We’re all secretly hoping for the same thing
The other day I had a phone conversation with “Joe”. A 76 year old Ataxia patient.
Joe learned I had started Philadelphia’s first Ataxia Support Group and wanted to connect. He was diagnosed with Ataxia 14 years ago. The disease has slowly impaired his balance, speech, and strength. Joe tells me his daughter yells at him for little things– like walking up the stairs when no one is one.
Then Joe asks about the agenda of our first meeting.
Currently my agenda is a “working one”– which sounds better than “I don’t know.”
I tell Joe I founded the support group because I really want to meet other Ataxia patients. Share stories. Connect.
“You know something,” said Joe, “14 years with Ataxia and I have never meet another Ataxia patient.”
This is my 426 blog post. 5 years of writing.
And I’m starting to learn that life’s potential (and a blog’s potential) is dependent on the connections you make.
Sure, after a hard day we want to make like a country song and runaway–find a pickup truck with a dog tucked in the front seat, an empty road, and just drive until the wheels fall off.
Now you may have a bumper sticker that says, “The more people I meet the more I love my schnauzer” but the truth is–human connections are the most important force in our life.
Research has found a lack of social connection is a greater detriment to our health than obesity, smoking, and high- blood pressure.
But let’s be honest– the older we get the harder it’s to meet people.
My kids are quick to make friends at the trampoline park as I sit on the bench next to the parents silently scrolling through Facebook. In the age of connection, connection has proven difficult. Especially for the adults in the room, who often lack the courage, confidence and nerve to connect.
I’ve never meet Joe before but after our conversation, after I hung up the phone–I felt happy, comforted that someone out there knows how I feel.
Connection is internal. You can feel emotionally close to someone you don’t see often or even someone who has died. This is our shared humanity. That we recognize and value our connections despite our separations.
Physically is not necessary for such connection.
However connection does require a little courage, a little confidence, and a little adventure on your part. But take comfort in knowing we’re all farting around* between going to work and country stations and trampoline parks and blog posts secretly hoping to find some connection.
*Homage my favorite Kurt Vonnegut quote– We are put on earth to fart around, don’t let anyone tell you any different.
My 2020 resolution is to learn more about and practice more forgiveness. There is growing research that forgiveness is the key to a happier and healthy life. Check out my forgiveness journey and share with someone you think may be interested.
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