Thursday, 27 June 2013

Peas in a Pod

I had a chat the other day with a former colleague who, like me, is exiled from work due to her health. It was the height of comfort to settle in with someone for whom all of the usual questions are already understood and discussing the particular state of "carrying on" when an expiration date hangs like a cramped umbrella over your head. We laughed at how our daily routines have altered from our previous working madness to being traumatized by having two planned outings in our calendar in a week. A casual question from our partners like "Could you pick up something for dinner?" - loaded with meaning - in that it would require actually changing out of our normal pyjamas and leaving the house. And the hurt of being excluded from activities we know we would probably say no to if we were asked. We talked about what a watershed these experiences are - bringing out the most incredible love and caring from unexpected sources - and the chilling silence from some for whom we confused a working relationship with friendship - a phenomenon I've had a lot of time to ponder in my year away. Overall, we all need that validation - even in unfortunate circumstances - that what we are feeling and experiencing goes with the territory and the sense that we truly are not alone. While I long to spare her her current struggle I find myself so grateful to know that someone else has woken up this morning and wondered when or if she'll change out of her bath-robe. A burning question that I already know the answer to.

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