Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Beating Isolation

One of the more frustrating things about staying home is that it can be socially isolating.  In spite of the reality of the "grind," working really does force us to get out and interact with others on a regular basis, which for most of us is a positive thing.  Being home, however, provides no such routine.  To stay connected, you have to work extra hard, spending more energy reaching out to people, being involved in important issues, and staying current on events.

This is one of the reasons that I recommend two specific things for women choosing to stay home.  The first is to look for opportunities to create some sort of enterprise.  The marketplace--be it in your town or online--is a great place to use your skills, stay in touch with the heartbeat of the world, and maybe make a buck as well.  The options are endless for what type of enterprise women can do.  Start your own non-profit organization with volunteer help, partner with a multi-level marketing program (Mary Kay, Shaklee, Avon, etc.), sell on Etsy or Ebay, teach piano lessons or tutor children....I could go on and on.  The point is that just because a woman chooses to opt out of the traditional workforce doesn't mean that she can't bring her skills to the marketplace in a creative and entrepreneurial way.

The second recommendation I have is to stay informed.  Know what is happening in your town, your nation and the world.  The culture has a way of implying that if you aren't working, you aren't in the "real world."  It doesn't take long before you can start to agree.  Knowing your current events, and the significance of them, can be a great antidote to feeling isolated.  This is why I also blog regularly on Cigars in the Parlour, a blog specifically for women on current events.  This week I'm writing about the value of being informed, and some things to watch out for in modern media.  Next week I'll pick right back up on covering the headlines, and I encourage you to do the same.  

Yes, staying connected is more difficult when you aren't driving off to work every day.  But efforts made to stay involved can be both fun and rewarding.

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