It’s the time zone that’s the killer.
I live in Greece, seven hours ahead of my family and most of my dearest friends on America’s east coast. In theory seven hours aren’t too bad… After all, our waking hours overlap for more the half the day, right? But the earliest I can reasonably call is 8 AM for them, 3 PM for me. Right when my four kids get off the bus and fall into my kitchen, bursting with volume and activity. The chaos continues till my last one’s in bed at 9:30 PM; at that point I’m far too spent for catch-up phone time with my people.
So we didn’t talk, my heart friends and I. Or at least, we rarely talked. The connections were slipping… and my heart was suffering.
Eventually the time zone challenge became, as challenges so often do, an opportunity. A doorway to a new and beautiful thing.
Several months into our overseas stint I realized that I could leave voice messages for my friends through my international texting app, WhatsApp. And in reply they could leave voice messages for me. I began doing this with several of them. It wasn’t real-time voice to voice, but it was the next best thing – sequentialvoice to voice. A big chunk of words from me, followed by a big chunk of words from them… usually with an interval of days or a week between. Before long we got used to this and got into a rhythm, like audio letter-writing.Read More