Tag Archives: friendship

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National Interdependence Day

Some of you read this when I published it a year ago, but I run it again this year because I find I need this reminder. Perhaps you do too. :-)

 

So . . . we just celebrated Independence Day. Fireworks, picnics, lots of hoopla, and lots of red, white, and blue.  Maybe a little watermelon and a burger.

As I prepared to celebrate, my word-nerd self couldn’t help mulling over the meaning of the word, independent. And then, of course, I pulled out my dictionary. Yes, the hard cover copy of my Random House Webster’s College Dictionary.

independent adj. 1. Not influenced or controlled by others; thinking or acting for oneself.  2. Not depending or contingent upon something else. 3. Not relying on another for aid or support.

Lots of that word not. Kind of makes me feel sad. And lonely. Especially when contrasted with another adjective: interdependent.

interdependent adj. mutually dependent; depending on each other

That sounds more inviting, doesn’t it? Like calling a friend during a life-storm and hearing the words, “Don’t worry. I’ve got your back.”

Perhaps we should start a national campaign to launch a new nationwide celebration day: Interdependence Day.

Are you in? 

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Let’s . . . Together

“Let’s do it together.”

My mentor and friend Helen deVette spoke those words to me at a dark time in my life. Depression had settled over me although she didn’t know it.

“Let’s do a journaling class together for the women at the college. I can’t do it by myself. Could you help me?”

That word together bought me hope.

Pulled me out of isolation.
Reminded me I had something to offer other people.
Shouted to me that I had a team.

I just had another encounter with this fabulous word.

I just returned from a NJ visit—not exactly a warm-weather get-away, but one of my favorite destinations. Why? My friend’s kitchen sits in NJ.

Linda and I first met in college, a few years (okay, decades!) ago. While her husband dashed off to Europe to deliver a linguistics paper, the two of us sat in her sun-filled kitchen, while the homemade split-pea soup bubbled.

As I let the layers of responsibility and concern begin to peel off my back, I began to realize that depression once again lurked at my door. Winter has been cold and looong here in Illinois. And dark. My “happy” light helps. But lately I have settled into the basement sofa more and more. I know exercise, diet, and connection time would help. But oh, the sofa feels so comfortable.

So as Linda and I sat in her kitchen I found myself putting words to my inner struggle and confessing to her my need to get moving.

“Let’s do it together,” she said without hesitation.

“While you’re here I’ll show you some of my exercise videos. We can do them together. And I’m doing this online program called My Fitness Pal. It really helps me keep on track. https://www.myfitnesspal.com

So for the next few days, between soup and chocolate covered strawberries, we exercised, laughing at ourselves as we tried to keep up with the perky hosts on exercise videos or patting ourselves on the back after we shoveled ourselves out of a driveway full of 8 inches of snow.

At home now I have my copies of the exercise videos, a myfitnesspal account, and a word ringing in my head: Together.

Somehow, today, the winter feels like it just might end.

Hope.