Shortly after my husband and I got married, we moved across the country because my husband got a job in the aerospace industry. Immediately upon arrival we became part of a large, loose-knit group of young engineers who frequently moved from one company to another within the industry. Everyone was in the loop, filled in on where so-and-so was currently working and what they thought of the various companies. It was an interesting time and the industry fascinating. Belonging to a group of engineers, getting together each Friday night for pizza and card games, was great medicine to help cure some of my homesickness.
However, I grew up living in one house and couldn't see myself moving frequently as many of our friends (who came and went with regularity to other companies and then back again), and living in densely populated places like California, Texas or Washington, DC. Moving to Seattle was adventuresome enough for me.
This turned out to be a wise decision in retrospect. My reluctance to get on the aerospace roller coaster allowed my husband to stay in one job, with one company and establish himself there. When the aerospace market tanked and many friends lost their jobs all over the country, we were spared from that upheaval.
It was interesting how all our lives overlapped, despite working for different companies and sometimes large distances.
When I finished up my engineering studies, I found the same was true within my sphere of engineering. There was always someone you knew at any given conference. More than likely, you knew a speaker and had worked with them either peripherally or substantially on the project they were presenting. It seemed you knew at least someone at just about any company that had anything to do with the field you worked in either as a supplier or customer.
It was a great big, interesting Venn diagram.
After we moved home to Minnesota and had our children, it was a period of disconnection. We had moved away from our friends and were starting over. I was no longer working, and the new friends we had made with have children while the environment hubby worked in was much smaller and didn't provide the opportunities for socializing that we were previously used to. Further, both my parents had passed away and my brother was living in Europe.
Then we got involved in different Catholic circles and it felt like the aerospace industry all over again.
It's comforting to know people at church and in various homeschool groups or prayer groups. In fact, it seems no matter what we do lately, each function has someone we know from another group we are in. Blogger friends are now personal friends, church friends contain homeschool friends; Cub Scouts will overlap several groups. What a blessing it is to have a support network, a diverse and far-reaching Catholic social network, to help each other along through these times.
What a blessing it is for my children to see that they aren't the only ones to say Grace, attend Mass, say prayers or have a devotion to a saint. I think if more Catholics tapped into this network, the more they would be carried along with prayers and with temporal and spiritual support.
We "went it alone" for several years after my son was born and know how isolating it can be. It's good to know we aren't the only wacky Catholic-ees around.
It is not good for man to be alone. Gen 2:18