I am grateful that I’ve been so lucky with the places I have been able to travel/live and work in my lifetime and even more grateful for the friends I have made along the way!
The only downside to being a bit of a nomad in my younger days is that only a handful of my friends are in the same town as me now – in fact, some are not even on the same continent!
We all have our different WhatsApp groups where we check in every now and then and send the odd meme. If we are really lucky, a few of us manage to actually coordinate our diaries and manage to meet up (this happens less often than a leap year!)
Without sounding cliché, when we do all get together, it really is like no time has passed since the last time we met up. We all fall into our roles, slip easily into conversation and before we know it, the evening is over and it’s time to go home. We all promise we will never leave it that long again, knowing that we will and, if we are being honest , chances are it will probably be even longer before the next time.
You see, as we all expand our families, progress in our careers and even move further afield, it becomes increasingly harder to find the time to catch up. Doesn’t it?
Or is it that we just allow our crazy paced (pre lockdown) life as an excuse not to MAKE time to catch up with our friends/family? I’m not sure what the answer is.
So here we are now, in week four of lockdown and I honestly don’t think I have spoken to some of my friends as much as I have in the past few weeks. It is like all of a sudden, we have ‘discovered’ technology that allows us to video call each other and connect as a group. I know it has always been there, but for some reason we have gone without catching up in the past because our diaries didn’t match up. Why have we never once suggested that instead we have a group video call?
Being in lockdown this past month has made me really appreciate how lucky I am with my family and friends and how my fast paced life outside of lockdown has actually made me forget that sometimes.
Catching up on houseparty with my childhood school friends (one in Australia) has been amazing – not only lifting my mood while on lockdown, but also providing the same support for them. Imagine being alone on the other side of the world from all your family and friends during this scary time….yes, we’ve always had whats app, but there is just something that little more special about seeing each other’s faces, sharing a glass of wine around the world and actually seeing those familiar faces, rather than just reading a short text.
My kids have done quizzes with their grandparents and friends over video calls which has kept that contact which they are missing immensely. We have even facetimed my 92 year old grandma (my mam holds the phone at her window) just so that she can see her great grandchildren and have some face to face contact while she is isolated alone at home.
Apparently, a study by Professor Robin Dunbar at Oxford University found that “you get the same bang for your buck – you talk for as long, you are as happy and you laugh as much whether the face to face interaction is on a computer or it’s actually happening in front of you.”
I can say from first-hand experience, I honestly agree.
I really hope that one thing we take forward from this lockdown period, is to continue making this effort to keep in touch with our friends and family.
Have you discovered any new apps during this lockdown that are helping you keep in touch with family and friends?