We were now finding out about our friends and family's every day occurrences via social media. As I continued to scroll through my feed, I wondered when this began. Was it simply the miles between us and some of our friends was just too far, and the maintenance required on any long distance relationship can be tedious and time consuming? It felt like we were watching the death of close relationships, right before our eyes, on social media, because we're now that far away.
It's been a struggle for us since we moved; The Hubby has even contended with his own version of depressional homesickness, something that is only being alleviated by time. Our visits to Lethbridge are few and far between, namely for the reason of finances, but for other reasons too: dogs, work hours, the chaos of getting two young kids packed to go that far away, and probably a couple other good excuses. It hasn't meant that we don't want to be there; we do, but we just can't. It's not feasible.
So we've done our best. We have family on Facebook (I don't even have my own family on Facebook), we make phone calls, and we try to upload pictures as often as we can. Yet, there is this harrowing, exceptionally loud silence that comes between those calls, when we realize that we're in somewhat of a one sided relationship. It's not that we expect our families to drop what they are doing and accommodate our needs, even by phone. That would be juvenile.
It's simply that we want to be close, like we were. Before we were the people who found out family news via our Facebook feed.
We live in this busy world; our personal calendar is lined with school activities, extra curriculars, appointments, and volunteer commitments. We're busy, a lot. All the time. Have we become prone to the ease of social media, that instead of connecting, and I mean truly connecting, we believe that a limited status update is indicative of fueling a relationship with the important players in our lives? Surely not.
"It just stinks that we can count on one hand how often they've made contact with us since we've moved. We both have cell phones, email, the landline. It's not that hard is it?" I asked The Hubby as we were relaxing on Sunday afternoon.
"It's not. It bothers me, but I can't control it. I can't make them want to pick up their phone and talk to us, or understand that visiting is complicated for us. I can't worry about something that they aren't worried about."
I sighed, and wished I could take his solid, hands off, "whatever, dude" approach. When we moved, I think we were possibly naive to think that the solid relationships we'd worked to build would stay that way. In many ways, they weren't going to stay the same, and in some cases, maybe they weren't strong enough to withstand the distance. Maybe, instead of it being that they aren't worried, perhaps we're the ones that look unapproachable with our new lives, and our busyness.
We finished the day, our hands resting gently beside each other, after we'd brought the house back from the brink of destruction, relaxing again, together. Our new normal. Sunday's used to be hustle and bustle, but now we sip our coffee, read our books, play our games, and clean. We catch up with each other. It's a comforting normal, something that feels like it belongs wholly to us. Yet, we miss the chaos of family dinners, and catching up with those people who were...who are still so very important to us.
Now, those times are few and far between.
Now, we find out about life via Facebook instead of over mashed potatoes and gravy.
I suppose this is the flow of things in life; the evolve, to explore, and venture out beyond the comfort zones that we hold the closest, and hope that even in all of our explorations, we find our way back to those comforting places, where we share in real laughter, real stories, without the obstacle of a computer screen.
|Image Credit: Robot Matt|