I Want More Zoom Calls …

…said no one ever? But I had an epiphany during the pandemic. It was the beginning of year two and I had just left a start up where I had been COO. I loved the work I did there. I love to bring order to chaos and there were just super good, smart people working there who made each working day interesting. But I just wasn’t passionate about the business we were in. I kept thinking that I would become passionate with time – but after almost two years – it just hadn’t happened. I decided it was time for me to do something else.

I spent the first two weeks post-job-break-up purging and ordering the room I had decided to make my office (bringing order to chaos). It had become a “room of requirement” (shameless Harry Potter reference) which is just a fancy way of saying “dumping ground” for things we knew we needed to sort through or thought we needed but hadn’t found the “right” place for in our home – so into the room it went. Lots of quotes there. (Sorry.) Bottom line, I cleaned that stuff up.

As I processed both my break up from the start up AND the paperwork in the room – I began to notice how much I was missing talking to other people. I know that “missing seeing other people” was one of the top of many people’s complaints about the pandemic. And oh sure I could always go find my husband in his office (now in another room of the house due to the pandemic) if I needed to see another human being but I missed talking with people other than my husband. What I noticed is I actually missed my Zoom calls with work colleagues. What?!? Yup. I missed my Zooms. They were what buoyed me during that first year of the pandemic. I missed knowing that every Monday at 9am I would see the faces of the executive team – many of whom had become friends – to discuss the metrics of our business. I missed speaking with Deb – who ran HR and had also become a super close friend – for our one-on-one meeting at 10am….and on and on.

And I missed my non-work friends.

If only I could have regularly scheduled one-on-ones with friends around the country. If only I could look forward to speaking with Lea once a month on Mondays….Leilani once a month on Tuesdays….Tripti on Fridays and so on. And then I thought to myself: Why can’t I schedule Zoom calls with friends? Why can’t I set up regular check ins on my calendar – actual meetings – with friends I wanted to speak with regularly but don’t seem to find the time to call if simply left to my endless to do list?

So I reached out and asked my friends if we could schedule a recurring meeting. A zoom.

And I promised these friends that while we would schedule our catch ups for 45 minutes monthly – we could cancel anytime we felt we didn’t have time that month to spend 45 minutes. Maybe we could even occasionally shorten our calls to the magical 8 minutes research tells us it takes to make a connection with another human being. (I LOVE THE NEW YORK TIMES.)

And you know what? It has been AWESOME. I feel truly connected to those friends because we now speak so regularly that we sometimes we even run out of things to say. And that is ok. We end the call and move on with our days. More connected.

150 150 Sarah E. McDonald