This is just a rambling bit of musing.
Usually like so many of you, I zoom around, taking time to smell the coffee (after all that wakes me up) but generally very little else. Back in the day before cell phones and computers, we didn’t get as much done as we do now, but the daily stresses were significantly less. In spite of the many opportunities to connect with people during the day – texts, video calls, phone calls, social media, email and probably more, there really is less communication.
Today, I did another grocery run (well, actually I walked) – it’s the 3rd time in as many days to stores I can walk to. 3-5 miles round trip with reusable bags and backpacks is do-able. I figured that although I can drive, the weather right now is mild and pretty sunny. Here in Salt Lake City, we are expecting nasty stuff for the rest of the week. At least that’s what this evening’s forecast said and that was significantly different from the forecast a few hours ago when it was only going to be nasty for a day or two, now it looks like 4 days.
With all the focus on productivity partly due to the relative ease of getting things done instantaneously where not all that long ago things that are simple tasks now would take hours, it’s hard to step back and view productivity, work environments and socializing through this new lens. It’s one thing when we choose to work at home, another when we have no other option. It’s the same with connecting to people. If I choose to send a text, that’s my choice, but what happens when the working at home means that seeing people in person is off the table? Its one thing if we choose to do things in a certain way, it’s a whole different situation when it’s imposed on us from outside.
I’m not saying that this new situation should be fought against. Not at all. I think it’s the most practical way to combat what could be worse than the absolute worst thing any of us could imagine. I am saying that this gives us an opportunity to do a hard reset. Use this opportunity as a time to reassess how we live and how we connect with other people.
As a genealogist normally busy researching other people’s families, I forget about my own. In time not spent on commuting, I can call people (my family lives too distant to visit or see in person) and even take the time for video calls that don’t need to be rushed. I can reconnect with all those cousins I’ve met virtually over the years, found out basics facts and then never spoken to again. There are so many opportunities to be seen once we stop moaning about how inconvenient this situation is.