The new normal – I was surprised to realise we were already in it.
I was speaking with one of my closest friends, Kirsteen over the weekend. We’d made a plan to catch up on Saturday at 2pm because we live in different parts of the country, it’s a pandemic and we are not only friends but peers and colleagues too.
As 2pm drew closer I sent her a text asking if she was still up for our call, wonderfully she was. My hair still wet. I had no makeup on. Worse, I a kind of hollow look because I’d been poorly the week before. I really couldn’t face watching my own face for what might be a lengthy chat and I realised.
“Are we Zooming or shall we go ‘old school’ and just phone?”
The new normal
We went on to chat on the phone for two whole hours and it was in this chat we realised something. We have already accepted the new normal.
Zoom calls have long been a part of my business life and they work brilliantly. Face to face is a great thing as it builds trust and understanding (it’s why video content works so well!).
Zoom client calls. Zoom trainings. Webinars. The list is endless.
I read an article by Sue Perez called ‘Feeling a bit Zoomed out?’ and she articulated so well how we all pivoted and how virtual video calls had become the norm.
But Kirsteen and I realised as we were talking that we no longer prefaced Zoom with an explanation but in fact did so to other forms of communication. Like the ‘old school’ call.
It dawned on me then that our language has changed and incorporated this new way of life and in doing so we see that we have now accepted that change.
What was no longer is
More surprisingly to me (long time loather of phone calls) was that I no longer associated phone calls with work as I had in corporate and as such they have regained some of their pleasure. Zoom unfortunately has become my ‘I really don’t want to do/use it when I’m not actively working’ tool.
I realised that I had turned down or cancelled many a personal zoom call over the last few months and with hindsight it’s because I felt it blurred the line between downtime and worktime. Have we then accepted that this new normal has in fact well and truly been accepted?
It’s the pleasure principle. When I’m chatting to my friends for pleasure if I’m on video call I feel tethered to my work desk. But, as I have learned to love the phone again I have found myself having lingering chats full of depth.
I potter while talking and it is blissful. They get my attention and I get to make a brew whilst hearing about their families. I lay with my head on my partners lap as he pokes the tip of my nose whilst we talk about what we miss most in lockdown.
It’s intimate again and I for one appreciate that I don’t have to do my hair. Or worry about whether there’s something in my teeth. I’ve even been known to pee whilst on the phone to a close friend. Kirsteen you lucky thing!
Somehow, the new normal has made the written word more valuable to me too. Writing letters, emailing news and with that re-acquired joy in simple communication I think I’ve found a new normal happy place.
Want to chat about making the most of our new normal? Get in touch.
Catch you later,