Sunday, December 4, 2022

"Isolation is your Dream-Killer"


Barbara Sher
TEDx 2015

Have I Isolated Myself?

I recently watched a YouTube video of Barbara Sher giving a TEDx talk several years ago. 

I was intrigued by the title, "Isolation is the dream-killer, not your attitude." Her TEDx talk rambles about how people need to identify their dreams and the obstructions to those dreams.

Her talk is about how a master success group can help overcome those obstructions. She actually uses the title line about two-thirds of the way into her talk. She says, "Isolation is your dream-killer, not your rotten attitude."   

For several weeks, now, I've felt isolated. I'm not feeling particularly "lonely," or even alone. I remain active with the Pinellas Genealogy Society and I'm getting more involved with the VFW chapter in Safety Harbor. I have volunteered to help both of those organizations run hybrid meetings for their members.

The work is appreciated by the leadership in both organizations. I show up early, set up equipment, and work really hard to make the technology invisible to the participants. I am one of the last people out of the room because I also pack up the equipment.

I have a small social outlet through a singles group on Members join each other for an evening dinner two-three times a month. There's usually a group of about a dozen or so people. It's not a dating group, as such, so there is no pressure to be "on." It's simply a good evening with friends.

Connecting The Dots

Here are my thoughts and reactions to isolation and dating, perceived as a continuous flow, in a stream-of-consciousness format.  

Dot Number One...

I used a graphic in a blog post I wrote in 2019 (see the graphic below) about dating. The graphic was an aside about dating and becoming "un-single." I revisited the page, and I realized how accurate that sentiment has become.

 The complete text says,

"People who have been single for too long are the hardest to love. 

They have become so used to being single, independent, and self-sufficient that it takes something extraordinary to convince them that they need you in their life."

When I used the image over three years ago I thought it was an interesting thought. Today, I suspect it applies to me.

Another dot...

I have created profiles on and the Plenty of Fish websites. I visit them from time to time. I was really attracted to a woman who lived over an hour away. She actually lives close to where my sister lives, in Brooksville.

Unfortunately, she and I were geographically incompatible for me to court her. To share a 30-minute lunch requires a 2-hour drive on my part. A dinner date that ends at 9:00 or 10:00 puts me at home at almost midnight. There would not be any room for spontaneous activities.

And "court" would have been a good word to describe my initial interest in her, based solely on her pictures,  profile, and the few texts we exchanged. I didn't even pursue it enough to learn whether my intentions would have been rejected.

And Another Dot...

"Courtship" is a word I've not looked at in a while. I've certainly not used it in the context of me dating as a septuagenarian. One result from a Google search defined courtship as "a period during which a couple develops a romantic relationship, especially with a view to marriage."

Marriage? Marriage?! Where did that word come from?

I think that thought emerged when I was asking myself about the POF contact that lived an hour away. One thought that surfaced had to do with marriage: 

Questions: Would I be willing to give up my home and creature comforts and move there? Would she be willing to give up her home and move here? The answer to both questions is that it would take marriage for that to happen.

Marriage implies a courtship, and courtship takes time. 

Full Circle...

That complete thought process takes me back to comments about time in my 2019 blog post about dating

Aside from posting the graphic about people who have been single for too long, I said that inertia causes single people my age to expect to live the next 4 years as they did for the 4 previous years that lead up to today.

Two of the last four years included COVID-19 "social distancing." 

And, isolation.

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