Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Social transitions or back-to-work

Tomorrow I go back to work for the school year. My life is going to suddenly be very busy. I love my job. Working with kids is great. Not easy but always fun, challenging, and often rewarding. Two weeks after work resumes I will also start taking 6 hours at college. This is towards teacher certification. When that happens I will have to prioritize between social opportunities and my responsibilities for the classes. Socializing is stress release for me. It is also part of my present self-stroking system. To culminate the changes that are happening for me socially, my "life group" is ending and will morph into a different group or a different night. So changes are happening right and left.

For many people, certainly for me, having others desire our company and sharing activities of mutual interest says we are OK. Someone commented to me yesterday that mankind is a social animal. He was so right! When I find myself without social activities I get depressed and lonely beyond belief. I also find myself doing a lot of self blame for things that mostly say, "if I don't have friends to go see it is because I am not worthy of them." This isn't true. I AM worthy of having as a friend. I share many of the traits that I value in my friends. I am intelligent, well educated, interesting, caring and have a good sense of humor. Socially I try to put my friends needs before my own when I can. I let my friends know when I appreciate them and why.

Still, it is with some trepidation that I am watching my world shift to meet the needs of job and schooling. I will still have church on Sundays, reunion group twice a month, and the life group can be different. I also have a few social connections that have nothing to do with church or faith and will probably start using them more. This is going to work out better than I am fearing. God has been so good at putting what I need in my life lately that surely he will continue to do so. Then again He may be letting me learn how to function well in solitude.

Solitude can be good or bad depending on your circumstances. When my marriage broke up it was horrible. When I am dealing with stuff, or have had too many people around (yes it happens sometimes) then it is vital. Making solitude a choice when we would rather be doing something else can be hard. If you are ok within your own skin then you can do that without a second thought. Doing it when you aren't is hard and sometimes impossible as you fight with your own self esteem. Phone companies know this. Why do you think they used the phrase "reach out and touch someone" in advertising to such good advantage? Well, I like reaching out but I don't want to feel that I just have to. So this year I am going to be working on something for myself. I am going to be seeking to improve my comfort within my own skin. I am going to seek to love solitude for the things it can give me.

Maybe this ties into that independance dance I did on Saturday. Maybe it is a chance to grow to appreciate myself more. Maybe that is the independance that someone commented about on my last post. Whatever happens with this I know that it will lead to self discovery. And since that is part of what I am doing with this blog I hope the results will provide food for thought and hopefully discussion.


Susan Palwick said...

Good luck with all this! I'm going through similar transitions -- especially in terms of the school year starting again -- so I can relate!

danielinamerica said...

interesting blog dude, i like how you are so honest, so otheres can learn from your experience

Lee said...

Thanks Daniel. I find that writing this actually helps me learn the things I am thinking about better than just sitting and thinking. (g)