Category Archives: relationships

Being Far Away from Family During this Pandemic is Rather Challenging

Oh, how I wish I were near

to my family near and dear

This time being abroad can be hard

since we don’t know when next we will see yard…

This pandemic has brought home just how nice it would be to be nearer family. The very thought of having them nearby would offer some comfort. Again, I am so appreciative of all these technological innovations, which allow me to lie in bed and catch up with my uncle on WhatsApp for over an hour, for example. This really helps to give some balance to a time when all seems out of kilter. It is really the small things that water our souls and keep us well.

Living abroad and being away from family is never a ‘bed of roses’. What helps is being able to fly back and visit to catch up, make new memories and just be with them. This is one of the things I am missing this year and my mind is still dealing with this. The daily texts, long video chats and conversations do help a whole lot. I am grateful.

We can be there for each other even though we are many miles apart. Connections with people are very important, to help us all make it through this pandemic with our minds intact and healthy. It is quite disconcerting to read of how many people are projected to suffer mentally and emotionally during all of this. I was also sad to see a thread on Twitter where people are still spouting off about true friends not needing to be in contact often. Many share that this works for them but how about those who need more? People can be on their phones for hours but take forever to respond to a text or even just message a friend they care about. I know people have social anxieties and there are other factors at work, of course. However, just one quick message may lift someone’s spirit at this time. Remember friends, family and acquaintances who live alone and may be far from family.

I so appreciate the friends I have here who will text me or just call me up just because. I am picking up and dropping everything else as much as I can. Life is precious, short and we just don’t know, so I am seizing the days (Carpe diem!). Is it just me that likes to see a call coming through on WhatsApp, Line and other apps? Props to my friends who take the time for us to plan and schedule ‘meetings’ on Zoom and Google Meet. These little things mean a whole lot. It may just be that many of us are single and live abroad, far away from family.

Small groups at church are also such a blessing – in normal times of course but now too. I have always been in an online small group, with my some people from church because of different factors. It is such a blessing to catch up with each other every week and study the scriptures as we encourage each other. Our online chat group is also great for keeping up with each other throughout the week. People need people and I hope we can all find some people, to be our people, as we go through and live life.

So yes, living abroad and being far away from family is especially challenging in 2020. However, we are able to communicate often and at leisure to encourage each other and be present. It takes time and coordination but people are worth it and we give and receive so much in our interactions.

Take some time to be there for family and friends

I know sometimes we may be at our wits’ end

But take some time to send

a message or few to those who are in your crew.

Water your Relationships

Life gets busy and we get busy with life.

Time flies, and if we are not intentional then days and months will fly by without giving quality time to those dear to us.

Make time to be there for your family, friends and loved ones:

  • Call them regularly, make a schedule and honour it. We make time for what’s important. For many people texting isn’t enough.
  • Meet people, make time for this and give them all your attention at that time. Put the phone down and live in the moment. Life is fleeting and looking back at these times is great comfort when someone dies.
  • When someone comes to mind, stop and reach out, it may be your last opportunity to connect with him or her.
  • Pray for those who are important and others who you are led to do so for, of course.
  • If you live abroad like me, budget, save and prioritise going to your ‘home’ country to see family and friends. Pour into your relationships, near and far.
  • Remember people’s birthdays and special days. Take the time to send them a proper message, a gift or spend time with them celebrating. This is a part of living a rich life.
  • Don’t start dating someone or get married and forget your other friends – single or married- who were there for you.
  • Know when to put the needs of others above your own and give of your time, attention, money and emotions to water the different relationships in your life. This is rewarding and worth the effort. Try not to count how much the other person does or doesn’t do. Don’t crush your natural flow.

Water all relationships to enjoy a balanced and fulfilling life. I am off to hang out with a friend and enjoy this. Take time to do this often as well.