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"I like to fly away...ZOOm, ZOOM...ZOOM": 'Zooming' Gave me my social life back!"

Greetings and Good Monday Morning Everyone!

I hope all is well and that you all are still remaining safe and sound amid this difficult time. Let me just say, I'm super happy to be able to stay connected with you all. I will admit that this time spent at home has had it's ups and downs, and I have my "introverted" moments and days when I'm "moody" (as my family often tell me...sorry guys) and I want to be left alone. But overall, most people that know me, knows that I'm a social person. So, this time literally separated from society has been difficult for me at times. By the way, in case you want to know, according to my Myers Briggs Personality Test results, I'm a ESFJ (Extroverted, Sensing, Feeling, and Judging). I took the test years ago, but I actually decided to retake the test recently to see If I'd changed at all, and the answer is "no". Check out my results below. So for me, being able to connect keeps me motivated because, friends and family always know what to say and do to keep me on point. Not having that ability to connect and see people when I want has stifled and demotivated me in a sense at times. However, luckily, I have the ability to find happiness and joy regardless of being alone or in a group of people, but I do know that I thrive when I'm around others. This week, I wanted to share how using Zoom is allowing me to satisfy my need to be socially connected to friends and family.

Zooming is the "Mai" Hangout Spot

Today, I'm singing, "I like to fly away, zoom, zoom, zoom!", from the Commodores song, "Zoom" because, I'm realizing the "modern enterprise video communications" tool known as, Zoom, is giving me my social life back. I begun to refer to the act of communicating using this tool as, "Zooming". Before this #COVID19 pandemic crisis, I was attending line dance events, traveling regularly, and socially interacting with family and friends regularly. I'd even held my own event to launch my book just two weeks prior to the "social distancing" orders. Initially, when we all were advised to remain at home, I was a bit excited to "slow down", not have to commute to downtown Washington, D.C. from Frederick, MD, and really enjoy being at home more. With that said, honestly, that feeling wore off after a week or so (not the feeling of having to commute), but I've been steadfast in remaining at home as instructed by our state officials. Now look, as much as I'd love to hang out with my best friend "Reka" from Boston, MA and fly over to California and kick in Hollywood with my other best friend Jenn right about now, I am not crazy enough to put my life and someone else's life at risk by violating the "no social distancing" orders. I mean -- I'm just not. So, like everyone else, I've had to settle for doing more connecting virtually. In the past, prior to this pandemic, I'd FaceTime with my friend Jenn, and with my mother and sister-in-laws regularly. We all have Skyped as well. So virtual communication, wasn't foreign to me, but I must admit, it was not my favorite mode of communication. With that said, the first virtual experience I had using Zoom, was for a bellydance class my other best friend/dance instructor, "Daliana" of Daliana Dance Studios in Greensboro, NC held, and it was great. I loved it because, it gave me a chance to take a class with her, and that's something I haven't done in years. I have not been a regular student of hers since I lived in NC, nearly 12 years ago, and it was amazing to see her and the other students. Plus, I enjoy the idea of interacting with multiple people on a single platform. After, that first experience, it became apparent to me, that this could be an opportunity for me to connect with many other friends that I used to see on a regular basis years ago, that I've rarely seen since moving away from them. Since then, I've taken several dance classes (one with a former instructor from MA), my son has weekly classes in the evening, and I've attended a zoom meeting on coaching. Although, all of those meetings were great. I had the most fun when my teammates from work had an afterwork "happy hour" (not on Zoom), and my Boston Rhythm Riders Line Dance friends-family had a catch up session with cocktails and conversation to celebrate one of our friend's birthday! The virtual birthday celebration was so much fun! To see everyone's smiling faces and to laugh and joke around is something that I'd missed. I love my friends and many of them are like sisters to me. So connect with them after not seeing them for quite some time was awesome!

"Zooming" with the Boston Rhythm Riders

"Zooming" with Family

My husband's oldest sister and her family was the first to get us together on Google Hangout. The experience with family was genuinely much needed for me. When I was growing up, I was super close to my family. I went to my grandparents homes every week and weekend. I'd frequently stay over at my cousin's houses, and them at mine. The phrase, "cousins are our first siblings", is a true statement in my family. So yesterday, Sunday, April 26, 2020, I had my first Zoom meeting that I organized for my family, and it was...INCREDIBLE! We laughed and joked around like we do when we're together at family gatherings. It's been some time since I've lived in NC, and it's been more than a year since I've been back home to visit. I've always been close to my family so it's been so hard not see them regularly since moving away. I miss them all of the time, but Zoom is bridging the distance. It's truly giving me a chance to catch up with everyone and fill the void that I've had without them in my life since moving away. Here's just a few highlights from our very first call. It was such a hit that we're all excited about our next call on Mother's Day!

In closing, life as we know it is changing drastically. Connecting with family and friends, will never be the same as it has been in the past. I for one, have always been open to change, but this is a change that I was not expecting. It's open my eyes to opportunities that I'd ignored before, such as, connecting more, virtually to family and friend long-distances away. Personally, I've had to rethink my connections to some people that I thought were closer to me, but have distanced themselves since this crisis, and reestablish connections with people that I'd distanced myself from before the crisis. It's interesting. Even with that, I know that my family and closest friends will always be there, and I will be looking forward to Zooming with them until I can physically see them again!

"Zoom, zoom, I like to fly away, zoom, zoom...zoom!" - Commodores

Thank you for reading my blog this morning. Hey, do me a favor, if you like or love this post, comment on it. I’d love to hear your feedback. Also, please feel free to share it with your family and friends in the social media universe. I greatly appreciate the support.

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