Is it just me, or are you, too, finding that your friendships are changing a bit during COVID?
For the past eleven months, there is good group of folks whom I have seen—and with whom I continue to meet regularly. Some of them might have been more of a “catch up on the sidelines” friend before, someone I enjoyed chatting with during some sort of sporting event. Of course, all of that is canceled.
Now, everything takes effort.
We must agree on a time. Organize a place. Physically drive to each other. Figure out what we can do that still acknowledges the COVID world rules and allows for the infamous social distancing mandates. That last piece often seems the most challenging.
Once we are together, though, it seems our conversations are often very profound, very quickly. We are deeply honest. We respond with great compassion and heartfelt empathy. We offer insights gained through perhaps great difficult personal strife; things we have learned through experiences not necessarily shared before are gifts we offer to a friend in need.
When this all started in March last year, did any of us have any idea of the sociological impacts we’d feel?
I am anxious to return to “normal” (if there is such a thing again). I want to chat about mundane things with others while we watch the high school boys run a basketball up and down the court. I long to work in the hamburger stand during a football game, bang on the glass while celebrating a goal at a hockey match, cheer loudly for the lacrosse team, attend our town’s annual acapella concert, be a part of the goofiness of a weekend celebration of agriculture that includes heifers being paraded down main street, invite others into my home again…
In the meantime, I’m grateful every day for the friendships we can still maintain. It’s a silver lining of appreciation I’m feeling tonight.