If you live in Ontario this past weekend was our first weekend in months where we could enter a retail store or grab a bite to eat on the patio or BBQs with friends. As we gathered again It felt like the start of the next chapter.
For me, I was really looking forward to seeing people again. But, if I am being honest as the time got closer I was less excited and more apprehensive. I wondered who might be there, would I know everyone? Would others keep their distance?
When we arrived for the backyard get-together the first thing I did was count how many people were in the backyard. I don’t know why I counted, there was plenty of room. I guess it’s a habit I started during Covid.
Then there was the awkward hello. Do you fist bump, elbow, shake hands or hug? The awkwardness happened over and over again. After a while, it started to feel ‘normal’ again. There were casual conversations, laughs and smiles all around.
As we drove home I noticed a yawn and then another. I was tired, tired from a few hours of conversation and listening to music. Tired from exchanging energy and tired from the worries running in the back of my mind.
I am grateful we went. It was a good way to ease back into socializing again.
It made me think about how everyone is going to have their own tolerance and concerns as we start to gather again. Some people will be all in right away, while others may not be ready to gather for a few months. While many others will be somewhere in between.
My ask of you is that as we start gathering again with friends and family that you respect how each person is feeling. As human beings, we crave connection but it has to be on our terms.
I also thought that as a host there are a few things that you can do to help others feel comfortable:
- Let the guests know how many people have been invited/attending
- Provide hand sanitizer
- If it’s an outdoor event, let your guests know if bathrooms are available inside
Enjoy reconnecting, it’s been too long.