20:49

Something I have been hearing/reading more of recently is the idea of being ‘Zoomed out’ or ‘video call fatigue’. Whatever platform you use to contact friends and family, there is a term to describe the feeling of being sick and tired of endless video calls. Whether you use them for work meetings, friendly catch ups, games and quizzes or even meal companions, the lock down from Covid-19 has us scrambling for human connection through the only means we have.

Prior to lock down the idea of a video call to me was an inconvenience and slightly daunting. What needs to be said so urgently that the other party needs to see my face? Back in late 2019 my brother and sister-in-law revealed to the family their baby scan via video call on Whatsapp – that was probably the last ‘normal’ use of video call. Starting in March my Whatsapp video calls increased, I joined Zoom and Webex, and I used Google Hangouts for maybe the third or fourth time in my life. During lock down a video call may be the only way to see someone who does not live in close proximity to you.

I attend a video call almost every other day. That may be in the form of me calling my parents for a quick catch up, attending a church fellowship, or simply hanging out with friends and family. My mum loves to show me her cooking/baking and the plants she is growing, and my dad likes to show himself eating said baked goods. A group of friends and I have started a weekly quiz/game night with the quiz master rotating through the group. It has become something that we all look forward to and is a chance for us to hang out virtually. I host an online tea time video call once or twice a month with extended family. We get to see how big the children have grown, comment on each other’s baking triumphs, and catch up on work/furlough news.

Though the idea of a video call used to intimidate me a little, it has quickly become the norm and is a valuable asset in this difficult situation with Covid-19. However is there such thing as too many video calls? Those who are working from home may have mandatory meetings every morning to check in, or clients to contact. Family members may video call instead of a standard phone call, increasing the need to be ‘on’ and present. A friend of mine left a video call because her eyes were sore from staring at the screen. My cousin declined a family video call due to being part of a call for 2 consecutive days. There are more and more people saying no to video calls. There are also those who accept a call, don’t turn on their video and put themselves on mute. A friend called those kind of people ‘lurkers’. I am guilty of doing this sometimes as I am often focussing on something else but not wanting to miss anything important.

Whatever the reason for not attending a video call there is no harm in saying no. This notion of presenting our best selves digitally can be tiring and overbearing. In troublesome times we can do our part by being understanding and mindful of others.

22:39

There is a great sense of relief when you come to an understanding of a hard decision you made in the past. This may be a realisation that things have turned out for the best, it may be a sense of happiness which has over taken a previous sense of sadness, or it could just be a feeling of self worth.

These are all feelings that I have felt in recent times. There is a new stillness in my heart that was not there before. There is a greater feeling of accomplishment and pride in my own actions. There is more value to taking the reins of my own happiness rather than letting someone else dictate it for me.

I am thankful for this learning curve and for the trials that enable me to grow.

23:34

‘Think about it for a minute – I mean this seriously. In your whole life right up until today, how many people have really understood you? You, the whole package, not just the separate pieces – the vision, the humor, the dreams, the insight… Your own special way of interacting with the daily world… I believe if we’re lucky there will be only a few people in our lifetime who understand us and our choices. But more importantly they will appreciate the way we’ve brought our knowledge and experiences together and cooked them up into who we are.’

Jonathan Carroll

01:01

‘Feel it, understand it, overcome it.’

William Chapman

As a person trying to come to terms with an unfortunate change in circumstances, this quote really spoke to me. Wallowing in my own feelings will never make something go away, and no amount of ‘putting my life on hold’ will be enough. I have come to understand my situation and to take measures in overcoming it. I hope that whatever troubles I face can be accepted for what they are, for that is the first step on the road to recovery.