Hot Foot and Panda Jam

This morning, I got a lovely email from my friend Jason Roemer:

Jason RoemerI had the CRAZIEST dream last night that you and Louis had put together a little video of all these crazy and funny running strides. You’d filmed it in a parking garage and it was hysterical. I kinda wish it was real.

There was the “Hot Foot,” the “Panda Jam,” and one that didn’t even have a name, but included you and Louis sidestepping your way across camera.

Great stuff.Jason Roemer

I replied, “I wish this was real too! Also, can I blog about this?” Ha. (Thank you, Jason, for allowing me to share your words with the wide world).

It reminded me of my reaction to Miranda July’s project, We Think Alone. For the project, she curated emails from 10 celebrities, asking them to forward one email per week for 20 weeks around a common theme. For example, the participants were asked to share an email with an apology, a song, a dream. I loved the openness, that the emails had been written privately for an audience of one. Each weekly digest was like a sneak peek into someone’s world. I wrote about this more in depth, especially about openness and transparency on the SmallBox blog, if you’re curious for a bit more detail.

As a personal exercise, with each digest, I searched my own inbox, curious to see what my contributions might have looked like if I were a participant. My queries unearthed messages from years ago, and I loved re-living some of the stories I’d once told. Funny thing though. The stories sort of dried up at some point. It had been so long since I’d written an email as thoughtful as some of those I uncovered. There seemed to be a direct correlation of emails dropping off with the frequency of using Facebook as a means to stay in touch with friends. Without realizing it, quick social touch points had eroded my drive to share my life in longer form.

This realization was a bit of a punch to the gut. Somehow I’d let the busyness of life get in the way of meaningful contact with people I love. Quick status updates, the kind that are kosher to share with all the world, are a poor substitute for meaningful, individual interaction.

I’ve taken that lesson with me, and when I’m thinking of a friend, I’ve been sharing it with them. If I take a photo that makes me think of someone, I text it. If I re-live a memory from long ago, I share the story via email. You get the idea. I’ve been doing this as much as I can.

Back to Jason’s dream email: it made me think of this new habit. It’s not quite set in stone, but I’d really like to fix it so it is. Also, I if I ever figure out how to Hot Foot or Panda Jam, and record some sweet video of said moves in a parking garage, Jason – you’ll be the first to know.

This post is part of Think Kit by SmallBox
Today’s prompt: “What habits did you start this year that you want to continue?”