For years I spent my time on Facebook following celebrities, leaving comments on friends’ posts, dropping an occasional meme, and once in a blue moon posting pictures or posts of my own. I didn’t really take too much time out of my day for groups or anything like that, but this year… yeah, this year I’m all about the groups. First it was the “Higher Ed and the Coronavirus” group, then it was the “Back to the Future (Trilogy) Fans” group, then I added the “Public Service Loans Forgiveness” group, and I’ve been very active reading and responding to comments I find fascinating in each of these groups.
I’m not quite sure why it didn’t really matter to me before to join groups or to engage with others, but I think I know why I’m doing it now. I’m home all the time. Sometimes I’m afraid to go out for fear that the virus will catch me, or that I will catch the virus. Occasionally I just don’t feel like going out in public. I wear my sweats all the time. I stare at a screen for two-thirds of the day (since I’m now teaching virtually). I’ve grown a beard. I’m not sure how functional I would even be in society right now.
But I’ve been writing, because that’s what I do. I wrote the novel last month, but even before that, over the summer, I wrote the trilogy of books that precedes the November novel, and I’ve been ecstatic over all of that creative energy unleashed. I’ve also been writing to these groups, and getting responses from people who share the same interests as I do, and it feels really good just to reach out (even if it’s just virtually). I’ve developed a greater appreciation for connecting with others any way I can.
I feel like sometimes we moan because we can. We waste our time not appreciating what we have. We give in to the urge to complain and whine about our lives. But this is what we get. We can either embrace it, try to make it better, or give up, and I cannot give up. I can appreciate my talents, I can appreciate the talents and words of others, and I can give this life thing a shot. Sure, I’m still worried, but I’ve never felt as much a part of a community as I do now.
I’ll take it.