Home From Home | A formal catch up without the formalities

Home From Home | A formal catch up without the formalities 3088 2316 The Flyer Magazine
Home From Home Header
with Kat Barcenilla


A formal catch up without the formalities

Wake, work, eat, sleep, repeat. Times it by five. Pepper it with some after-work activities, a social evening or two, daily exercise and family commitments. Book-end these days with a couple of sunny stretches of freedom. Life is a constant go, go, go, multiple to-do lists, appointments and chores and I love it! But seriously, where do you find the time to just have a break, relax and do all the things that really, probably mean the most?!

One of my 2020 goals was to dedicate more time to communicating with my family back home. The aim was to lock in a monthly video-call slot, mainly to catch up on everyday life and its mundanities. You know, share… share what we ate for dinner, share weather updates, discuss current affairs and celebrity gossip, share new walks we’ve discovered, share what diets we’re challenging ourselves with… daily, inconsequential snippets of info that keep us quietly connected and familiar with each other’s lives.

The time zone difference really impacts suitable and appropriate times to make this work. You go to bed, they’ve just finished a bowl of cornflakes and are heading to work. You wake up, they’re sipping a cuppa and getting ready for an early night’s sleep. Saturday and Sunday are a precious 48 hour goodness-filled segment, jam-packed and there to be maximised to their full potential. My family’s calendar is dotted with relative-caring commitments and tennis tournament participation; ours is a mish mash of gym, adult admin, dog walks and the like. What we need to do is make a time – like you would make a time for a business meeting or conference call. Invite them to a Google calendar meeting, schedule it in with pixels on the screen, or you can almost guarantee it won’t happen. Gone are the times of spontaneously calling Mum for a chin-wag and asking her how her day was, quizzing her on things only she has the answer to…how do I make your special roast dinner gravy? What vaccinations have I had? What’s Great Uncle Ron’s postal address?

I miss this. I’m not a fan of this rigid, set in stone format.

February graced us with Waitangi Day and we all got to enjoy the decadence of a mid-week day off (bliss). This I realised is the most ideal and perfect time to make video call dates. Firstly I lined up my brother (he works all kinds of random shift patterns, so locking him in is extra difficult) – so NICE to just chit chat for ages without worrying about someone having to be somewhere! And then I lucked out on a super heart-warming phone-call from one of my close friends who I was SO overdue on catching up with.

Hearing and seeing your close people is the next best thing to being in their actual physical space. It is SO important to maintain these quality regularities. If Sunday 6pm works on a weekly basis, go with it. If you’re more about the impulsive calls because you just have to speak to them, also go for it. We all know the “being an adult” cliché of arranging a time, cancelling, and repeating for further notice until you both give up. Never give up, and make time. The longer you leave it doesn’t help anyone.

Kat x