Life in the Zoom Zone

Updated: Mar 14

Author’s Note: I continue to qualify my perspective on the Covid-19 pandemic out of respect for those who have suffered emotionally, financially, and/or physically from this cruel virus. I have suffered little compared to so many who have. I write this from the viewpoint of a retired person, yet still a striving, small business entrepreneur. My blog posts reflect life after a cross country move from Florida to Utah which, in itself, has presented its own set of difficult challenges and rewarding experiences, followed very close behind by this awful pandemic.


As I continue to assess our pandemic life, I can’t help but notice a seismic shift taking place. It’s called “hope”! Just thinking of eating in a restaurant: “Ohhh, Pad Thai, here I come!” How about you?


With vaccinations slowly becoming more available, there is reason to believe that life is evolving to a new stage. My husband and I got our first shot this week! Our lives are going to come off “hold” in about two months and, despite speculation that a virus variant could develop and threaten the vaccinated population as well, I feel my gears shifting! As always, that faint flickering of light at the end of the tunnel is open to interpretation and is different for every person living through this crisis.



With life moving in a more positive direction --beyond covid infection rates and deviant viruses-- I thank my survival skills for helping me to navigate this surreal phase in our global history. My pandemic existence began with existing loneliness after a cross country move. Add sheltering in place on top of that and there is little chance of making friends in a new location. The life of a mobile jewelry artist can unfold in unexpected ways! During that time, the only answer was to hike the lovely and unpopulated high desert with my best friend- my husband, immerse myself in the creative space of my studio, and find solace in creative YouTubes. In a way, it was everyone's dream vacation but it just would not end. I am a people person! After a long and lonely time, I finally got into a Zoom session and that was the beginning of my escape from loneliness. Zoom has become a treasured lifeline for me!


PERSONAL BENEFITS OF ZOOMS

While it feels strange to get used to conversing via real time video, Zoom was what I needed to see my old friends. Even more interesting was becoming part of a group in which I actually made NEW friends! How does that happen without meeting someone in person? I wonder how often that has happened. Dating sites are possible spots, right? Have you experienced this too? Of course, it took months to develop any intimate type of conversations. But I think authentic friendships developed in Zoom-time may become lifelong connections due to the circumstances under which they have developed. Since our Zoom ladies group members live all over the U.S., I don’t expect our support group to just fall apart. After all,Victory Gardens were developed during WWII and old timers still refer to the impact they had on lifestyle and building community. So too will Zoom and the friendships all over the globe that have formed as a result. Even Facebook has formed groups just to say “Good Day” to one another!


An added plus from another Zoom experience was being in a book club that got me reading again. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens was a nice distraction! We have only met every other month but the connection has pushed me to become accountable for a healthy, relaxing activity I had been forsaking. I’ve got to read Florence Adler Swims Forever before April! Do you recommend it?


Most recently I joined an online society of beading artists whose techniques & modalities are new to me, their skill levels ranging from beginner to highly accomplished artists with published works. I fit somewhere in the middle and I have been learning so much from them. How about that?! This group has also exposed me to future possibilities for exposure of my art. Just spending time with other artists has helped me to better understand my inner artist.


Of special note, I recently attended a Zoom presentation by a highly acclaimed beading artist in the UK (!) who spoke of the impact that Zoom has brought to her teaching workshops. Usually holding 8 workshops a year and travelling internationally to teach, she has increased to 90 workshops because she doesn't have to leave home. Her attendees include people who have been housebound with no transportation, spouses with partners who have dementia and cannot be left alone, and bedridden people who must lie down all the time. She is reaching so many people who are thriving because of her outreach via Zoom. It was very moving to hear about the positive impact of Zoom technology on the housebound population. Who knew? I truly enjoyed the slides of her creations and I just had to buy her book "Geometric Beadwork".


THE FUTURE OF ZOOMS

If you have invested some of your daily life in Zooms, I wonder what questions are coming up for you as life leans towards a "new normal". Although I believe that it is here to stay at some level, I can’t help but wonder how much of our future will include Zoom or something like it.

  • I am beginning to wonder if one-on-one Zooms with far away friends will cease when local socialization is more available. Who doesn't want to get back to hugging?

  • Will I lose the friendships I made in those weekly ladie's meetups?

  • What about the club I joined? Will my membership become null and void?

  • I’m wondering if the nature of Zoom meetings will become more organized so that people can search for ones that interest them. Maybe Facebook will help with this?


With few answers at this point I still can't help wondering. Regardless, I have to believe that we are getting this pandemic under control by using common sense and caution. With the government’s shift to supply chain improvements and increased virus awareness education, I bet we will do better next time a pandemic strikes. Until further notice, my husband and I are double masking, continuing to social distance, and washing our hands. We are still disinfecting whatever comes into the house. We are open to a booster shot of some type if it is ever needed. Will we be storing supplies of masks and disinfectants for the indefinite future?


I want to close by posing several questions for your consideration...


ARE YOU INTERESTED IN ZOOMING?


How about forming your own group? Need some help starting up? Become a Member of Tina’s Sedona automatically just by logging into my website. It costs nothing to Join and you'll be able to download the guidance you can use to form a successful group on Zoom.



HAVE YOU BEEN ZOOMING?

  • I am wondering how you found your Zoom groups.

  • Is there any place to search groups of interest for them? You know, like the groups on Facebook.

  • What kind of Zooms are you part of?

Just LOGIN and comment on this blog. I would love to hear about your experiences and find out what you know that I don't!


ONE LAST QUESTION

HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED WRITING A BLOG?

If you are hesitating, then here is a question to consider as you approach the possibility.

"What do YOU know so much about that you could easily write about and share?"

How about writing down your pandemic experience with all its historical value?





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