“I feel so bad that I haven’t kept in contact with many people Kate” exclaimed one of my clients during their session last week. They went on to explain that they had set out with the intention to regularly call friends and family, reconnect with friends they hadn’t spoken to for years and generally increase their communication during lockdown. This hadn’t happened and they felt bad!
I understand that.
Not once have I joined in with a pub quiz via Zoom, nor have I had “Friday evening drinks” with friends via House Party. I haven’t arranged “group calls” with family so that we can all chat together, to be honest, I’ve struggled to keep regular contact with many people at all outside of my work!
Why is that and why am I now talking to people who are adding yet another layer of guilt to their lives because they haven’t been zooming all over the place?
Personally, I don’t have that much to chat about. I have very little news unless you call me & my hubby oiling the decking, painting over the damp and replanting the front garden news? Everywhere I look, every news channel is focused on Covid and as much as in the beginning it was a well discussed topic, I can’t discuss it any more, I just can’t. I know what everyone is watching on Netflix – it’s all over their Face Book page. I know the people who are getting fitter/healthier using their time constructively – they too document this quite openly, I don’t.
My client expressed the same feelings – she too felt that apart from actually just trying to juggle the many balls of home working, home schooling, caring for those who were vulnerable around her, she didn’t have much to say that felt positive and as for joining in a zoom gathering, she was too bloomin’ knackered to actually function let alone join in.
As I’ve said before, that doesn’t mean to say that I don’t think it’s a fantastic idea, I have seen how it has helped and connected many with great results, especially for those feeling isolated but it isn’t for me and I’m not going to feel bad about it.
As you can imagine, I talk a lot and I listen a lot more than I even talk – that’s my job so for me, this period of time has been a chance for me to be quieter, to talk less, still listen but to be discerning about what I listen to. I’ve continued to help where I can but I’ve had my own cut off points for self preservation purposes and there isn’t anything wrong with that either.
So, for those of you who are feeling guilty for “not joining in” or for not having made endless phone calls etc. Don’t. You have handled this the best way you could for you. If you need space, try and find it. If you need quiet, make the time to be peaceful, if you get to the end of the day and want to collapse on the sofa with a large glass of wine and not talk to anyone at all – that’s ok, you are not missing out if you haven’t zoomed!