The Importance of Staying Connected in a World of Social Distancing

by Jeanine Johnson

I don’t think anyone would disagree that the past five months have been a whirlwind.  Our lives were turned upside down and sideways.  Was I anticipating that the Covid pandemic was going to last this long?  No I wasn’t.  As the days went by I found myself drifting away from family and friends.  Regular interaction with co-workers was mostly halted due to the appropriate decisions to have the staff work from home.  Those of you who know me, know that I am a pretty upbeat and positive soul.  I felt like I was starting to lose some of my shine.  Not having any of the normalcy I was used to, that I’ve taken for granted, was starting to wear on me.  Can’t do something as simple as have breakfast at the Diner before I go food shopping.  Oh, and let’s not talk about the whole process of food shopping.  I miss the kids.  I so miss the kids.  They are the best part of my work day. 

I realized I needed to connect.  I needed to bring some of the sunshine and joy back into my life.  I needed some Mung therapy.  Just in case you have never read any of my blogs, Mung is a student that graduated from Easterseals a couple of years ago.  I bonded with him and his family while he was a student here and we have kept in touch.  Usually meeting up a couple times a year for an outing.  So grateful to his family for sharing him with me.  For his summer break I had planned to meet up with him, take the ferry from Penn’s Landing, go to the Camden Aquarium and feed him to the sharks.  Ok, I wasn’t going to feed him to the sharks.  Unfortunately, circumstances squashed my plans.  I thought about it.  If I’m feeling disconnected, how must it feel for the kids.  It was time for me to get selfish.  Time to bring a little unexpected sunshine into his life.  Selfish because this would probably bring me more joy than he would get out of it.  I have a little inexpensive pick-me-up I use on occasion.  It is a Cookie Card.  Its $6.00, shipping included.  You get to send one cookie in a decorated box with your message on the label.  I got so excited at the prospect of bringing joy that it helped bring that spark back.  I couldn’t wait for it to be delivered.

I didn’t have to wait long before I got a text with a picture and two videos of him thanking me aka “Wonder Woman” and Autumn (my daughter) aka “Bat Man”.  He said that he loves and misses us.  It was so nice to hear.  I realize that you can start to lose yourself if you become too disconnected from the world and each other.  We have to get used to a “new normal” and have to rebalance how that makes us feel, find the positives and take joy in the little things.  It’s been real trying, but we’ll be stronger because of it.

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