JULIE: During this bizarre time when we are all quarantined, I need reassurance that our friends and family members are safe and in a good place mentally. This is especially true of our young adult kids who are not only dealing with social isolation, but also unemployment. I also worry about our parents and siblings, especially my dad as he lives alone.
JOHN: Julie is a masterful communicator, and frequently has multiple threads of e-mails, text messages, and phone calls going. Her text message alert lights up dozens of times a day. I must admit that I sometimes find it mildly annoying that she is on her phone so frequently. Much more than that, though, I have very strong admiration for her tremendous communication, and how she places such a high value on staying in touch with others. It dawned on me that maybe this social isolation thing was harder for her than I realized.
JULIE: I saw our suddenly clear calendar as an opportunity to reach out and reconnect with family and friends across the country and the globe. I earnestly arranged multiple phone calls and video gatherings to fill our schedule and the social void I was experiencing.
JOHN: I’ll admit I wasn’t initially thrilled with having a calendar filled with virtual meetings, especially since working remotely has me spending 8-10 hours a day on conference calls and video meetings. We also had a half-finished bathroom project calling my name, but I saw how important this was to Julie. I put aside my sometimes grumpy attitude about “giving up free time” to join Julie. And you know what? It was awesome! When I seized the opportunity to become part of the communication, rather than be just an observer, we both enjoy it.
I now enthusiastically help to arrange and participate in our virtual visits. Over the past several weeks, we have “met” with friends and family members in other cities in our state, across the country, and even Australia. This past Easter Sunday, we participated in large Zoom gatherings with both of our extended families. It just felt great to share with Julie the concerns, experiences, laughs, and tears with those we love.
JULIE: Since I know how much John values his "productive" time, it meant a lot to me that he was willing to make the sacrifice and join in on these virtual visits with our family and friends. It changed the whole experience when BOTH of us were on those calls. Reaching out to others – together – is worth every ounce of energy we put into it.
So, what are you waiting for? Reach out and touch someone today – TOGETHER.