It’s hard to believe that the pandemic is approaching its one-year anniversary. I’m sure no one expected or wanted to go through a single moment of this. There are so many things that have been changed forever. At first, people were hopeful for a return to what they were accustomed to because that was our norm. Societal change was forced upon us and it has been challenging. It continues to press upon everyone in various ways.
The aspect of life that I have missed the most is being able to gather in person with others. I’m not talking about mass events like conferences, concerts or sporting events. I have missed grabbing a cup of coffee and hanging out in coffee shops.
This past weekend, my daughter came to visit which is something my wife and I always enjoy. We caught up, talked about her work and life and then settled into having her around the house. She asked me if I’d like to go check out a new coffee shop that one of her high school classmates recently opened. It was a half-hour drive from our house and the ride was incredible. Having one-on-one time with your child should always be a blessing regardless of their age. The conversation flowed easily and we were taking note of the sights of a neighborhood we weren’t familiar with as we looked for the coffee shop.
As we pulled into a parking spot along a crowded street, we saw the converted mechanic’s garage which was now the Square Mile Coffee Company. We were able to order a couple of wonderful hot beverages AND take a seat in the coffee shop !! It was magnificent. It was just as I remembered it even though the tables were spaced miles apart. There were others in the coffee shop as well and it was touching to hear the banter and laughter from one group while another person was sitting with his laptop.
I know that we’re still far from being able to be social in person on a larger scale. However, the glimmer of hope that this visit to a coffee shop gave me was just what I needed. There are more and more conversations happening about people experiencing loneliness and fatigue. What would happen if you took a step to have a cup of coffee with someone today? I understand that you may not be able to do it in person, but you could still make it happen. Sure, we’re all tired of looking at screens, but what if you took a look at it a bit differently?
Having some focused time to have a conversation with someone may just be the lift they need. It will recharge you as well. This week, I’m going to be intentional in reaching out to my peers in HR who would like to grab a coffee and some conversation. It’s going to be one-on-one and I really don’t care what we talk about. The work we do in HR is hard and we often don’t have someone to talk to that understands all that goes into being an HR practitioner. I’m not complaining. I’m just stating a reality.
I want to make the time for this to make this a new practice and not something to return to. I have decided to stop waiting for our environment to change. We can get together now. Don’t be surprised if I reach out to you to ask for a few minutes to share a hot cup of coffee (or your preferred beverage). I’d encourage you to do the same with those you know.
Let’s have a cup of coffee !!