There are two kinds of guilt: the kind that drowns you until you’re useless, and the kind that fires your soul to purpose.
I have friends and family working from home. Friends and family working on the frontlines as "essential employees" . And the rest of us are home not working at jobs or businesses.
I am at home in the latter category. At least that is what it feels like. I am not working at a job right now. I've always worked at a job. I started work young at 12 years old working as a dog bather at my Aunt's dog grooming shop on my Christmas and Summer vacations. I loved staying with my Aunt and cousins during the holidays with their pack of collies and poodles. I studied my Aunts dog grooming book, she graduated with from dog grooming school. I learned every breed and clip by heart.
From there, I moved forward working at my dad's gas station and auto repair shop, various banks and offices, my own businesses, nonprofits and more banks and offices.
I've never stayed home just to work on my own creativity until today. And it wasn't voluntary. I lost my job as a Bistro Manager a month ago because of COVID 19.
This last month has been bittersweet.
I have been able to indulge myself by writing, painting, cooking, gardening, learning French, practicing Spanish, watching documentaries, and reading. Lots of reading.
And I feel guilty. It is bittersweet.
No matter if I hit the donation button or listen to friends on the frontlines not completely understanding -how could I really understand what they are dealing with - I am not wearing a mask eight plus hours a day exposed. I feel guilt.
I am used to always being the one "out there".
On the other hand, this crisis has been an incredible opportunity for me to go deeper within and explore my creativity on other levels. I don't want to give that up. It's a windfall for me.
How bittersweet to have a windfall when people are sick and dying because of it.
I don't know how to process all of this.
I soothe myself. Reminding myself how much I do give. How simply I live. That I know loss and grief, living it many times over.
And I feel guilt.
One of my favorite Buddhist sayings is to learn to live holding sorrow in one hand and happiness in the other.