Five Minute Friday: NEAR

Welcome to this week’s Five Minute Friday. Our instructions, via creator Kate Motaung: “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.”

Today’s prompt: NEAR

Five Minute Friday

“Keep at least three feet away from her.”

The above sentence is one of roughly 15 bullet points on a “checklist for communicating” a trainer put together based on an assessment of me when I worked at Healthy Kids in 2011.

Y’all, it is the FIRST bullet point.

As if I don’t want anyone near me.

I remember the first time I read it, having a “NAH – NOT ME!” moment….

….and then I remember the letter I wrote a friend once telling her I was uncomfortable that she was SO touchy-feely (boy do I feel guilty about that all these years later — we were different about that kind of thing but it was just her way — and WHY did I presume to address it via a letter? We did resolve things (mostly) shortly after that (with me eating the extremely requisite humble pie).

But proximity is a weird thing. The report in general was QUITE accurate. Almost eerily accurate. I have to confess the “proximity thing”  probably does hold some truth.

Being a parent changed much of that. I’m pretty sure there’s a period when you have multiple young children in your life that there is ALWAYS someone touching you, either due to breastfeeding, or because little kids often just crave the closeness of a parent, or because they (ahem) refuse to walk and want to be carried instead.

I often reminisce about the days a kid would crawl in bed with us (they are so long ago).

To resurrect a word from last week, the familiarity of being in bed together as a family unit, sharing space and hearts, was precious time and space …. and nearness.

Even if some test confirms I want people to stay three feet away (three feet?)….

…the last thing I want is for anyone to think they can’t be near my heart.

Five Minute Friday

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday linkup.

7 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: NEAR

  1. I have often used the hula-hoop as a reference for my personal space that I don’t want anyone to invade. Well, except my husband and kids, they would be welcome to invade my space. But huggy, kissy strangers or acquaintances wig me out. You know the ones I mean. I don’t go to concerts or other crowded places for the same reason. It might be claustrophobia that makes me this way. Who knows, but I totally understand. Thanks for sharing, I thought it was just me. FMF #8 this week

    • It’s not just you, Karen!! Some crowd things don’t bother me at all (a crowded NYC sidewalk is good, for example). It’s hard to describe but I have a feeling you “get it.” I laugh/shudder every time I see that “stay 3 feet away” bullet as the FIRST THING on that training document. I picture a literal barrier protruding three feet from my desk LOL.

  2. Well, for what it’s worth, my wife can’t sleep in the same room with me, and to wake me, she tosses something heavy at my head and runs.

    Not that I don’t like her, but when I wake suddenly, my body’s one big alarm-bell, and the survival instinct kicks in, big-time.

    So I never really sleep; it’s just an eyes-open rest period.

    Life does get tiring.

  3. Thanks for your honesty. I think there are others who aren’t as touchy freely either. I’m not one but I understand not everybody is like me. I’m down in the 45 spot this week.

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