One of the strange ‘gifts’ of COVID 19 for me has been connecting with my friends in new ways. I have always been a girl who puts a high value on friendship. The last 6 month has reaffirmed that about me.
It is a challenge to connect but true friendship seems to prevail.
I have ZOOM cocktails with my best mates almost every week. Our friendship goes WAY BACK to junior high, high school and college. These friends live in different Montana cities. They don’t get to see each other too frequently and I rarely get to see them. What has been interesting is that we are probably more in touch these days than we were pre-pandemic. In addition to ZOOMing, we also text frequently. We share the same politics, so we always have lots to cover!
I have lived in one city and worked in another for the last 10+ years. And I had had a long commute to boot. As a result, I haven’t put much effort into making ‘non work’ friends in my community. That is coming back to bite me now that I can’t be out and about in my usual fashion. I do have friends in the Puget Sound area but we are far apart geographically, probably at least 1 ½ hours travel time each way. That distance isn’t too conducive to hanging out.
Most of my good friends a little closer to home are hard at work responding to the pandemic. I don’t get to see them often which is totally understandable!
As an extrovert, if I don’t have frequent contact with friends, I can get bored and anxious. Neither of those are very healthy states of mind for me. However, I have been amazed that whenever I seem to hit a low point a friend appears (thanks for dropping by on Saturday, KP)!
This quote from a NPR interview resonated with me:
‘I think that this crisis has reminded us to not take friendship for granted. You know, you could say absence is making the heart grow fonder all over the world. And before this, what I found is that we think we appreciate friendship and most of us say that we prioritize it, but actually we cancel on friends all the time. And when we get busy, they’re the first thing to go. And what I hope is that when this is all over, we will not go back to those old ways and that we will make friendship a priority. And this should give us permission to do that, to go hang out with our friends and, you know, fall into their arms with joy when it’s safe to do that.’Lydia Denworth
I think I just added her book to my summer reading list: Friendship The Evolutionary Biology Extraordinary Power of Life’s Fundamental Bond.
And my deepest sympathy to my friend, DK, and her family!