Have I mentioned lately how cool my wife is? Look at my cool new pajama pants!
(yes, I took that photo while they were on my body which is only slightly less weird than my friend who tried to iron his shorts while they were on his body. Burns ensued.)
She made these for me today! Actually, it was Anna that picked out the fabric, so partial credit goes to her as well. They are flannel and super comfy and I changed into them almost immediately upon arrival home from work at 11:05PM tonight.
Earlier today, I came across (quite randomly) a study on blogging and social health. I found it to be quite interesting. Basically, what they were trying to say in the article was that those people who blogged felt more connected to a community and had more satisfaction with both internet and face-to-face friendships. While the sample size was small and limited to MySpace (yuck), I think that there is probably at least a kernel of truth in what they were trying to study.
I can only speak for my own experience as a blogger, but I will say that the community that I have built and that has built itself around me as a result of my blogging and other things is a very satisfying thing for me. It is not my be all and end all, but I enjoy it a lot and have had the chance to get to know some great people who would have otherwise not crossed my path. Much is made in this day and age about the decline of community. Neighbors really don't know each other, fellowships and clubs are really a thing of the past. Someone even bothered to write a whole book on it. It's easy for something like an online community like a listserv or a message board or even a group of bloggers to function in a similar fashion, providing a way for people with a common interest to come together and get to know each other. In this day and age, distance really isn't an issue.
Heidi and I were talking about this earlier today and she had a really good point. She's someone who's been part of online communities for a long time, and while they are good to have, they really can't take the place of real flesh and blood people in your life. I think what she said was "you shouldn't be having the relationships in an online setting to the exclusion of having them in the real world." (correct me if I'm wrong, hon.) I think this is valid. As fond as I am of all the people that I know only through email and their blogs, I cannot call them up when my car is stuck in the driveway and I need someone to help me push. You can't put someone who lives in Timbuktu, Internetville as an emergency contact for your child when filling out school paperwork.
In a perfect world, everything supplements everything and it all blends together well. Of course, it's not a perfect world. But I, for one, have really been fed by blogging in so many ways. It helps me to put more of myself out there when my natural tendency is to hold back. It has helped me to become much more authentically me, whether people like it or not, which has caused me to step outside my comfort zone with people I see daily or weekly or whatever.
It's all about perspective, and as long as you keep things in it, you're good. Not always easy, but hey, we're all just learning.