THE CONNECTION CONNECTION

Today was a good day.  I wish I could say that about every day but today, indeed, was a good day.  Nothing particularly good happened to me and, in fact, the day started out really crappy.  I had train troubles this morning that made me 20 minutes late for a very important client meeting.  I spent the entire train ride uncomfortable and stressed about how late I would be and how the client would handle it.  I tried to reassure myself that this is New York City and everyone is late so it would not be the end of the world.  But, I fretted nonetheless.  So, that’s where it began.  Not such a good day.

The meeting went off well.  No one seemed all too concerned that I was late and, in fact, it was forgotten moments after I sat down at the conference table.  From there I went to a lunch meeting which was interesting and insightful (and tasty) and then spent a few hours meeting with a new colleague.  Nothing too extraordinary but – to me – a very good day.

I often underestimate the power that connecting with other people has.  As someone who spends a great deal of time sitting alone in an office with a headseat attached to my head and fuzzy slippers on my feet, Facebook is often the closest I come to true personal interaction throughout my day.  When I began my self-employed life and started working from home full-time, I really thought I would love the freedom that came from getting to work when I wanted, not having to get dressed, put on makeup, commute on the train, wait in line for my morning coffee, hustle and bustle on the streets of NYC, be distracted by co-workers who wanted to chat, etc, etc.  What I did not realize was that all of those annoyances were actually part of my connection to the world.  Getting dressed every day gave me a presence and confidence that sweats and an oversized sweatshirt do not similarly exude.  The train ride gave me time to think quietly, listen to music, read the paper or nap.  The line at Starbucks allowed me to people watch, chat with others, or continue to daydream and think about my day.  The hustle and bustle kept my heart pumping and, while I often cursed the rude behaviors of many on the NYC streets, I also encountered some of my most memorable moments watching the oddest things happen on those streets.  And, of course, the co-workers, while they too often kept me from getting my work done, they provided ample amounts of laughter, tears, moral support, gossip and, often, deep, meaningful friendships.  Now, it is just me and Facebook.

I do love the freedom I have in my new life and I find that I get much more work done, am less stressed in the morning and get to see more of my kids.  But, it is days like today when I have great connections with people and find myself remembering what it is like to learn about myself through my interactions with others, that I realize the importance of the human connection.  We now live in a world where being virtual is the way to be.  Everything can be done electronically and, while I simply LOVE that about life today, I often get caught up in the virtual, voyeuristic world of being only electronically connected.  I can learn about all my “friends”, see their photos, check out what they have been up to and who they are talking to without ever having to pick up the phone or leave my house.  I can share intimate aspects of my life, check in at every destination and let strangers know more about me than my husband sometimes does (although he is on Facebook now too so he is in the loop).  I like that about my life but I miss my connections.  I miss people’s facial expressions.  I miss giggling with friends until I cannot breathe.  I miss getting into work and realizing that I have a stain on my sweater and needing to run out to Lord & Taylor to get something to wear before my afternoon meeting.  I miss running down to the salad place for lunch where we bitched about everything from the boss to the weather to the new woman who drives us nuts.

Today was a really good day because I am very fortunate to work with some amazing people.  I am very fortunate to have interesting clients and do interesting work with them.  Today was a really good day because, while I did not giggle until I could not breathe and I did not run down to the salad place to bitch about the boss, I had meaningful human connections and I know that tomorrow morning I can sleep in and wear my jammies to work.

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