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Social Tinkering in Vermont and Beyond

Today I've decided to start a blog. Before COVID-19 I had big plans to start a new kind of social club. A social club that took 3 years of researching and thinking and exploring, but that I was finally about to launch. And then the coronavirus hit the world like a brick making it incredibly obvious how connected we are to each other across this little globe while simultaneously breaking to pieces every crack that's barely been holding together in our society. Suddenly, everyone is either working from home or has lost their work and paycheck completely, children can no longer go to school, all non-essential travel is halted in many states, we can no longer hangout with friends and have to keep a 6 foot distance any time someone else is around us, and worst of all many, many people are sick and dying. Needless to say, my social club organization that I was just about to finally get off the ground, came to a screeching halt. That is fine. I'm just grateful to be able to stay home and take care of my family and try to maintain some resemblance of normal for my kids.


So, I have been planning on continuing to work in the background on my social club project so that when this is all over I will be ready to help everyone come together in person again. During this time, I've been trying to figure out how I can work to pull people together online or via phone or video to help everyone remember how much we need each other to be happy and healthy. This morning, I woke up broken down and angry and just wanting to throw my hands in the air and go hide. My therapy appointment was scheduled for this morning and I tried to hide from that too, but my kind therapist gently coaxed me out from my corner kicking and screaming inside, and helped me remember that times like this is when we need each other the most. I'm usually the cheery, positive one, checking in on everyone, making sure everyone is doing okay and seeing what I can do to help. Today, I couldn't. I woke up fed up with the world, angry and pissed off and just done. Well, thankfully I have people around me who come and check on me to make sure I'm doing okay too.


After being reminded that we all need to keep showing up and supporting each other, (I can't believe I forgot that, no matter how temporary. This is my freaking life mantra for god's sake!), I've decided to create a blog. I'm working on the website for Social Tinkering still and the blog will be part of that when I'm ready to put it all out there. For now though, I'm going ahead with the blog portion so that I have a space to write and to reach out to those who feel like reading it. I will write about the importance of social support and human connection, about preventing social isolation and all the negative health effects it can have on a person, a community, and a society. I am not a Psychologist, a social worker, or a mental health expert of any kind in certification form. I am simply a person who is good at bringing people together. I am a person who lived many years of my life in a socially isolated, damaging, situation, and who has thankfully found after a long time, a social support network that has helped me to heal and grow and be successful. I am a social connector and people organizer.


I hope you will join me and that you will maybe even invite your friends and family to do so also, so that we may help each other remember that we are all connected and we all need each other in order to thrive and be healthy. If we cannot be together in person right now, at least we can be together online, over the phone, and in spirit.


"Community is first of all a quality of the heart. It grows from the spiritual knowledge that we are alive not for ourselves, but for one another."

Henri J.M. Nouwen


Sending you all much love and peace, your friend,


Jeanette

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