Who are you turning to?

Jose, 2020, photographing the judging of the Pulitzer Prizes, Columbia University, New York

By Caitlin Kelly

I’m really lucky.

In a pandemic dragging into its second year, and with no real end in sight, I’ve still been able to turn to trusted friends, some opf whom are still in great shape, some not so much, to share our thoughts and fears.

One is a delighted first-time grandmother. One struggles with a lot of physical pain. One is single and lives alone and is just very lonely. One recently sold her home and moved into Manhattan, savoring city life.

My husband — we met 21 years ago next month at a midtown Manhattan French bistro for our first date — has been amazing. But I realize he’s not a Swiss Army knife, capable of meeting my every emotional and intellectual need.

I fear we’re going to burn ourselves out if we try to “soldier on” alone.

I fear we’ll burn out our spouses and partners who are by now also feeling claustrophobic and, in a very snowy cold winter, are also succumbing to cabin fever — no cafes or gyms or libraries or restaurants or pals’ homes to flee to.

I had a two-hour conversation last night, so gratefully, with a friend in California who is a long-time pro in the book publishing industry. The latest agent for my book proposal, of course, fell through, and she was both tough and loving in what she suggested should be my next steps.

Tough and loving is pretty much my MO as well.

Who are you turning to these days for comfort and joy?

Who’s turning to you?

12 thoughts on “Who are you turning to?

  1. I am leaning (hard!) on online services..my church, other churches..I listen almost every day. One of my favorites is Buckhead Church out of Atlanta..never been, but their messages have been topical, relevant and nothing short of online therapy for me. I need to be strengthened so that I can stand strong for others.. This is way more than my poor husband can “do” for me..😂

    1. Jan Jasper

      I am single and live alone and my family has all passed, unfortunately. My affectionate dog keeps me sane, sort of.. I have a lot of acquaintances but only a few friends. I have very kind neighbors who watch out for each other, which has been a big comfort to me. I’ve been going to a lot of Meet ups (on Zoom) and I have actually made a couple of new friends there. I find that, due to Covid, people on Meetup are more adventurous than usual about reaching out for a phone call, which can be the beginning of a friendship. We don’t get together in person, due to Covid, but we have phone calls and Zoom calls.

      1. That’s wonderful Jan.. I have found that people are more friendly than ever. WE have gotten to know so many of our neighbors, just from driveway chats..people are hungry for conversation!

  2. Well, I’m not sure anyone’s turning to me, though my sisters say my weekly texts checking in on them and attempting to make them laugh are appreciated. I do turn to my parents when I’m dealing with stuff, as well as my supervisor, the manager of the Employee Assistance Program at my workplace (his whole job is about listening to people’s problems), a coworker I’m close to, and my best friend from college. They’ve kept me sane during some of my darker moments.

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