About once per month, I have lunch with three of my favorite colleagues; ones whose LinkedIn invitation I accepted without hesitation! At one point or another, our professional lives have crossed although we do not all work together now. We gather at a tiny local pizza joint and commandeer one of the four tables for Seinfeld-esque conversations.
It is at these lunches that I have learned about the Dollar Shave Club and GrooveBook, seen SnapChat in action for the first time, gained tips on how to use my iPhone, watched videos of “talking” pets, seen pictures of their houses being built, snugged their babies, commiserated about trials at work, rejoiced over events at work and in general felt connected to people who “get me” and get what I do. We talk about everything and about nothing — non-stop — for the entire lunch period. It is one of my favorite hours of the month.
Who is in your inner circle that is also in your geographic proximity? Have you taken the time to regularly gather with them? (We schedule the next lunch before leaving the current one.) Is there someone(s) with whom you can drop pretense and position and just chat?
While there is great value in a broad network, social media and long-distance communication, in my opinion there is nothing like face-to-face camaraderie to rejuvenate the soul.