the intro here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mbk81X6WHA4

Countless times I’ve teased John about his common bond with Eva Gabor. He loves Manhattan! And I have insisted that I, like Ed, prefer the rural life. Or the wooded, secluded life.

So . . . what happened to make me restless in the woods? Have I morphed into Eva Gabor? Has John morphed into Eddie Albert?

Simply put, I’ve changed.

I have tasted the deep joy of friendship, of living near people, of sharing life together in hard times and not-so-hard time. Storm-sister living.

God has opened my eyes to his good plan of connected living and shown me the richness of living this way.

Isolation no longer holds the appeal for me that it once did. I now crave the laughter around my brother’s dining room table as his family at all ages and stages gathers. I now savor the conversations with our son and his girlfriend at the end of their long work days. I cherish the moments with my friend, Roberta, as we remember together and clean her mother’s house.

People.

So, goodbye rural, isolated life. Hello populated, connected life. Time, I think to embrace my inner Eva Gabor, with an occasional nod to my inner Eddie Albert, of course.

What about you? How would you describe your dream place? How do people play a role in your dream?

I’ll be posting some Colorado photos on my author Facebook page this week if you want to see ‘em: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Aftonrorvik/675391955878827?ref=hl

arrowanim

Times They are A-Changin’

Every September it happens. Kids go back to school. Students arrive back at the college where John works. Days begin to shorten. The temperature starts to drop.

And I struggle.

Back to a quiet house. Back to ???

Some Septembers I have had a place to go, an office. Other Septembers I have had a big freelance editing project. Or a book deadline.

This year? Quiet.

So, as I wrestle with the “What next?” I’ve decided to talk about it. To you. And also to friends over coffee or lunch or a walk around the block. When someone asks, “How are you?” I respond honestly, “I’m in this odd place at the moment. Between things.”

In the admitting comes a sense of release, a letting go of sorting this out by myself.

Over breakfast this morning (ok, guess I’m doing a lot of eating out!), friends laughed with me as we brainstormed some out-of-the-box ideas for what’s next.

Back home now nothing appears different. Still quiet. But I carry with me the laughter and concern of those friends. And I feel carried by connection.

I wonder, would I feel this way, if I had decided to stay mum over breakfast this morning or just talk about the great and wonderful parts of my life or just stay home and skip breakfast?

What do you think?

waterfall

My Favorite Colorado View

On our recent Colorado trip, my husband and I kept saying, “Wow! Can you believe this?”

Snow-capped mountains (in July!).
Streams of mountain runoff nestled among wildflowers.
A lake full of lily pads tucked away in the middle of a forest.
A moose that wandered over to our rented townhouse for breakfast one morning.
A  sunset that seemed to bounce off nearby mountain ranges creating what looked like three different sunsets . . .

Despite all this natural beauty, one of the views, truly, that moved me most each day was this one:

shoes

Silly of me? Overly sentimental? Probably.

But every time I saw that pile of shoes, it reminded me of the people connected to them—people who had come to visit.

A kick-my-shoes-off-and settle-into-the-sofa sort of visit.
A let-us-make-you-a steak-dinner sort of visit.
A let’s-stay-up-late-laughing-and-talking-in-the-hot-tub sort of visit.

Connection.