Monsoon season has come to lovely Ohio, and already the dehumidifiers are working overtime, and the pea-soup air is making my yearly declaration of “no A/C until after school ends” a failure seven days into May. But one thing the nice, juicy spring does, in between the tornadoes and flash floods, is that it brings the neighbors out into the yards, rushing to get grass cut in between soaking wet days and before it reaches heights that could shelter juvenile giraffes. And that means Being Neighborly.

Normally, I’m a hermit. I’m anti-social to a degree (meaning that social activities drain me, rather than give me energy), and I’m used to being ignored (dog knows my kids do it all the time), so my days are spent quietly, in the company of mostly strangers (or just strange people–I love you guys!) who read my words but may not have ever heard my voice. But spring brings out the neighbors. In the five minutes between thunderstorm cells, we open our windows, open the garage doors, and actually see each other, and that transition can be hard on a person who works at home and who works in relative isolation. Spring sports start up for the kids, so now you leave your lawn chairs in the trunk along with water bottles and activities for the siblings and you spend a few hours, a few days a week, socializing with casual acquaintances whose children wear the same uniform colors as yours.

Social Networking For The Anti-Social

Thing is, especially for us cave-dwellers, we need this interaction. When you work from home, you don’t have a water-cooler crew to hang out with and jaw about last night’s Dancing With The Stars or whatever (or if you do, they’re all products of your own mind and you really should take a vacation, or at least go lie down with a cool compress on your forehead). But you still need that interaction. Before Facebook, there was this crazy thing sometimes called “face-time” or more professionally known as Personal Interaction. And you need this. So in the middle of your mad scramble to optimize the time you have left before school lets out and the summer hits with boiling vengeance, take some time to rekindle the friendships you’ve got with the people who make your life worth working from home (and that includes your family). Go on a date night or a girls/guys night and remember it’s the people in your life that make the work worthwhile.

Writing is what I do for a living. I write about quirky people finding their own crazy paths to happily ever after. My short contemporary romantic comedy, Forever Material, shows how a Dating Diva learned how to take her own lessons and figure out who’s Mr. Wrong and who’s Mr. Right.

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She’s absolutely sure he’s not the marrying kind…

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