A snapshot of a week Living Happily Connected  

Happy hour time with girlfriends

Finding time to keep connected with friends and family, is just as important as other weekly tasks so keep it high on your priority list whenever possible.

If you a busy person like me, it is amazing the things we accomplish in a typical week. I work full time in an intense job, maintain a home, make myself available for my adult children and husband when needed, have a side writing business to fit in on the weekends, and deal with all that life throws at me on a regular basis. You know the drill. Your life may look different than mine, but I’m sure it is probably a busy one. And if you are an older parent with children still at home, I know it’s busy times three!

Especially in mid-life when you are still working, it’s not easy to plan for soul-enriching activities that we know we should do too, but don’t. That includes spending time with family and friends.  But as much as I know the importance of making time for connecting, I still need to make the extra effort to fit it in during the week.

So, to help provide a little inspiration, I will be sharing my own examples on occasion of a Living Happily Connected week, as well as spotlighting others.  Believe me when I say, an entire week can go by for me without speaking to anyone beyond coworkers and my husband. I could easily not leave the house other than for a quick errand. Since COVID, I have learned to take care of most things at home (especially working 100% remote), but that means I need to make it a priority to connect with others for my own mental health, happiness, and longevity.

Last week reminded me of how good it feels to make the effort so sharing that with you:

Monday – I finished work on time and attended my regular Zumba class at 5:30 pm. I recognized some of the regulars and love that the instructor Kelly knows my name. She even knows one of my favorite songs to dance to (Burlesque by Christina Aguilera) and sometimes brings me up to lead the class while that song is on. I enjoyed speaking with a few of the other regulars and it felt great to be a part of this group working out together.

Tuesday –spoke with my daughter on Facetime from Thailand, where she is working as a teacher of English as a foreign language It’s wonderful to know what is going on in her life on a regular basis and it lessens the fact that she is so far away from us in California.

Wednesday – it was a stressful week at work, and I wanted to relax mid-week, so I planned an impromptu date with my husband, and caught a 5 pm movie that we had been wanting to see the past few weeks. It gave me the little boost I needed to get through the rest of the week, while connecting with my husband outside our house.

Thursday – I got a text around 3 pm from a former coworker who we had left our company at the same time, asking if I wanted to meet her for happy hour that night. I was doing my work out by the time I saw her text but wanted to see her, so we met up a little later and still got the happy hour discounts. Since meeting her at work, she has become a cherished friend, and we had the best time sharing what’s been going on in our lives since leaving the company.

Throughout the week – had my weekly check in calls with my mom and sister and this week, I got a call from a close cousin who called to connect and catch up. Other weeks, I love when I take the time to talk to close girlfriends or a special aunt or others who mean a lot to me. I always feel better when I can find out what is happening in the lives of people I love and can share with them what is going on in mine.

Dinner with close friends to celebrate Father's Day weekend.

Saturday- the weekend brought a fun dinner out with a group of friends at a local steak house. We sat outside in the patio area on a warm summer eve, having a great time laughing, catching up, and bonding over ribs and drinks!

Sunday – it was Father’s Day, and our younger daughter made a lovely dinner for us, and we enjoyed it al fresco in our backyard. It was relaxing, unrushed and we liked having time with our daughter who will be going back to college soon a few hours away. After dinner, we served desserts in our cabana – enjoying the lovely evening weather, watching our favorite Modern Family episodes together.

Whew—that is a whole lotta connecting going on in one week! It would have been so easy for me to think that I am too busy to meet up with all the people I did in one week, but I am so glad I did. With the right people, we get energy we never knew we had.  And if we stay in the present moment, it gives us a break from the everyday mundane stuff we must do. Hope you are finding time to connect even if your schedule says otherwise!

Cher Knebel

Cher Knebel has been a corporate and freelance writer for more than 30 years. In addition to her professional communications work, she is an author, blogger, and researcher on the topic of social connection and its positive impact on health and happiness. She is the founder of Living Happily Connected and author of the book, Withering to Flourishing, 9 Steps to Bloom Again After the Storm, available on Amazon.