Updated: Feb 14, 2021
I’m the world’s worst at reaching out to connect with others. I never thought I was an introvert, but recently I’ve become a homebody. If I’m honest, lately I’ve been weary and tired so much of the time that my default setting is to stay home when I’m not working at our farm. To say I’ve been in a funk is an understatement.
This past Sunday friends made the trek from McKinney to join us for an outdoor brunch at our farm. While I’m so grateful to have a place where people can come out and enjoy time with family or a few close friends, I rarely make this a priority in my own life.
Sunday morning I was feeling tired and overwhelmed, even tearful, which isn’t like me at all. As my husband, Houston drove us to our property, less than 20 minutes away, I knew I didn’t have anything to give. How could I make brunch, engage in conversation and encourage our friends when I felt so empty and lifeless?
As it turned out, I shouldn’t have been worried. While I chopped ingredients and Houston started a fire, Susan and Dennis cooked over a Coleman stove and mixed our brunch beverages. They encouraged me just by being there, but also through our conversation. We ate, we laughed. We walked over to introduce them to our Kunekune pigs grazing happily in their daytime enclosure.
My lethargy and feelings of being depleted were soon replaced with something that was just the opposite. The time with friends on a windy, but sunny Sunday afternoon energized and blessed me. I left our time together feeling like my tank had been filled. I even had energy to do some chores when we returned home. And four days later, I’m still waking up not dreading the day, something that had become commonplace.
It’s easy to be blue these days. Quarantines and social distancing make connecting with family and friends challenging. Some of us need to see a therapist; some of us need to be on medication. But all of us need to be connected to others. Whether we choose to do that virtually or face to face - six feet away - it’s important. Personally, I’m finding that being outside with others, in the elements, where there’s a sense of unpredictability is life giving in a way that being in a controlled environment cannot be. So here’s my encouragement: Take a walk with a friend. Share a picnic in an open space. Have a coffee date on the sidewalk outside your favorite cafe. But whatever you do, keep connecting with others. You’ll be so glad you did.
This piece first appeared in Sherry’s column, “Finding Myself in a Small Town” in the 02/06/21 Corsicana Daily Sun.