Distance. I had never thought as much about that word as I have in the last two months. I went to Merriam-Webster online to find many meanings for this word (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distance#h3). Did you know the word distance can be a noun, verb and an adjective? There are not many words that accomplish this!* In reading the various definitions, I quickly realized that we are all going through various stages of this word right now. As a noun, distance is defined as the quality or state of being distant. As a verb, it is defined “to make or maintain a personal or emotional separation from; to place or keep at a distance.” You are especially aware of it’s meaning as an adjective. Think distance learning or distance education, terms that may not have been in your regular vocabulary just a few months ago!
However defined, DISTANCE is our new world. Honoring this word is why we cannot invite friends to get together, sit inside a restaurant, hug loved ones at a funeral, or celebrate the small or large occasions of life together. When you think too hard about it, some days this may feel more like a four-letter word than anything else!
Now that we are done defining distance, let’s set our sights on defying distance when all this has subsided. What or who do you miss the most? What will you do when you can start to enjoy the social in social distancing. Or when you put the living back into distance living. You have some time to consider your options. Perhaps this will give us all something to look forward to! I know we can get through this and together I know we can go the distance!
By Kristin Beise, April 29th
*Wondering what other words can be all three? Think Fast! No really, one answer is actually the word “Fast!”