It was Saturday morning at home. I was sick with an awful cold, lacking sleep because of my painful herniated discs acting up all night and just feeling tired and exhausted still trying to recover from the holiday parties. Got my 6 year old daughter ready for piano lessons, took her to the first birthday party, made lunch for the 3 year old, start the laundry, etc. It was a crazy Saturday. Aghhh….”Calgon, take me away” …wait, am I allowed to say that as a guy?:) [wonder if anyone still remembers the calgon reference?]
The real chaos ensued after my wife left me alone with the kids because she had to see a patient unexpectedly! Managing the kids while being sick was just brutal but there was something else that was contributing to my stress and anxiety that I just couldn’t identify.
Later, my wife forced me to join her and the kids at another birthday party on Saturday night at our friends’ house for their 7 year old son.
You know what? IT WAS A BLAST! No neck pain, no misery, no stress, no anxiety! I FELT SO MUCH BETTER!!!! I chatted with friends, shared a laugh and watched a 7 year old blow out candles on his allergen free birthday cake (he’s highly allergic to everything…like my daughter). Even watched my wife lead the other spouses in dancing (see photo) to an old song called the Macarena! (am I dating myself?) It was a lot of fun.
BUILDING DEEPER SOCIAL BONDS Helps me to Embrace the Chaos
Driving home Saturday night made me realize something about myself that I knew but seemed to have forgotten: I am a social human being and NEED human interaction to feel good. I need adult, one on one conversation and socialization to survive. I need to talk to people to make me feel better.
Being at home on a ‘stay-cation’ over the holidays with the kids all by myself all day for 10-12 days while my wife was slammed at work everyday from 8-8, had really taken a toll on me. Normally I get to ‘escape’ the house chaos by going to work but not this time and so what was really bothering me was that I needed to get out of the house.
I also realized something important about my close friends and their lives. Most are feeling uncertain about their jobs, stressed over the chaos in their business or having anxiety just trying to stay afloat and pay the mortgage for a big house that was probably not needed. Amidst all the chaos going on in our respective lives, we all had fun and left with a little lighter burden then we came in with specifically because we know them for many years.
By Building Deeper Social Bonds, by reconnecting in a human way with our close friends and family, I believe we will feel better about the chaos of life and learn to live in it and get through it. And I think it is because human relationships comfort us because we don’t feel alone in our chaos. I don’t think it is about “misery loves company”. I DO think it is that you feel better knowing that others are getting through it – and we get perspective, hope, inspiration and companionship as we all learn to embrace the chaos.
Our ancestors and their tribes gathered around fires in a village to share the trials and tribulations of our journey, our grandparents shared homes with their relatives, our parents used to visit neighbors and go over our uncles’ house or a friend’s house all the time. We used to be a “real life” social society. Remember?
We all can remember growing up and just popping over someone’s house in the middle of the week. We don’t do that anymore. Now I know why our parents did it. It is because human beings need socialization to feel connected to other life. It is built into our DNA to socialize as a way to feel better about being on this rock. That’s why we love to go to restaurants – to enjoy food around the company of others. That’s why we love ball games – to enjoy a sport along with the guy sitting next to you. To go to the mall. To have coffee with friends…to go to parties.
I believe that as I go through life and learn to embrace the chaos, the uncertainty, the complexity of life today, I need to build greater and more deeper social bonds with colleagues, friends and family members. Facebook is good but face to face is better. Social bonding is nourishment for our soul and immunity from chaos. Building deeper social bonds may not cure the pain of a herniated disc or dissolve a cold into the cool night’s air but it might just give a little hope, a little encouragement, peppered with inspiration, perspective, a few laughs and I might even get to dance the Macarena! That goes a long way to get up again tomorrow feeling a little lighter ready to embrace whatever chaos comes my way!
Rule #7: Build Deeper Social Bonds | Embrace the Chaos! | Bob Miglani