I was sitting down considering my list of acquaintances and people I interact with this weekend and came to the somewhat shocking realization (why, I do not know) of how much my circle has shrunk in the last 18 months.
Some of it is to be expected, I suppose. With the arrival of The Plague, church, service with the coffee committee, and the associated church group simply fell away in terms of meeting together. The idea of a virtual meeting together for the associated church group was attempted for a while but (at least for me) it never really had the same sort of impact. The fact that the group was easy enough to let go and not go back gives me some idea of the importance it held in my life.
The Plague also effectively put a temporary hold on Highland Games as well, although that change had been coming as I found driving more than two hours to do an activity was not really something that was that motivating. Since the end of 2019 I have thrown once and it seems likely I may throw once (possibly) this year as well - if I happen to be in town. I used to see the same group of people 8-12 times a year; I have seen none of them since last November.
The Book of Face has been a large change in the socialization network as well - not that I saw those people frequently, but I did interact with them frequently. One or two of those people I talk to regularly off the platform - The Berserker is one, The Shield Maiden is another.
I see the same group of folks at the Rabbit Shelter every week of course, and my fellow Iaidoka on a regular basis. And Uisdean Ruadh every trip back to The Ranch, and The Actor and The Accountant every second or third visit back. My sister and brother in law every time I am back, of course. And my family - at least, everyone that is home right now: The Ravishing Mrs. TB, Nighean Gheal, and Nighean Dhonn regularly, Nighean Bhean when she comes up from her apartment (often corresponding with dinner, it seems).
But truly, outside of the ubiquitous "conference calls" for work, that is it. Really not more than 25 people, total, on a regular basis.
(You all, of course. But that is a separate sort of circle.)
Oddly enough, I find this much less of a hardship than I had anticipated. Two years ago, I would have thought it unmanageable.
To be fair, I think this falls into a theme that I am realizing - almost unawares - that has come into my life. The phone post yesterday started the thought, but this accounting of human contact seems to be extending it. The theme of simplifying and focus my life.
I do not know I have a great deal more to say on it at the moment, as the thought literally just occurred to me as I am writing. But I will say that I find those interactions I have now are probably more meaningful and important than the larger series of interactions I used to have.
And I do not know that I can say that is a bad thing.