August 2021: We Are Family

by Joshua

Because Tony and I started Sociability as an online magazine in the middle of a pandemic, since day one we’ve produced it in a digital space. Nobody goes to the office. Nobody attends editorial meetings around a conference table. In spite of the fact that we’ve never gathered together around a watercooler, it still feels like we’re in an early stage of forming a family, in that way lasting friendships form over things that really matter. And funny cat memes.

Regular readers of Sociability may have noticed we offer our contributors an optional editorial theme to inspire their writing. In August, that theme is “We are family.” Families we’re born into, families we build through relationships along life’s journey.

All of our contributors seemed to really ponder this theme of family, even if they chose not overtly write about it. Even Eoin, whose Adventure in a Good Trail Part 3 was ultimately inspired by healthy spaces between people.

While Eoin takes us exploring close to home, Tracey’s travelogue carries us from coast to coast with framily (friends who are family). The result? Nine Pro Tips for traveling in a group of family or friends.

What about traveling alone? This can be an incredible journey not only of self-discovery but reconnection to ideals, dreams and people who are on your side. Our talented and intrepid book reviewer Lisa is surprised by her first read of the best-seller Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia. On the outside, it’s a great beach read. On the inside, it’s magnetism can also serve as a powerful mental compass.

Lindsay and her DIY art project reminds us that even in hard times, joyful moments can sparkle through the darkness when you share them with loved ones, and that’s worth remembering.

About this time every year, I get a little sentimental about the University of Texas at Arlington. Right after I moved to Texas, I got a job there and stayed for over 13 years. Though I haven’t worked at UTA for several years now, nearly every person in my Texas framily came to me through my affiliation with the University. You Are Here is a tribute to one such friendship and how he saw the enduring complexity and beauty of the campus.

It’s inconceivable to Tony and me that we should dedicate this issue to family without a thoughtful look at the upcoming school year. How fortunate I was to be introduced to Jennifer Cummings and Sandy McNutt who helped me — and I hope will help you — take a big step back before we take our big step forward into Fall.

In addition to her day job, Jennifer is the president of Junior League of Arlington. She’s quick to say the League of today looks much different than the League of yesteryear. As you peruse the evidence in the JLA Instagram takeover this month, I think you’ll see that nothing has changed in terms of their hearts for service and love of our community.

Have you heard about the Ramblin’ Roads Music Festival? This is the next big idea from the folks at Downtown Arlington Management Corporation. As a long-time community-builder, proponent of dreaming big, and fan of all kinds of music (not to mention former President and CEO of Downtown Arlington), Tony digs into why this particular music festival isn’t just a music festival.

Finally, Tony and I want to make sure you see your invitation to participate in a short (and we mean short) survey sponsored by Metro Sports Fieldhouse. This non-profit organization models a well-rounded life by involving kids three pillars of programming: sports; hands-on learning in STEM and the arts; and financial literacy. What more can MSF do to help our community? They’d like to hear your ideas.

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