Stay home guilt free

Staying at home is not awful, in fact it is restful and relaxing in many ways.  I have found a good enough routine to keep me feeling fairly secure and relatively sane.  I am here with family who get on well.  I don’t have to home school anyone, my job is busy and safe for the moment.  Now that the worry of food acquisition has faded, that particular stress has also faded.  I have used video conferencing and social media platforms for years so am very comfortable with them.  I enjoy planning and am curious about how to get the best of this strange time.  As I say, not the worst time at all for me.

We’re at the start of a sunny weekend, I have a lovely garden and so the weekend holds promise of getting started on the next book whilst sitting in the sun.  I don’t have to fit in a million things, I have the luxury of time to do what needs to get done in a leisurely manner. 

And yet…

I cannot settle, I cannot let go of the news, of the worry, of the fear.  In the moments when I do feel truly relaxed and happy, I then feel guilt.  In the times that I am frustrated with not being able to go out, fed up with not seeing other humans, I feel guilt.  Guilt is horrible.  It’s not the emotion I thought would be prevalent in this time, but it is very much prevalent in my mind.

I think this may be partly because I have various friends who are medics in some shape or form. My worries and frustrations and unhappiness are nothing compared to what they are facing.  I am bored, they are overworked.  I am stuck here, they are barely home.  I am hiding away from the world, they are facing every awfulness of the reality of coronavirus. 

I suspect I am keeping myself tuned into the news, my worries and fears partly so I close the distance between my reality and my friends’. Which sounds ridiculous as I write it.

Over the past weeks those same friends have assured me that knowing that their friends are at home and safe and happy helps them.  Frankly they don’t want to see me in their wards or in their emergency and acute departments.  They are fine with hearing the frustrations about which I feel guilty.

Nevertheless, they are active and I am very much not active – I feel like I am a living example of passivity. Until a nurse friend and even the Chief Nursing Officer in yesterday’s government briefing reframed that for me clearly.  By doing nothing, just staying at home, I am stopping those friends of mine ever having to treat me.  If everyone stayed home, this virus would stop.  I don’t need to be guilty, I cannot take on their burden, but I can joyfully reduce their burden by staying home and saving lives. 

Enjoy the sunny weekend and open those windows and enjoy the sun on your face, knowing that you are a hero for staying home.

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