that magical time when we were surrounded

I was talking to a friend from grad school that I hadn’t talked to in a few years. He said something that really stuck with me.

There was a time when we were surrounded by our friends – school, college, grad school, camp, maybe something similar. We were surrounded.

When we left someone, we knew we’d see them soon. We’d meet them in class or the dining hall or on the green or just walking across campus. We didn’t worry about it. We didn’t need to plan it. We didn’t know how special that was.

Now fast forward however many years. These days we have to make appointments, or schedule a coffee or a party. We usually have to find a reason to get together. It doesn’t just happen, because our lives aren’t intertwined in quite the same way.

Maybe we’re fortunate enough to have a taste of that at work if we have work friends. Or maybe we have created some routines that help us to feel connected with our friends like that: a morning coffee routine, a neighborhood hangout, a book club, a standing dinner date, a softball league (these days it’s probably pickleball!).

I know that many of us are aware that we lost a lot of our social connections during the pandemic and we are trying to find ways to get them back. I realize that I lost some of them way before the pandemic. I look back on those times at school and some projects that I worked on, and I remember the ease and security I felt without even knowing it: I’ll see you again soon. Such a sweet feeling.

I am vowing that whenever I get caught up in thinking that I need a reason to get together or an excuse to reach out, I’ll remember that feeling and just do it. I just want to see you. That’s a pretty nice reason, and it is enough.

In the meantime, remember these things: You are loved. We are all loved. Let’s all be kind. And in all things – progress, not perfection!

Love, and light in the shadows,


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