As I have posted elsewhere, my high school classmates began assembling on Facebook this winter in anticipation of our twenty-year reunion. As of last night, I was all packed up and ready to pull out of the driveway this morning-an accomplishment for someone who loathes packing. (The only thing worse? Unpacking.)
Then, suddenly, (an apparently manageable but significant) family illness derailed our plans.
So, here I am… a thirtysomething staying at home while the party rages on without me this weekend. Come to think of it, that’s not all that different than many weekends that I knew as a teenager. No big secret in Paree that I was a loner back then. (Some people think that’s a prodrome for becoming a writer.) Oh, and to top it all off a story for which I was going to do some research and make photographs during the trip shriveled up, too. Bummer.
But I’ve got Twitter, right? And I can tweak the background to my profile page to match my alma mater’s colors, tweet out some nostalgic links, employ a hashtag (#NLHS89) and… voila!… I’m a one woman virtual reunion.
The seeds of this idea may have been planted a few months ago when I read someone’s tweets regarding a wedding in China. And then I started following @alittlegnocchi, who tweets and blogs about her family’s extended stay in Italy. Okay, so the non-attendance of a rural East Texas reunion may lack the cultural resonance of a Chinese wedding or Florentine daily living, but I thought the tweets and the spirit behind them–an effort to share one’s personal experience–were kinda interesting.
Also, years ago I attended a college administrator’s conference where a keynote speaker explained “non-events” and how they can impact one’s quality of life and sense of well-being.
To give you an idea of what was said:
Both the nonoccurrence of positive expected life events (nonevents) and their role in adulthood have received little research attention, even though nonevents have potential to impact lives profoundly. To obtain data on the experience of nonevents and their perceived impact, we developed the Life Experiences Assessment Form (LEAF). In three exploratory studies, 62%–95% of participants reported the experience of one or more nonevents. Using different measures of well-being in the three studies, there was a trend in which persons reporting more nonevents had lower indices of well-being. A stronger relationship was present between perceiving nonevents as having a negative impact and lower well-being scores. These relationships persisted when negative affectivity was controlled. Overall, nonevents were perceived as having less personal impact than events that had occurred. Nonevents appear to be related to adult well-being. (Source) [Emphasis mine.]
Or, in laymen’s terms as applied to my current situation, I can turn these lemons (not being able to go to the reunion) into lemonade (creating a virtual reunion to vent my need to be nostalgic) and prevent a possible sag in my well-being. And our well-being, we all know, helps keep our immune systems going. So that’s gotta be good, right? I mean, it is my twenty-year reunion and I am almost forty… keeping the immune system charged seems smart. Plus, the MayoClinic says that resilience is a good thing.
Anyway, look for a few seemingly odd tweets coming from me this weekend. Think of it as “’80s Weekend” and you can play, too. I know this exercise/meditation will fall flat compared with, say, the recent Twitter-based gush of support for that starlet that allegedly dumped the Jonas kid. But it sure beats spending the weekend in my pajamas watching Dirty Dancing, wearing my leg warmers, and regretting that I can’t buy Frusen Glädjé anymore.
I mean, you know, like gag me with a spoon.
UPDATE: @kissmyaster sent me a link to a Frusen Glädjé commercial, which is just awesome to see again: