The Joys of Reconnecting with Friends

Last week, The Good Doctors Fauci and Walensky announced that it was time for those of us who are fully vaccinated and immunized to drop the masks. They say that the vaccine is working very well, better than expected even, in stopping the advance of the virus.

The big day for our community farmer’s market is late afternoon on Thursday. Our local public health organization was there to administer the covid vaccine to market goers and one of them was my daughter. Now that she has finished her spring semester and finals are over, it was time to get the 2nd dose.

While we were at the market, I had an opportunity to see a dear friend in person with her sister. In addition to being an amazing history scholar and professor, she’s also an herbalist reviving her grandmother Mamie’s (and others) recipes for home-healing remedies. It fits her perfectly as a historian of medicine and women’s issues. She and another colleague who specializes in pharmaceutical biology took a class of students to China to learn about Chinese medicine. Honestly, how cool is that? It was so good to see her face!

Just across the street, a group of friends, all couples, were gathered on the patio at the wine bar celebrating a birthday. It was a celebration all around as this was the first night that Solera re-opened in more than a year of being shuttered due to Covid. All of us immunized, it was a joy to talk face-to-face with friends I’ve only connected with via text, Webex, Facebook, Instagram, and this very blog. My mind was trying to process the significance of the moment with this curious disbelief that there was really a huge void of time that had passed. It was just so, dare I say, normal?

We were a little later returning home than we had planned and my daughter proudly told my son, “Mom’s been socializing!” (literally smiling as I am writing this)

I adamantly believe that going back to normal as a society is the last thing we need to do. I am very much in support of taking the lessons learned through this time to create something new. Old normal was not working at all.

My lessons learned have included a deeper appreciation for connection to people I know well and those I will never know. I’m emerging from this time following my heart (more to come on that subject) and deepening connections. I work with a ADHD coach and somehow, there’s always a theme for the week that’s just passed. On Monday night we decided that the theme for me was, “Reach out. You are NOT an island.” Tracy with Ignition Transformation provides that outside perspective that is so helpful.

I’m not proud to say that I flaked on a friend for a few months at the beginning of the year. And this friend is a twin soul, someone with whom I have a deep connection. The start of the year was pretty demanding for me and for some unknown reason, I didn’t bring this friend with me. I regret that and reconnected this week.

Looking at our old friends is all the therapy that we need in tiredness.

anon.

Tomorrow, my sister friends are coming to Iowa and I am so thrilled to see them. We’re all tired and we’re all old friends. It will most definitely be therapeutic and certain to be accompanied with ice, limes, tonic, and gin. Our annual unofficial start of summer.

I have a dear friend that I grew up with. We’re so small town that our grandparents were high school classmates, my mother and his uncle were classmates, and our younger siblings were classmates. It’s a rare kind of generational family friendship in 2021. Life took us in different directions decades ago and we exchanged birthday wishes each year. We spoke on the phone for the first time in 27 years this week. It was astonishing.

It’s very normal for those of us at a certain age to realize that we’re heading into a different place in life. Of my four parents, only my dad is living now. Friends are finding themselves taking care of their own parents, managing more of life’s details for them, or helping them move into new living situations. And, many are also dealing with the grief and loss of their parents – through death or through age.

This time of isolation has only reinforced these feelings. The past year + has shown me many things, like this realization that dang, I’m going to be 57 in two months. There’s so much I have yet to do and want to do. Reconnecting with friends with deep appreciation for their presence in my life has been so positive.

What has this time shown you? Are you coming out of this pandemic with lessons learned? Deeper appreciation for [ fill in the blank ]? Recognition that life is unpredictable and fragile? God knows we have a void in our lives that loved ones once occupied. Who are you eager to see or hug again? What activities are you most looking forward to?

The answers to these questions lie within your heart. Take a moment to listen and then follow its direction. You won’t be disappointed.

Published by Laura Nelson Lof

I'm a lifelong Iowan and a proud alum of The University of Iowa. I'm a writer, an armchair political scientist, and an accomplished sports spectator.

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