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Overwhelmed By Socializing?

Two weeks post-vaccine, it’s been liberating getting out of the house.

Even walks in the woods seem freer, less worried about folks strolling by mask-less and much too close.

I am excited about chatting with folks at the dog park – still socially distanced and faces obscured. It felt ridiculously friendly to have a face-to-masked face meeting with a business colleague yesterday. Waiting for a friend at our co-work space and listening to another business hold a business meeting felt almost festive – like hanging in a coffee shop.

And I’m meeting friends to play music next week! Outside, of course, but we haven’t seen each other outside of Zoom for well over a year.

It’s exciting.

However . . . .

I’m a person who, in the ‘pre’ times, could feel overwhelmed in a crowd. Whose idea of hell is a cocktail party with people I don’t know. Who loves to be with friends and meet new people, but who needs to recharge after a short while and return later, refreshed.

I’m someone who feels this year of Zoom has provided too much socializing, not too little.

So, I’m going to pace myself.

I am visiting folks in small doses.

I am picking people I like.

I am choosing times and places where I can take part, tread lightly, and leave when I’m ready. Places where I can have deep conversations or very light ones. But not ones that are just uncomfortable and way too long.

If my hours of on-line meetings have taught me nothing else, it’s taught me that socializing can be draining, though rewarding, and that time alone or with a book or with my dog or my family clears my head.

I know myself well enough to know what I need. A little, but not too much.

One of many things I’ve learned in reflection and by thinking about what I want to keep from this long, very strange year.

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