Long, long day..

Well, yesterday was a long long day. I had planned to cycle home at 6pm, shower, get into my pyjamas and go to bed early. Didn’t happen that way though..

One of my colleagues received a telephone call in the afternoon saying that her gran was dying and that if she wanted to see her, she should get there ‘now’. Her nan lives 100miles away and my colleague doesn’t drive. Her partner was out of the country with work and so she had no way to get there. So I offered to take her. She is very very close to her nan and is obviously devastated, so she wasn’t in a good way.

Another colleague drove her home and I cycled home to pick up the car and then picked her up for the 100 mile drive. And it was difficult. SO difficult. I don’t think I’ve been in a space filled with so much emotional pain, anger and distress since my brother died. The drive took 4 hours instead of 2 because of atrocious traffic on the M25. It felt like we were never going to get there! It was dark, it was raining heavily and it was on unfamiliar roads. It was exhausting – mentally, physically and emotionally.

I’m not saying all of this to seem a ‘martyr’. I’m interested in why I actually offered to do it. In general, this colleague is not someone I would spend social time with. Mainly because she’s ‘normal’. She likes doing normal stuff like going out for a drink with friends, having a bit of a boogie, watching Eastenders. That sort of thing. Socially, that’s not what I like to do, so we generally wouldn’t ever be in the same place. So we don’t have a close relationship.

To Mrs Pillows, the fact that I offered to drive her all that way was is a little hypocritical. I kind of agree. And I think it might have been guilt that made me do it. I know it’s not my fault that her nan is dying, but I would feel guilty if I didn’t help. I never got a chance to say goodbye to my Grandad or to my Brother, and I suppose I wanted to make sure that my colleague didn’t miss out on her chance. Or was it just that doing it would make me feel good about myself? Or that people would see me as a ‘good’ person? Do the motives matter?

I don’t know. I don’t feel particularly good about myself. I feel very tired and a little low. Any deaths tend to remind me about Anthony, and that brings up a lot of difficult feelings still.

I have photography class tonight, so it’s going to be another long long day. I am covering my colleague’s appointments too as my boss is out at a meeting all day. And I’m trying to stay away from refined sugar so that I don’t end up crashing in a heap this afternoon!

Maybe my motives and reasons don’t matter. Maybe they do. Maybe I should be more choosy about who I help. Or maybe that would make the world a very unhelpful place.. I know that some people may call me naive. I wouldn’t. I would call myself an optimist. I see the good in people. And yeah, they might take advantage now and again, but I think I’d rather see the good in people than the bad.

And I MUST remember that just because I help someone once, I don’t need to then become their friend. Is it acceptable to be choosy about your friends? I like the friends I have at the moment. I think my problem at the moment is that no other people I meet can live up to them!

Anyway. I’m rambling now! I should go and do some work…

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6 Responses to Long, long day..

  1. Sarsparilla says:

    My opinion is that we can’t help responding to all deaths as in some way our deaths. It’s what explains why people cried openly about Princess Di, but will step over a homeless person on the street. We almost all of us have unresolved grief over the people we have lost, and when we see someone in a situation like this, we unconsciously see a way in which we can make a little bit of amends.
    I will feel awful to the day I die about the people who have gone whom I didn’t say goodbye to. If even just instinct told me I could prevent that feeling happening to somebody else, I’d probably feel at gut level I wanted to do it. I don’t think it would be a statement of friendship or an invitation, or a mark of respect for the other person. I think, projecting my own experience onto this, it would be all about me expiating a bit of my guilt and a bit of my loss.
    And… you don’t have to rationalise it for it still to be a good thing. How many times has someone said one thing that lifted you up, without them ever realising it was what you needed at that moment? It doesn’t need to be intentional. It just needs to be there.

  2. I think that is a very kind thing that you did. It doesn’t mean that you have to be friends with her, you helped someone in their time of need.

    As tiring etc that it was, I suspect you would have felt worse if you had not stepped in.

    The kindness of strangers (or mere acquaintances) shows some decent humanity. It reminded me of a recent article on the BBC news website.

  3. Gin says:

    I agree. You commited a decent act of selflessness so I wouldn’t worry about ever being friends with this person. I still think everyone should be made watch the movie ‘pay it forward’

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