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.

Counting the blessings after the curveball

I have half attempted blogging over the last few weeks, but have not managed to complete one; I had forgotten the cathartic benefits of writing stuff down and putting it “out there”. Today I need the catharsis.

Yesterday was one of those days that come out of the blue and knock you for six.  Thursday had been lovely, starting with a family run and ending with dinner with a friend and her group of friends who are very delightful and interesting and strong women.

Then it went downhill fast with the offspring waking with a very high fever.   Something made my maternal flags go up, so I sought medical advice.  All of a sudden we were on the way to A&E with a case of suspected sepsis or meningitis.  Neither were happening thank God. It was a long morning of tests and waiting for results, but the end result was that we were given the all clear for those nasties and sent home with a stash of antibiotics.

It was a shocking reminder that life can be fragile, things go wrong quickly and in a moment life changes forever.  Yesterday ended well, with offspring feeling better and the whole family at home.  Nevertheless the Mama-brain has spent many hours with the what-ifs, and processing the fact that I had forgotten about meningitis being a thing for teens, that I had started to think that those scary days of watching little ones be very poorly were behind me.  The scary days just involve someone much taller than me, but they’re no less scary it turns out.

I went to bed thankful for our NHS, for the friends that stayed by me via text all day, for the support of family, for having jobs that enable us to switch to a family focus with no notice (or in my case to work part-time). And most of all, that the offspring is getting better and those nasty illnesses were not a reality I am living with today.