"So, this afternoon I got a phone call from a friend, who's like a grandma to me and my kids, she's known me since I was a child and is extremely important to me. We love each other dearly. We talk for nearly three hours, mostly about family and politics, religion/philosophy (she's religious, I'm philosophous lol). At one point we talked about the new Christmas bubbles. She was telling me how torn she was, unable to decide what to do. She hasn't see her family all year. Her and her husband (she's in her 70s, he in his 80s) both have health conditions that are life threatening. He herself has nearly died so many times in recent years. The idea of her her traveling to see family, or even them coming to see her, terrifies me. I was reminded of a time I visited hers for Christmas, It terrifies me the thought of me catching the virus and I've not got a condition as bad or debilitating as this wonderful woman, I know she's also scared of the virus, we've discussed it before. I so wanted to say to her "no, no, you can't, don't, stay safe, be careful" but I realised it's not my choice to make. I can understand completely while some people may be willing to risk their health for one day. This woman already feels like she's on borrowed time, she knows she could die anytime. So she's (well they they do everything as a team, he also is unwell and has no idea if he'll live for years or months) battling with the choice to risk their lives now for one family day, or perhaps miss their last christmas, not knowing if they'll be able to see next Christmas. So I told her "I wish I could tell you to stay safe. But that's selfish of me. And unempathetic. I sympathise with what a difficult choice this is for you both, but only yous can make it. Whatever you choose, as always, you have my love, respect and support." I realised that I judge my neighbours, people on my estate, so easily. I look at people on my estate and say to myself "oh, I can understand why they're breaking the rules, they're a single mum and their kids has xyz but those people have no excuse (that in deem valid to my knowledge)" and that's not fair of me to do. It's so easy, too easy, to judge others and think we know everything we need too about the world and people around us. I hate when people judge me without taking time to know me. Yet I do it too. We seldom have all the information, not even for those we know and love. I wonder if it would be harder for me to resist the lure of rulebreaking in a lock down, as I see neighbours do (in fairness jealousy probably feeds into my judging far more that I want them to be admit), if I had anyone in my life I could visit (family friend is in different end of the country so couldn't visit them even if I was able too). What if I had a friend or loving family within reach? Its easier for me to say "I'm staying home and do my part to protect my family" when I have no one to share with anyway outside my snug little household. If I had my exstep children near by, if I could safely visit them, would I risk my life to do so? For their happiness, for my children's happiness, I probably would. I know I would. When you don't know if this may be your last Christmas, the risk from the virus becomes so much smaller in comparison to the risk of not getting potentially one last Christmas with one's loved ones, filled with precious memories. I need to stop judging. "

Victoria B
Nov 24, 2020

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