Hello friends and hello to the April update for my OLW Choose. Last month I wrote about all the choices that post-vaccination life was going to present. Much of my family and many friends are now fully vaccinated. I’ve watched them navigate those complicated choices and arrive at different decisions, some I’m comfortable with and some I’m not. Thankfully, I am seeing a lot of that “grace & space” attitude, which helps. Of course the choices and decision frameworks (and risk tolerance) will continue to evolve. It’s helpful for me to see the word Choose every morning with my coffee to remind me of the agency I have.
This month, I’m shifting gears a bit and focusing on the intentions I set (spelled out on the felt board that sits behind my desk). I wrote on Friday about an “aha moment” (thanks to a friend from my Friday morning small group) to start thinking about the whole of my life – the online relationships fostered through blogging, FaceTime, Zoom, Instagram, and email; the physical interactions with people who live nearby; the time I spend alone with a book … all of it! – as “real life”. The first intention – More Connection – is first for a reason. Through much of 2020, I felt isolated and lonely. I craved connection. It was even an early candidate for my OLW. and then I hit on Choose … and the opportunity to Choose Connection (balanced with those other four intentions) seemed richer.
When faced with choices about which projects to pursue, which books I might read, which groups I might join (or leave), which Zooms I want keep up, where I might start venturing out and meeting up with folks – I’m choosing those that create or nurture Connection.
The books and reading connections have grown dramatically this year. I joined two new Patreon communities that both feature bookclubs (and whoa, those discussions are rich and I’m learning a lot!). I’ve also said “yes” to so many buddy reads and even a 10-15 minute discussion about the book with someone else who read it has been delightful. I’ll be sharing my April reading update next week (hopefully!) and plan to include some year-to-date stats … we’ll see what the data says!
I invited the friend who gifted me that “aha moment” last Friday to meet up for coffee yesterday (we met through small group and haven’t ever done anything other than that – and Sunday church – together). It was wonderful to sit outside for an hour and a half and just talk. We have a lot in common – besides church!
Activities that involve exercise, fresh air, and connection are some of my favorites. I am beyond grateful to be living with a running buddy now! And I will say YES to every single tennis opportunity that I can. Yesterday afternoon a woman from my Spring team called to see if I’d be interested in “just for fun” tennis on Tuesday mornings. YES I would!
Of course More Stillness is second on that list of intentions for a reason. I can’t fill my days (and evenings) with so many connections that I lose track of myself. I am an introvert (I get energy from spending time alone) and an Enneagram One (we like to always be doing). Connecting with myself and my faith are important. More on that another month!
With much gratitude to Carolyn for hosting these monthly meetups, and to y’all for reading. xo.