I saw this tweet when it was released. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but it occurred to me later how true it is. So many of our regular activities have been disrupted over the past couple years.
I haven’t been to church in I don’t know how long. Instead of going to church I have made a habit of working every Sunday… or really, every day. If I’m not doing my regular IT job, I am writing, or doing a podcast or YouTube video. Sunday mornings, instead of church, I work on IT stuff because no one is using the systems. That’s the best time I can upgrade, update, or test without angering someone that’s using systems.
The days have blurred together so much, the concept of “weekend” has little meaning any more. Honestly, this isn’t as huge a change for me as it’s been for others. I had been working at home/remote most of the time before the pandemic. I can do 90% of my IT job from anywhere, so what’s the point of sitting in rush hour traffic if it’s not required?
I don’t go out to eat. I don’t go to bars. I don’t have a gym membership. Very little social life other than online. I wonder if this is true for the majority of men over 50. We all seem to lose contact, pandemic or not. It takes effort to maintain friendships. Perhaps I’ll explore that in later articles.
Speaking of the five most important people I’ve ever known — I’ve tried to make sure my family, my kids and their others, get together at least once a month. Most often the occasion has been NFL football. If before this pandemic you’d have told me I’d become a regular NFL fan, I’d have laughed in your face. We watched the Super Bowl together. On New Year’s Eve, we were up until 3 am doing Karaoke together. I’ve very thankful for those connections.
My biggest thought — how much will the broken ties created by this pandemic change the lives of younger people?
I made a huge amount of friends when I was a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the 1980s. Those people had a huge influence on my life. They became people I could rely on for advice, offer different perspectives, and share similar experiences with as life went on. How much of that is broken now, and how will it change society for my children as they grow older?
Then there’s little kids. I spent years being a coach and scout leader. Watching young kids grow mentally, physically, and socially over the course of a soccer season was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. There’s the story of Benjamin, The Boy Who Couldn’t Kick A Ball.
At 59 years old, missing two years of being around people because of this pandemic isn’t going to change my life that much. Remove that year from Benjamin’s life and the others we touched and what do you get?
We trust less and judge more; neither seem healthy for a well-functioning society to me.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
Thanks for reading.