This weekend I did three things I hadn't done in a long time: babysitting, door-to-door voter canvassing, and in-person Dungeons and Dragons. Since half of my standing D&D game moved to the east coast, that has been largely a Skype-based interaction, which is fun, but I had forgotten how much more fun it is to all be in one place! The good news is that our group will all be in one place soon, so yay!
The babysitting I had done as part of a group at Summercamp, but not on my own for a long time. It was exhilarating knowing that I can care for two helpless larval humans even when one is sad/tired/hungry!
The voter canvassing I used to do a LOT of, before Mom got very sick. Once that happened, I became so emotionally fragile that any mention of any emotion pretty much made me fall apart on the spot, and talking to strangers about their feelings on gay people was pretty much a surefire recipe for total collapse. Since some time last spring, I've been feeling strong enough to handle it, but I hadn't been in LA and free for one of the Vote for Equality canvasses since then, until Saturday.
Basically, all of these (wildly different) activities get me away from my usual occupation of staring at a computer screen and ignoring other humans, aka graduate school, for an entire day! I talk to people who are actually right there next to me in the real world! Yes, I look at a character sheet that is on my laptop, and I carry around a little video player to show people campaign ads, but those are screens in the service of primarily interacting with the people who are so close to me that I can accidentally kick them (and, with my award-winning klutziness, I often do). And when babysitting, no screens at all!
The ridiculously disproportionate amount of enjoyment I got from all of these marathon activities (approximately 6:30-10:30 on Friday, 8:20-4:30 on Saturday, 11:30-7:40 on Sunday, the equivalent of 2.5 days of work at a full-time office job) reminded me of how much I dislike having the people who matter to me be, on average, about 3,000 miles away. I have wonderful people right here too, of course, but boyfriend and family and huge tracts of friends are just too far from me! Some have even decided that Shanghai and London and Paris are acceptable places to be, which is just ludicrous. I want to see my people in real life!
I don't have much of a point really. I had fun being a substitute dad, a gay rights canvasser and a dwarven alchemist and I sometimes miss the simplicity of life before college when almost all of the people who mattered to me lived within a three-hour-drive radius from where I lived and in several directions that drive led into the ocean, so the radius really only described a sector rather than a whole circle.