Technology today has made it easy to maintain a sense of socialness. Early on during the pandemic, one of my golf buddies sent a note to all of us asking if anyone had a zoom account that we could all get together for happy hour on Friday. Having such an account the wheels were put in motion. We’ve gotten together every Friday night since then. Granted it is a different sort of happy hour but it is great to see everyone.
It didn’t take long to realize additional opportunities. I’ve shared many a cup of coffee with folks I would traditionally meet at a coffee shop. It’s fantastic catching up for an hour or two without a particular agenda.
My family has a standing meeting once a week for all that can make it. I’ve seen more of my siblings during this pandemic that I typically do in a year. In general, we are all so busy, that the only time we get together is weddings and funerals. The nature of our busy lifestyles, even weddings and funerals are not guaranteed.
Given the physical distance, my girls and I live from each other, we’ve used video chats for as long as they have been available. It’s a blessing to be able to share in them raising their children. My granddaughter has recently started potty training. Through technology I was able to celebrate with her mom her success.
Another amazing celebration was my best friend’s birthday. We coordinated the menu, including matching birthday cake. We shared dinner via Zoom. Followed by lighting candles on respective cakes, and singing happy birthday. It was wonderful sharing the moment.
Several networking groups, I belong to have shifted to video meetings. Some I’ve coordinated the online activities to facilitate the networking; Others I have just been a participant. Zoom offers a breakout room feature to divide the large group into smaller groups. These smaller groups create the opportunity to get to know someone better.
Our Rotary club has shifted to online meetings. Since my surgeries I’ve been finding it difficult to make meetings. The online format has taken away my excuses and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed re-engaging with Rotary. Our club does an activity that is called member tête-à-tête. The names of the participants are put into a hat each person is given the name of another person. You reach out to the person you are given and get together with them; the primary purpose is to get to know another member on a deeper level. Since you are given someone, and someone else is given to you, it creates the opportunity to get to know two members. In the current situation these have shifted to a virtual platform also.
I also reconnected with the bluebirds. The bluebirds are a special group of women that I worked closely with during my doctoral program. After completing the program, we all went back to our busy lives. Some of us would get together occasionally, but the opportunity for all of us to get together was illusive. Now we get together every other week.
As I contemplated the breakout rooms, I realized we might be able to get our Bunco group together for a game. It took most of the night and a bit of trial and error to figure efficient ways of moving people around. Much fun was had by all and even with the physical distancing, social connecting continues to create legacy moments.