Two pounds of wildebeest and a bag of rice please!
On preparedness websites, we often hear about prepping not just for major, world-shattering events, but for smaller more personal situations. Prep wise we, that is Shortie and I, are okay. We will not starve, we will not freeze, we have close friends and good family around us, but it’s not really enough.
Stuart has now gone to the new job in Kenya, we speak on Facetime or Skype daily as a family. He and I exchange many text messages a day but it’s still not really enough.
I miss him, Shortie misses him. We are doing the stuff we HAVE to do, we are not necessarily doing the stuff that needs doing. The stuff we now have time to do because we are not running back and forth to train stations when he has missed the connection. The stuff we have time to do because we are not ganging up on him over what to watch for our hour of family TV. The stuff that is not going to be disrupted by the “Don’t cook I’m taking you out” calls.
We now have the time but not the inclination. It doesn’t seem to matter much that my wardrobe is not getting the huge clear out that I had planned.
If I am honest I really don’t give a shit that the weeds have started to pop up at the bottom of the garden…good luck to them, after the amount of ripping out by the roots, taking a bulldozer to them and even resorting to the nuclear option of Round-up they deserve to live…at least until I decide that they don’t.
I understand that in the general scheme of things having your husband working away is no big deal. As I said, we see him, albeit on a screen, every day, we communicate as we did when he worked in the UK, but it’s different, he’s not here.
Now I regard myself as a strong woman. I know what’s what, I’m awake and aware but what this situation has taught me is that emotions can get in the way of even the best intentions. I daresay if my life, or the life of my child depended on me clearing out the wardrobe it would have been done immediately, but it is amazing how quickly emotions can knock the stuffing right out of you.
There’s a lesson to be learned here I think. Assuming that we have our plans made for a crisis situation isn’t enough. We need to recognize that our feelings, thoughts, and emotions will sometimes get in the way of what needs to be done.
I have heard of people being paralyzed with fear, and I’ve never understood how that can happen. My background is accident and emergency medicine, I have had years of practice knuckling down and getting on with things in emergency situations, but those situations are not mine. They are someone else’s emergency. My life, my child’s life, and my husband’s life don’t depend on the outcome in casualty. Would I be so good, so efficient if they did? Would I perform even better because those involved are so dear to me or would I be less able to function? It’s something I hope I never have to find out. I genuinely believe that in an emergency I would be fine because the way I am feeling now is not due to any emergency, it is due to a personal situation that is not to my liking.
So, my mini disaster, isn’t really a disaster at all, it just felt like one when we went to Heathrow as three and came back as two. It has taught me something though, that I am not a one woman island, I function better when the other half of the team is here. As for the other half, he misses me also, particularly the bit of me that can cook rice perfectly and doesn’t charge him 30 Kenyan shillings to wash and iron a shirt, (The washing machine hasn’t turned up yet.)
In eight sleeps, we will be at Heathrow again, boarding a flight to Nairobi so that the team can be back together for a week. (In 31°C might I add)
I will spend at least one day of that week cooking and filling the freezer, which thankfully did arrive. He says I won’t as he’s perfectly capable, but this is coming from the man who wasn’t sure if he was eating beef or wildebeest two days ago!
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Contributed by Lizzie Bennett of Underground Medic.
Lizzie Bennett retired from her job as a senior operating department practitioner in the UK earlier this year. Her field was trauma and accident and emergency and she has served on major catastrophe teams around the UK. Lizzie publishes Underground Medic on the topic of preparedness.