Good Morning


I am, to begin with, feeling better. It’s been a long couple of months, and I don’t think it’s over entirely. However, I seem to be back on an even keel, having dumped stressors off my plate with wild abandon until things… got worse. There’s nothing like having the prospect of Very Bad Things to give you perspective on your own minor complaints. I do best, always have, under demand. Not, you might note, under pressure. No, I need a deadline (a meaningful one) and I need to be needed

So. Back to the blogging. It’s going to be frothy, most days. I’ll be doing this most mornings before work. This morning, on a weekend, I have my coffee and my happy lamp shining on me pretending to be sunshine and hopefully fooling my brain, and I’ve warmed up with my MGC post. Not to mention my Youtube live chat last night. I started doing the video chats as a way to connect without writing essays, and I’m finding they feed my soul in ways I had forgotten I needed. I’ll continue those, every Friday evening at roughly 7:30 EST (time is negotiable, I’m open to suggestions, with the caveat that it cannot be before 5:30 pm EST on a weekday). 

My sister and I were chatting (which is, of and in itself, a marvelous thing that has been a blessing of 2020) and one of the things we touched on was this: you can be hungry for people. If 2020 taught society nothing else, I think it has shown us how much isolation is bad for the human psyche. As far back as late Fall of 2019 I was researching the effects of isolation on a person. Most of the studies, at that time, had been done on the elderly. As you age, you tend to come adrift from your social group. Friends die, family moves away. When this happens, the human body begins to deteriorate. This last year has shown us this is true, in horrific ways we will likely not fully understand for years to come. 

Staying connected, then, is not only a matter of mental well being, but of the physical as well. Your brain will literally break down under the influence of loneliness. I’m not going to let that happen. Not to me, not to any one of you reading this. If I can reach through the screen with my words, and my voice, and my face, I’m going to give you a cyber hug and hold onto you. I’m… 

I’m not superwoman. That’s another lesson from last year. I spent November and December struggling mightily. But if I can do some small service to my friends, and family, I will. The videos? I learned that listening to my friends Old NFO (who writes as JL Curtis) and Lawdog on their twice-weekly chats made my face smile and my heart sing. Which bothered a certain crusty old gentleman who likes to think of himself as a curmudgeon when I told him that. However, it’s a natural and normal thing. Voices are, after all, our first interaction with other humans. We begin to listen while still in the womb. We only start to see faces after we emerge into this cold hard world. The human voice is the most basic, normal, joyful thing we can attach to, when we are afraid and alone. 

There’s people out there. 

Which brings me to why I’m not on Facebook much (and only that for the writing group and art group) right now. Even with serious curation of my newsfeed over there, it’s unmanageable and, well, you can’t reason with the mob. You can talk to an individual person. Which is what I’m doing right now. Hi! Come comment on posts! Let’s start a rational dialogue about… any topic under the sun. 

I’m on MeWe, and that’s like moving to the kid’s table from the adult’s table. Where the ‘adults’ are, there’s a lot of drinking and anger and politics and bleah. Over at MeWe? We’re having long chats about trucks and goats and gas mileage and apple butter and the best concealed carry belts and all manner of whatever. It’s a lot like the old chatrooms where six conversations were going on at once, and if you don’t keep up it’s wildly confusing but also amusing and just juggling all of them at once is a great way to hone your brain. 

Why? Because I enjoy having good company, and I am literally not allowed to have any human interaction outside my own house IRL. That was a direct order from my boss this last week. It’s… unpleasant. But I can’t change that. What I can do is speak into the void. If voices come back out at me, we can talk about learning how to knit. ‘Cause as I said in the video chat yesterday, that’s my next goal. If I can find time around work, and writing, and art, and all the other things have in front of me at my art desk. Like the polymer clay I got with a Christmas giftcard.

Ooh! Shiny! 

Speak with you soon. In text or video. Remember: you need voices in your life. Don’t let the silence fall over you and smother you with loneliness. 


14 thoughts on “Good Morning

  1. Well I’ll get on MeWe when I can. App is down and I presume it’s from overloaded servers like paler was last night. Enjoyed the cast.

    1. The servers seem to be better this morning. Last night both apps were all but non-responsive. And no need to do so on my account – I plan to be more active here, and on the live broadcasts. I was getting lazy with the ease of social media.

      1. Social media certainly makes it faster to get your thoughts down for sure.
        I pretty much was already going to get one because of other reasons but you were the final straw.
        Still swirling circle of death on the app but oh well. Didn’t realize until I moved how isolated I was and oppressive the liberal town I lived in was for me mentally. Always having to keep my mouth shut to get along at work or my gaming store when I wanted to socialize. If I had lived there last year my life would have been hell but because of my move to be with my gf and her family it’s been relatively unaffected.

        1. I’m so glad you made that move, then. We hear how bad echo chambers are, but we need the safety to be able to speak freely. That’s the only way to truly connect, and to formulate our positions more solidly through debate.

  2. I’m on MeWe. I’m also blogging (semi-) regularly. I’ve mostly dumped FB because it keeps crashing my browser and/or my computer (though in hindsight, that may very well be my dying hard drive…). Honestly, until 2017, I was a teacher at a local university. I got more social interaction, but that honestly made me feel a hell of a lot more isolated–the only sane person surrounded by a mass of crazies. I was really sad when I was told there weren’t any sections for me for the next semester, but after I got that message, I felt like a huge weight had come off my shoulders. I’m much happier as a (mostly-hermit) housewife and writer (when the health issues allow).

    I’m a music addict (honestly, mostly hard rock and metal–they actually discuss hard topics in their music, unlike pop). Always have been. I’ve always got music going–while I’m writing, reading, cleaning, cooking…and I’ve passed it on to my kids (although, if it’s an option, they will have the TV going, instead). It says something about me that I’m honestly no more isolated now than I was before the covidiocy started. But while I *am* somewhat isolated, I’ve never *felt* isolated because of the voices in the music. I know it doesn’t work for everyone like that, but it’s something that might serve as a little extra boost.

    1. The ‘voices in the music’ is a great phrase! I enjoy music and use it to manipulate (that may be the wrong word) my moods. Like when I want to write combat – Sabaton! – or get myself to cheer up a bit, I find suitable music.

      I think we are connected on Mewe, I’ll check.

  3. I’m just slowly losing it. Working from home is great, actually, because I can get more sleep, even with going to bed at the same time. It’s everything else. The sense of not being in contact with folks other than my wife and son. I like to talk to people. I really can’t do that anymore. I’m actually afraid to see how high my blood pressure is right now.

    It also seems that, according to me wife, I’m contrary all the time, which angers both her and my son. So, I guess I can’t disagree anymore.

    But hey, life will get better. I hope.

      1. Zoom is not a bad idea actually. I totally wish your job hadn’t gotten so STUPID. I work for a contractor as you know and the FEDS aren’t requiring such nonsense.

        1. I’m cursed with the ability to see both sides of things. So on one hand I feel like the collar is being welded on and the shackles clasped. On the other, lawsuits, even trivial ones, are a drain on time and money and are far too easily done to corporate America in hopes of shaming businesses into payouts. So the overly stupid responses to the pandemic are mostly CYA by management that does not have to live by their own rules.

          This too, will pass. Most likely by my finding another job that doesn’t feel like they own me body and soul.

          1. I understand the need for caution in the workplace, and yep, I think that most of the pandemic responses are CYA, but there are issues with peoples’ health, so it’s a Catch-22 most times.

      2. Thanks for the kind words. I’ll probably take you up on the offer for just talking, or at least, writing. 🙂

    1. I think people who are too much in the same area all the time are bound to get on each others’ nerves no matter what. Is there anyway y’all can separate physically for any length of time? Also stress magnifies any aggravation and last year was stressful.

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