"A Christian should be an Alleluia from head to foot." - St. Augustine
I'm about 12% Alleluia on any given day, but I'm working on it.

Renewed and Reflecting

What graces flowed this weekend at Mom’s Day Away!

I admit: I originally came for the celebrity friend encounters. “I’ll get to meet Hallie, and Rachel, and Kate, and Simcha, and Danielle, and Pat, (and there will be some talks and stuff), and I’ll get to see Melanie and Jen and stay with my friend Scotch Meg, and we’ll all hang out after the retreat, and it will be so relaxing…”

But, of course, it was much, much more. I’ll be reflecting on the three talks by Danielle, Jennifer, and Rachel in later posts, but my overall feeling about the conference is one of tremendous gratitude for the chance to spend time with these wonderful women and to really confront some questions I’ve been shoving under the carpet  like yesterday’s Legos.

The two-by-four that whomped me on the head, epiphany-wise, was how much my own failure to nurture a real-life support system here has been hurting me and my family. I’d hear speakers and fellow guests say things like:

“I got on the phone to my sister and told her…”
“In talking to my spiritual director, I learned that…”
“At our women’s prayer group, we have been discussing…”

And my knee-jerk response is: I don’t need any of that soft-focus waterfall women’s sharing times stuff. It doesn’t matter. I’m an only child, I’m used to being a lone wolf…ess, and none of that stuff really matters.

Sure, I am far from my family, and homeschooling’s been very isolating, but it doesn’t matter.

Okay, so we’re moving again and I’m going to have to start from ground zero with making friends, but no biggie. It doesn’t matter. I’m good at saying hi to people. It’ll be fine.

So I have no babysitter or local help with the kids, but it doesn’t matter. Whatever. I don’t care. I don’t care if my husband is gone for work all the time. There’s nothing I can do about it, so I just don’t care.

There’s no point in acknowledging my lack of a support system, because it doesn’t matter, because if it matters, then I might feel all the more stressed out once I admit this is a problem. Ergo: it doesn’t matter. Not a problem.

In fact, it’s probably best to further pull back from the friendships I’ve made and tug those little roots right out of the ground, because then it will be easier to start from scratch.

Nothing really matters. That’s serenity, right? Accept the things you maybe cannot change, then simmer? IT’S NOT LIKE I’M BITTER OR ANYTHING.

You probably do not need me to spell this out, but: WRONG. I am neither a rock nor an island.

More thoughts to come, particularly on the topic of how comparing ourselves to other women can tear us down in so many ways.

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Comments

  1. that is why I wear a pink hat for a team I don’t follow :)

    I look forward to the rest of your reflections.

    • Dorian Speed says:

      Will you still be my Internet friend if I admit I don’t understand your comment?

      Wait – do you have a pink Braves cap?

  2. Ugh. Yes. Try being an introvert and moving and trying to make new friends. I get it. Why is it that we don’t get together more often?

    • Dorian Speed says:

      I don’t know! Because I don’t want to bug you, because you’re busy? Lay it all on me. I can take it.

      I think “neurotic extrovert” works out much the same on paper as “introvert.”

      • eh, everyone’s busy. I might be the teensiest bit lazy. Or sneezy. Or some other dwarves.

        By the way I check “comment luv” and nothing happens. No luving.

        • Dorian Speed says:

          Hee hee hoo hoo OH it hurts to laugh with this stupid cough…

          I think I’m Grumpy dwarf, hands down.

          And “comment luv” is a think that lets other bloggers link to their own posts when they leave a comment. If you had a blog (and, gosh, Monica, why the heck don’t you?), a little list of your recent posts would pop up and you could choose the one you wanted to include a link to. There’s the luv.

          Ironically, it doesn’t work for me on this site.

  3. I guess it doesn’t count that I’m your internet buddy does it? I’m a guy!

    So, the weekend was….good?

    • Dorian Speed says:

      Ha ha! Internet buddies are great; guys included.

      (Edited). Yes, the weekend was really great – very much needed.

      I’m also hoping this post doesn’t come across as “I don’t have no friends in Texas!” because what I really mean is that I don’t do enough to nurture those friendships and then I sit around stewing about feeling like I’m out here on my own.

  4. Dorian,

    On the way home from Mom’s day I realized I didn’t get back to talk to you more after our ‘nice to meet you” handshake on Friday night. I am bummed. I wanted to tell you that I like your blog. I like your name too!

    • Dorian Speed says:

      You’re so kind, Daria! And yes, I was hoping to get to visit with you more, too! Maybe we should consolidate into one entity for professional reasons and promote ourselves as “Darian Speedy-Socks.”

  5. What a pleasure to meet the woman behind the sweet avatar and blog! Thanks for our conversations and for making the trip east! Let’s keep the conversation going! :)

  6. You crack me up – I’m the worst – we’ve moved twice in the last 2.5 yrs, and anticipate moving twice more in the next 2.5. I keep thinking “I’ll make friends at the next house…blah blah blah.” Now I’m out of practice. I’m good at saying hi to people, but that’s about it. I volunteered to help with VBS this summer, a feeble attempt to be sociable, but I’m hyperventilating just thinking about the small talk at the planning sessions. Yikes.

    I’m so glad to hear Mom’s Day was such a success – can’t wait to read more about it.

  7. I felt the same way when I first moved up here to NJ: isolated. I didn’t really have friends until my kids started school. It took me 5 years to get friends!!! I saw you wrote that you don’t want to bother people. I’m the same way. I also tend to think i’m not as interesting as other people and therefore why annoy them with my boringness? People like us have really got to push ourselves to develop a support system. It’s so necessary. Especially when our husbands work all the time.

  8. I’m blessed REALLY knowing you, and I look forward to visiting in-person when we can. I do wish we’d had more time chat one-on-one. It was an amazing weekend, but I feel like it was kind of a happy blur.

    Enjoy being home!

  9. Community is very important. It allows us to share in love and friendship. I think there can also be an overboard reaction of living in Catholic Fantasy Bubble while forgetting that we should also be missionaries evangelizing a sick and wounded culture which is also best done through friendship.

    Good post Dorian.

  10. I found myself thinking the exact same thing!!! My husband and I have 2 small children and we have been told that when they hit school-age we will meet a huge group of friends…but what if we homeschool?!? I find that I find it easier to isolate myself completely rather than exert the time and energy to make and keep friends. But hearing Danielle (I think it was Danielle?? Or was it Rachel???)say that we should speak with our close friends rather than subject our husbands to unrealistic expectations sent alarm bells ringing in my head!!

  11. YES. I find myself thinking thoughts like that all the time! We moved to our current town 3.5 years ago, and I know that within the next couple years we’ll be moving again. During the time we’ve been here, I have been a full-time student, a teacher, and now a stay-at-home mom, and although I’ve met nice people through all of it, I’ve made very few close friends. I mope about my lack of support system and about how draining it is to push myself to make friends. It’s hard to be an introverted “lone wolf-ess”! I’m really glad you wrote this because it’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one feeling this way…and also because it’s a great reminder that even when I deny it, I really *do* care and I need to take steps to make myself less isolated, no matter how tiring or terrifying (e.g. small talk) they may be. Thank you for posting this, and many blessings to you as you nurture your real-life support system.

  12. Dorian,

    It was so good to see you again. I think I’m still kind of in denial about the whole support system thing. I mean if there’s not much I can do about it, then why let it upset me? Being pregnant and having a new baby makes it so hard to actually get out and meet people. I mean they’re going to think I’m a big weirdo if I suddenly start nursing my hungry son in front of them right? Easier to just stay home and tell myself that somehow friendships will find me if I just stop looking.

  13. I moved a lot as a kid and have lived overseas with my husband – always knowing we’d be moving on at some point.

    One thing I heard that has helped me is that “you go into the new place the same way you left the old place.” This pushes me to be kind, honest, and genuine with the few people I know now, as the best preparation for making kind, honest, and genuine friends in the new place. As an almost-off-the-scale introvert, this is an easier goal for me than “have x number of genuine friends in x location.”