I’m sorry, IRL. I’ve been to the other side and back again, but I just can’t seem to get enough of Zoom meetings. Why see another human being in person when you can share your thoughts and upper torso with a webcam and a virtual background?
Just kidding. IRL, here I come.
COVID flung us all into becoming Zoom experts before we were ready. We mastered the art of muting oneself or disabling a camera, or simply using the word “Zoom” in a sentence without missing a beat.
Even my 103-year-old grandmother can Zoom now. But, is that a good thing? I’m not sure I can teach her not to use filters.
IRL stands for In Real Life. Yeah, I secretly had to look that up, too.
So, what is your first IRL event? Mine is a two-week-long escape with my family I haven’t seen in over a year. I imagine myself running out of the rental car to the front door of my sister’s house and just bursting into tears. I may just hug each family member for hours and hours.
Here are 3 tips to prepare for your first IRL event:
- Be ok with some awkwardness. We’ve all been through a lot, and frankly there might be some serious re-entry weirdness. Be kind, be patient, and give yourself a chance to take a quick break to catch your breath. You’ve been isolated and alone for longer than you may realize!
- Be ok with some emotions. Let the feels happen. COVID has been heart-wrenching for so many, including a deep loss for many families. Lives have been lost, life moments have been lost, memories have been lost. The roller coaster of emotions is just gonna happen with our without your consent, so get ready for the ride. (Ironically, last year I got to work with Rhonda Byrne on a major website project for The Secret, as well as the release of the feature film The Secret:Dare to Dream with Katie Holmes. The art of manifesting gratitude, no matter what, is quite helpful!)
- Be ok with some change. There were a few changes that were forced upon all of us that weren’t so bad after all – even, downright refreshing. I’m going to keep some of those golden nuggets as I re-enter the human race again.
Most importantly, celebrate IRL and be grateful for every single second.
If we learned anything, it’s that nothing should be taken for granted. I’ve never been more grateful for my husband’s snoring next to me, or my morning dog walk, or the quality of my work colleagues who have evolved into true life-long friends over the years.
IRL, here we come. Zoom, see ya when I see ya.