You may remember, back in January, I became a participant of a project called Bold Brilliant Beautiful You. My gut told me there was something very necessary about joining these women. And I continue to find out how right I am. Because connections are a good thing.

I grew up as an isolationist. My parents divorced and then my sister moved away. There was no religious community. Friends came and went. Our extended family lived far away. We would befriend neighbors who would eventually move away. There were weekends with Dad when I was little. Summer weeks as a teen. Then he moved too.

When I was a young adult, I was a party thrower. I worked in restaurants and had as much social life as I wanted. But I’m not in my 20’s or in the city anymore. Now, I’m married with kids in the country and we’re not super social like we used to be. Visits with family on occasions and Holidays and once a year reunions with friends from an hour away is the extent of our social life. Add that the first baby was born in a town where I knew no one. We have more acquaintances with this next baby 8 years later but children can dampen some of our partying attending enthusiasm. I long for the party throwing of the old days and community block parties.

Seems the computer, which once was evil beyond belief, ended up being my soul savior. Then the blog I had created warranted I interrelate with strangers outside my known world. Now I have an opportunity to talk and exchange ideas with people from all over the world of like minds and differing opinions. The biggest benefit of these interactions ?  I have begun to see my invisible self. Not a small feat. And I owe it to  practicing what I call intentional in-touchness.

Sunset on the courthouse green on

The private message conversation below demonstrates what this is and what it means to me. Patti is one of the amazing women I met through the Bold Brilliant Beautiful You project. I wrote a comment on her blog and the first message is Patti talking.

Friday 3:22am

Hey! How are you? I wanted to followup on the note you left on my blog about my goals to be Bold. Brilliant. Beautiful. You had a baby at 46? How was that? I turn 40 in one week and am thinking of having a third but am scared….Anyway, I wanted to reach out and say hi and thanks for your positive energy in my direction!

Friday 7:13am

Hey Patti. Thanks for your return communication. Yes, 46. Really no different than having my first baby at 38. You have to steel yourself against the over the prime hype. I refused any invasive tests. Only ultra sounds. And kept a positive attitude even with another good case of morning sickness. She’s perfect. And I’m such a better parent now. I’ll keep in touch via social media. My number one goal right now is intentional in-touchness Love, Shalagh

Monday 9:15pm

Hey Patti I tried to follow you on Instagram but you are a private user. Shalagh

Did you try recently? I realized at ALT that if I wanted people to follow me, I needed to make myself public. So I thought about it and then did public. Try it again and if you have a problem let me know! I love the idea of intentional in-touchness. What does that mean for you? Patti

I tried last night. It’s still saying you’re private and I’m shown as having requested to follow you. Hmm, I guess intentional in-touchness is following a person everywhere and then making sure to read their stuff and comment and get a feeling for them. It’s a little more effort than just obligatory following. It takes checking back and making a note and being sincere. I notice intentional in-touchness from others. It makes me feel good and I want to gift it to others. And now I’ll have to write about it. Thanks Patti. I can honestly say I didn’t really know myself until I heard others say happy positive stuff about what I’d said. And you did it again.

So this is me savouring every blog post I’ve signed up to receive in my inbox. Trying weekly to reach out and say hi to people, comment, and like their stuff. They’re sticking their necks out and deserve to have people acknowledge this. I get it and know how hard it can be sometimes to step up and say hello. When you get a real piece of mail, it feels really good right?. It’s this odd acknowledgement that you’re worth the postage. And that feeling is a gift someone gifts you. It’s called caring and I’m practicing intentional intouchness so that I can give that gift to others that I may feel the universe hand it back to me. It’s a selfless and selfish act all in one.

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  1. Hey Shalagh! You were such a welcoming voice when I joined BBBY. It’s not easy putting our lives and feelings out there on the internet but I am so happy we have become acquainted. And as you know, I admire your ability to work on this intentional in-touchness. I think of that a lot – making daily, deliberate choices. Thanks for the shout out and support! Keep up the goodness!

  2. Good for you. It really does take a conscious effort. It gives me hope to hear you say baby at 46. Having had a high risk pregnancy at 37 I’ve been a little scared that the world would conspire against a second. I’m glad to hear of your success.

    1. Andrea,
      Breathing is high risk. I had Eamon at 38. Man do they want to worry the heck out of you. They both came out lovely. Life’s too daggone short to dicker around, don’t you think? No more fear living. I’m calling myself out.

      1. ..hmm, Trouble came out lovely all right, absolutely beautiful…however at 34 weeks, emergency C-section and only 3pounds. I have reason to be a bit scared. But still….46!

        1. Oh dear, I’m sorry. I had no idea. What a scary thing to have gone through. People tell me I’m looking pretty good and I am active enough to have the stamina. Naps are for sissys.
          Thanks Andrea.

          1. You dear Michelle, are one hard person to maintain in-touchness with but I like the fact that it is still a thing between us!

  3. 1. I love the title of this blog post! It’s catchy! aside from all that it means, it’s just a great catchy title. It made me want to take time to read without even knowing what the heck the subject matter would be!

    2. the WOW that I just put on FB.

    and 3. You were a pretty damn good mother the first time around too!

    1. Michelle,
      Thanks and I agree, I really love almost making up words and this fit what I am feeling. Thank you always for passing it along! And you are very sweet. Is the quality of the mothering in the eye of the beholder, the mother, or the child. And what curve do you give for perspective and stinky nine year-olds being ungrateful little somebodies. Playdate soon?

      1. wait til he hits 10, then you will not only be a bad mother but you will be a bad mother who knows NOTHING at all.

        playdate, sure! hey, what summer camps is eamon thinking of doing? I think Josh is going to do tuckahoe and adkins and that’s going to be it this year.

  4. It would have been amazing to have an online community when I had the girl in 2005.

    I appreciate your comments and your reaching out so much – makes it all sweeter and more of a human connection out here in the ether.

    I continue to be amazed at how much you do with two kids (including sweet Fiona!). You’ll get there. Or at least, since we don’t really know where “there” is, you’ll be further along. It’ll all come together.

    1. Sister, I look like I’m standing still compared to you.
      Sweet Fiona is getting a little edge to her. Sigh. Already?
      And yes, the “there” is elusive but I’m starting to see the fuzzy outline. My confusion is trying to filter all the info through what I think is expected and what I’m afraid of. Rather than what I know I am and want and what I’m willing to risk to see.
      Thanks Bunches and bunches Sandra for your inspiration. I’ll be in touch. Ha.

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