With the recent passing of Betty White, everywhere I looked on social media this wonderful comedic actress was being talked about with such praise from her adoring fans and colleagues as the Golden Girls theme song, "Thank You for Being a Friend" played in the background. The title of that song got stuck in my head and it really got me thinking about the priceless gift of friendship.
Friends. What would we ever do without them? That is something I do not even want to consider. A good friend can be found from many different age groups, and walks of life. I have many very special friends who have grown from acquaintances to soul sisters. I love them so much and they know who they are. I am so very blessed to have found them and I hold them close as they truly are a precious treasure.
Human beings are social creatures and are made for community. That is why this pandemic has been so incredibly difficult for everyone. We long to be connected and feel like it used to be. Being alone and isolated is not healthy for us mentally, physically, socially or spiritually. True friends are priceless and when they are absent from our lives it greatly affects us.
People in so many professions are maxed out right now. Many are at their breaking point. This pandemic has gone on far too long and people are exhausted and simply burnt out. Doctors, nurses, teachers and educational staff, small business owners, and pastors, just to name a few are not o.k. Life has gotten so hard and even when we are with our colleagues and friends, we must be very careful to keep our distance. We are concerned about unknowingly making each other sick. The loneliness can get so crippling.
The dilemma remains of how do we stay close when we must be six feet apart? How do we stay connected when we must social distance? I have wrestled with these questions and have found some helpful solutions. They are common everyday steps we can take to feel that connection and sense of community once again we so desperately need.
Technology can keep us connected like never before. I remember as a kid thinking wouldn't it be so cool if you could call someone and actually see him or her like they did on the Jetsons cartoon? It is a common reality now and I love it! You can use platforms like Skype, Microsoft Teams, Google Meets, Facebook Messenger and FaceTime. There is power in seeing someone you miss so much. I have a best friend named Jade, in British Colombia, and we always visit this way. It is so cool that I can see her face to face and get to know her little ones who I have never met in person through this innovative communication tool.
Virtual school brings me 15 incredible kids face to face in squares like the Brady Bunch intro and it always makes me smile. I have started what I call the "Chit Chat Club" where I stay on a bit extra just to visit with those that want to stay. Kids need that. They miss their friends so much and they just need time to visit.
Join Supportive Communities
Joining supportive online communities can make a world of difference. I have my personal Facebook page and a page and blog called Little Lessons Learned by Dana to provide hope and encouragement to others. As I share my struggles and insights, I strive to add value to others' lives. In addition, I am a part of many other online groups. Some are professional. Others are spiritual and others, are just about fun and friendship, but I enjoy them all because we are connecting! If you are not a part of online communites, I encourage you to investgate this possibility. There are groups for every hobby, profession, and interest. Truly something for everyone!
Make the Call
Connect with your friends by actually calling them! Skip the texting. There is nothing wrong with texting if that is all you can do or have time for, but when people can actually hear your voice it makes such a difference. Make the time for that call. Schedule it. You won't regret it.
Old Fashioned Letters and Cards
Remember snail mail? Oh, yeah! It used to be all we had other than phone calls to keep in touch. I used to write many letters to pen pals every month as a teen and it was very exciting and meaningful. I had pen pals from many different countries. Just because we have new, modern ways to keep in touch, it doesn't mean that letters and cards are a bad idea. In fact, they are the opposite! What a pleasant surprise to get a card or letter from a BFF or special someone in amongst all the junk mail and bills! Trust me you will make someone's day! When we were studying friendly letters in virtual school, I sent letters to all my students. For some of them it was the only mail they have ever received. It really meant a lot to them!
Things will not always be this way. At some point it will get better. Until then, we need to prioritise those special friendships and other relationships we hold dear and reach out in creative ways.
Until next time
Proverbs 27:9 ~ A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.
Little Lesson Learned: We can still feel very close to those special friends of ours during these crazy times. It just takes a bit more effort.
Copyright © 2022 littlelessonslearnedbydana
Tags: Betty White, friendship, Covid 19, encouragement, connections, technology, virtual tools, virtual platforms