Take Your Medicine

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On Wednesday, I enjoyed a visit from a thirty-two-year-old friend and her two-year-old daughter. We wandered into the sunroom, gently corralling the child in that direction. To get on eye-level with the curly-headed cutie, who I adore, I plopped down on the floor. I was excited to see what would happen next.

Before they arrived, I had placed several new items in the toy basket. I wondered if my intuition about what would interest toddlers was still in tune. I felt joy when she found and began ringing the owl bell, though it was loud enough that I also thought to myself, “What was I thinking adding something so noisy?”

Despite our four-decade age difference, my friend and I immediately shared stories about what we’ve been thinking and feeling and found that we have been experiencing similar emotions and concerns.

I noticed a slight feeling of overwhelm trying to listen and interact with both mother and daughter. I’d forgotten how much energy a two-year-old has! Her mother maintains eye contact with me except when she is answering a question from or giving attention to her offspring. Her body language is one of openness and relaxation. She comments that she loves the comfortable chair she chose instead of sitting on the floor with us.

We laugh. She tells me the stresses of her job and how difficult it is to calm her nervous system after work. I commiserate. I tell her about my own struggles with self-confidence especially when it comes to writing. She responds by saying she has been having a crisis of confidence. I love the conciseness of her phrase and nod. I agree that at times, my struggle with self-confidence has the makings of a crisis of confidence, especially when it comes to my career as a writer.

 Despite everything happening in the room, I feel heard. I listen, trying not to get distracted watching all the action.  

As the morning unfolds, I feel secure in learning, once more, that connections with others are vital for my wellbeing. I’m so thankful for this time with my friend and her daughter.

It’s like medicine for loneliness, this heart-to-heart connection. Have you taken this medicine lately?

IMAGE: New pot on back deck that brings me so much joy I wanted to share it with you!

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