My Story. Creative non-fiction by Caroline Stevens-Taylor

What’s my story? It may be similar to yours, which is to be sat at home, social distancing and not doing a whole lot. I have a lovely comfortable home and my cupboards have food in them. I am thankful and grateful for what I have. I have recently been acquainted with Netflix and for some of the day, it has me gripped tightly in its grasp. The hours slip by very quickly, so quickly that I realise I didn’t ‘do’ very much today. I didn’t move very much.
I try to go for my 2 km walk every day, but some days I don’t go. The other day I even cycled around my house for half an hour. It is nice and flat and my drive and yard are tarmac, so no pot holes to worry about or hills to navigate up. At 55 I haven’t the strength or motivation to want to be cycling up hills. My younger self wouldn’t have minded, but now, I just want to feel the wind in my hair whilst getting the blood flowing and the heart pumping at a nice pace, so as to avoid a heart attack!
As I sat down the next day to watch yet another episode of Grace and Frankie I said to my 17-year-old that all this ‘sitting’ is making my bum sore and I asked if hers was sore too, to which she replied it was not. She said she was used to sitting most of the day, between school and then home. She had a point.
This time last year my typical week would look something like this:-
On a Monday I would get up and ready and head to my job, where I work as a volunteer in Oxfam at 9.00 a.m. I would stand for the most of the 4 hours that I was there, as I price and sort the books out. I would sit down for my tea break. I would leave Oxfam and head home waiting for my grandson to be dropped off at 1.30. He would have been 4 then. He has since had a birthday, last month, and is now 5. We would play, or bake or paint, but it didn’t usually involve much sitting for me. Even if he watched the T.V for a while, which wasn’t very often, I would be busy doing something around the house. I would then make dinner for the then 16 and 18 year olds coming home from school and the 25-year-old, before she collected her son after her long day at college and for my husband and I. I would then sit in the evening and read or watch T.V.
Tuesday and Wednesdays would be similar, apart from I wouldn’t work in Oxfam on those days, but I would have other chores to keep me busy, before my grandson would arrive at 1.30.
On Thursdays, Friday and at least 2 Sundays in the month I would go to work in my paid job, working as a social care worker in a residential home. My shift would range from 8 to 13 hours and on Saturdays I would work again in Oxfam, in the afternoon.
My life was very busy and some days I didn’t know if I was coming or going. Some days I would also be on call to take my elderly parents to a hospital appointment. I noticed my own health started to decline around November, but I tried to push on regardless.
I made a decision in December to take the whole of January off from Oxfam and to leave the residential home at the end of January, so that by February all I would have to do would be to work in Oxfam and mind my grandson, until a job with shorter hours came my way. I was beginning to enjoy February and my new found sense of time for myself. My body was beginning to heal as I slowed down and then, by March, we were all talking about the Corona Virus.
The Corona virus has made so many of us slow down even further, almost to a halt. There are those though, that cannot slow down. The Doctors, Nurses, Police men and women all the frontline staff and essential workers. For some of them, they will be working their usual daily shifts, for others, they will be working flat out, exhausted, sacrificing their own lives and time with their family. Sacrificing their health, physical and mental.
So my story is that if all I have to complain about, is having a sore bum, from sitting too much, in the comfort of my home, where there is food in the cupboard and no real demands on me, aren’t I a very fortunate and privileged person
I made my decision in December on how my new year would look. Our Doctors, Nurses and healthcare workers did not invite nor want this terrible set of circumstances which have been thrust upon them. It is therefore with thanks and gratitude to them, that I try my best to embrace the rules set upon us, for us to stay home, to stay safe and to social distance from everyone, including our loved ones.
All we can do is follow the rules and pray that soon this virus will be contained and eradicated. That people, all around the world can ‘get back to normal’, but most of all, that people all around the world will remember how our ‘normal’ was quickly turned on its head, and in that remembering, will embrace a new way of looking and thinking and dealing with ourselves, our loved ones and also strangers.
To have a new perspective and respect for our Doctors, Nurses, Healthcare workers and frontline staff. They will return to their normal, changed, for they will have seen, first hand, what this virus does to people, they will know first-hand the decisions that had to be made in the medical care and interventions. They will be the ones who will have to carry a huge weight and a sense of loss and caring for strangers who didn’t make it. To us the loss of life may only be what we hear on the news and form a very sad statistic, but for those doctors and nurses, they will be etched in their minds and hearts.
So let us not forget to have compassion not only for those that have lost their lives and their families, but also for the living, of those who tried to help them.
I am a 55 year old female and like to write about anything and everything. It may be a poem, a blog or something from a prompt. I just like to write. My blog is

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