Saturday, 8 August 2015

On Being Disconnected

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Life here Beyond My Picket Fence is at full tilt.  Things in the classroom are feeling more settled - for me, and for the kids.  My own kids are valiantly holding up the dinner end of the day like the complete and utter champions they are.  Despite being busy and tired and getting home later than I have ever done since.....well....ever, I am discovering there is one major downside to working full-time:  being disconnected from your people.

We had parent-teacher interviews for Miss Mischief the other night.  Year 12's have them earlier than everyone else, because they're nearly finished with their coursework for the year.  And as we sat with each of her teachers I realised how much I miss my tribe.  We had to catch up with each other before we could catch up about Miss Mischief.  I've missed that I can't just pop into the Library and chat with my very dear friend, who is the Library Tech.  And I can just have a spur-of-the-moment cuppa with my friend up the road, or have a quick five-minute chat in the car park after school.  And a weekday breakfast with my book club gals is now off the table.  I just feel a bit disconnected, and I'm not sure how to go about getting that back.  I desperately need my tribe.  They are my go-to people when things are great, and not great and everything in between.  They are the people we pop in on spontaneously when we have a couple of hours to kill.  The people we have dinner with.  The people we camp with.  The people we celebrate our family accomplishments with.  We all need a tribe to belong to.  We have had a period of time when we were practically tribe-less and it was a pretty lonely kind of place to be.

But how does one keep connected to their tribe when their days are full in a place that is away from their tribe?

1 comment:

Susan Zimmerman said...

Be patient. A new rhythm will emerge. You'll also find which of those of your tribe are most important to maintain a new type of relationship. And you will always be most grateful for those with whom you can chat, and it feels like you haven't missed a moment of time together even though it may have been awhile since you last were together. Best of all, you'll connect with new tribe members from your current situation; they'll become a part of your tribe, and you won't remember what it was like before they were a part of your life.

I returned to work part-time a two summers ago. I felt exactly like you describe here.

The best gift I gave myself was time to be a little sad about the change. Then I made a promise to myself that I would make regular contact with a few the members of the tribe that I just couldn't imagine leaving behind because of the change of rhythm in my life.

It actually feels good two years later to have narrowed the focus of my friendships. It's rewarding to have a part-time career that fills me with pride and friendships that might be fewer in number but greater in depth.

Be patient with yourself. Remember to be kind to yourself. You'll be ok. I promise.