It’s early. I’m writing this live. I’m officially “on retreat” today, heading out with Brian Draper in 4 hours or so (so was anticipating at least 3 more hours sleep, but depression’s a horrible thing & for the last couple of weeks I’ve been waking up no later than 7.30am). We were planning on reflective exercises outside at Mottisfont Abbey, but I don’t need to look at the weather on my phone to hear that it’s pouring down, although a quick check on the weather for the next 10 hours is not promising:
3 weeks ago, I was in the doctors, chatting about whether we’re close to being able to come off the medication… the last few months have been pretty momentous, tough & difficult, & I’ve truly appreciated the support (much of it without knowing any details) from my community – online and offline. I’d started to feel like flashes of my old self were appearing more frequently, and huge amounts of decluttering have felt ‘head-clearing’, and I’ve been working towards re-balancing work-life, but trying to do it in a responsible way so that I don’t mess others up too much whilst I re-prioritise!
However, I’ve woken up again feeling over-whelmed again, so I thought I’d blog about some of the online support. You may have noticed that we keep saying that a new website is coming, but unfortunately this has run into problems (it’s still coming, but we have someone new working on it). Not too many details required, but Monday, something in that unfortunate saga happened that felt like the proverbial ‘last straw’, and I burst into tears in the middle of the Premier Radio office. I tried to bury my head in my laptop – tweeting out what you see below, but a rather concerned head appeared over the partition, and the support was amazing. [Note the story from @timeshighered had been pre-set!]
I returned to the desk to find 40+ tweets offering “virtual” hugs, support, prayers, and smiles… including the following video:
It doesn’t always need to be ‘deep’ to make us laugh!
I also popped across to Pinterest, and added a few images in ‘Faith‘ and ‘I just like…‘, as I find these comforting to look back at… and the image at the top was another excellent one already found by @emmuk74!
The support has been truly appreciated, and as instructed by @digitalnun on Saturday, need to spend some time with the laptop lid down today, but as I lie here this morning, I felt pushed to write this post, and thought about how my ‘community’, online and offline, offers such great support (I should re-engage with #3goodthings) and you can see the true “blend” of online/offline here with Sharon, who popped around with a bit of Easter Egg:
That community can be in so many spaces. I’ve had emails, Skype conversations, people jumping in and offering things at short notice, Tweets about prayers, Facebook hugs… deep thoughts and joyous giggles with people … as I continue to live day by day (and I had a great day ‘away from the office’ yesterday at #JISCExperts12, culminating in a 2.5 hour train journey with the amazing Tansy Jessop, who lives in India & I hadn’t even known was coming!).
This is not a deeply thought out post, but come and join me Saturday in Leeds, or later in the year at Newcastle, at ‘Reaching out in a digital age‘, where I’ll be speaking about ‘Real Relationships in a Virtual Space: How can digital media enhance true community?’