Zoom Nightmares

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help baby boomers, seniors, retirees, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and purpose in life after retirement. Her public lecture on this subject is titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available by clicking here Amazon.com. Click here for her website: LeeGaleGruen.com

Now, on to my blog:

Zoom screenI’ve been having Zoom nightmares.  They’re not the waking up screaming kind.  They’re the waking up wrung out kind.  I’m right back to the type of anxiety dreams I had in college. A recurring one was having to take a final exam only to find I couldn’t locate the place where it was being held.  Running between rows of buildings, up and down staircases, and in and out of rooms with time ticking away, I’d wake up agitated and distraught.  Of course, I was unable to fall back to sleep

Today, during our Covid 19, shelter-in-place way of life, many of us have discovered online conferencing sites such as Zoom.  We’re using them as a way to connect socially while we are sequestered in our homes.  I wrote about it recently (see my blog dated May 13, 2020, “Lockdown Fatigue,” https://leegalegruen.wordpress.com/2020/05/.)  At that time, I was thick into Zoom, attending some meetings by invitation and hosting others after studying tutorials on how to do so.  Some attendees to my meetings gave me labels:  Zoom Czar, Zoom Zombie, or Boomer Zoomer.

It got to the point where I had to keep a detailed calendar of my Zoom meetings along with notes pertaining to each one.  Every morning, I perused the appropriate page, preparing myself for my upcoming Zoom day.

Then it happened: I forgot to attend a meeting I was hosting.  It just slipped my mind.  I apologized to the other group members when I finally realized it and logged on a half hour late.  Everyone was very forgiving, but I still beat myself up.

So, I started leaving notes around the house in the morning to remind me of the Zoom meetings I had scheduled for that day.  There were post-its stuck to my computer screen, a scratch paper note on the table where I eat meals, and missives in other places I might stroll by during the intervening time.

One day, I logged into a Zoom meeting I had set up, and no one else joined me.  I started getting emails and phone calls from members who couldn’t access the meeting with the information I had sent them. As the clock was running down on our allotted time and I was getting more and more stressed out, I deleted the scheduled meeting, created a new one, and emailed the invitation to the participants.  Twenty minutes into the session, we all finally appeared in Zoom’s little screen boxes ready to boogie. Again I was contrite and again was forgiven.

It seems I’m not the only one who is struggling with Zoom commitments and responsibilities.  I heard about another stumbler who was supposed to teach a class on Zoom, for pay, and forgot to show up.  My lapses paled in comparison.

The sad truth is that Zoom is failing me.  Its attendant anxiety is affecting my sleep quality.  I can’t seem to handle the emotional pressure this virtual taskmaster is putting on me.  I need a vacation from Zoom!  I’ll have to seek another go-to activity to occupy my hours and hours of quarantine time–sigh.


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Photo credit: markus119 on Visual Hunt / CC BY

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Filed under active seniors, Baby boomers, gerontology, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, senior citizens, seniors, successful aging

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