I don’t know about you, but I haven’t felt like I have had any “extra” free time during this stay-at-home order while we try to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases. For those keeping track, I’m going into my fifth week of working from home and sixth week of not going anywhere “non-essential.”
There’s just work and then more work, and then taking care of myself through daily yoga and walking or running in my neighborhood.
After that, I use my time to check in on my family and friends. I have friends across the globe and have been having phone or video-chat dates at least once or twice a week. And then also visiting my parents’ house — by walking nearly three miles there and back — just to wave “hi” through their back sliding door and chatting from six feet away. The purpose of these visits is typically for me to pick up some coveted grocery item that I can’t ever seem to find, but my mom luckily does on her shopping trips. (One week it was tofu, last week it was a bag of flour and eggs).
And, also, let’s be honest, to make sure my parents are staying home. I don’t know about your parents but my mom is having more trouble than millennials at just staying put at home!
Back to my main point of this post …
I grew up in Seattle and have lived here my entire life so (not to brag, but,) I have a lot of friends here. Some friends I can go months without talking to on a normal basis but whenever we do hang out, nothing is awkward. We seem to just pick things up where we had left off.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, I find myself checking in with my friends more frequently. (And, them checking in on me as well). I am texting them more often and even replying to their IG stories with more emojis or comments than normal. Or, we’re just doing what we normally would be doing in “normal times” but now via the Internet .
My friend Phyllis and I have had a few virtual journaling meet-ups because one activity we would do in pre-covid times together would be to meet at a cafe and catch up over coffee/tea and journal. Typically Phyllis would bring her backpack filled with stamps, stickers and washi tape and she’d graciously let me sample her supplies. Usually, we’d end up talking the whole time and realize that we hadn’t done any journaling!
Our virtual journaling meet-ups have been mostly the same. I just don’t have the luxury of sampling Phyllis’ latest stamp collection when I’m at my home and she is at her house. Half-way through a story I was telling her the other weekend, I asked Phyllis through our Google Hangouts if she actually was journaling. (From her camera view, I couldn’t tell). She actually had been this time! I, on the other hand hadn’t even opened my journal! Some things still don’t change, I suppose.
I also recently had a virtual happy hour with two high school friends and we even had to schedule it for a week out because when we first tried to organize something, our three schedules just didn’t align with everyone’s work and (virtual) social schedules!
It’s a funny thing, isn’t it?
To be more connected than we ever had been before, despite not being able to physically see one another?
And also, that I feel more busy than I ever was pre-Coronavirus times!
I will always make time for my friends and family though. It’s important to me. And, something I never had to think twice about before.
If you need someone to chat with or send you a funny meme, you know who to turn to. (In case that wasn’t obvious, that person is me!)
We can still be social, even in isolation.
Thank you, technology. You were finally good for something.