Blogging Off

Hello Wibfolk.

The time has come for a new venture and a new blog.  For that reason, I shall no longer be sharing my ditherings here, but rather at this site  http://tellingstoriesblog.wordpress.com/

As the welcome page will tell you, the purpose of my new weblog is to provide a place where people are able to share their own tales of triumph over difficulty.  The hope is that those reading the posts will be able to draw strength from the personal experiences of others, and perhaps find links to further support and help.  I also intend to weave my own story in and out of the ‘snapshots’ provided by others.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you lovely people for your kindness, humour and friendship over the past 10 years or so.  There have been many times when a comment or post has put a smile on my face, and a number of you have helped me through some very bleak times.

Please don’t see this as goodbye, though;  do come and visit me at the Telling Stories blog.  You may also friend me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter

I hope to see you soon!

 

Hmm…

Update on me.  A little raw, if I am honest.  Not on my own account, tho.  D is back in hospital, and is likely to lose a toe to the poor circulation resulting from her diabetes.  She is feeling pretty isolated and vulnerable as the place where she is at present is too far for Mum and Dad to travel, and the staff are a bit distant and apparently less competent than a person would want with their health at stake.

In other news, I have put my heart and soul into a friendship with someone who is struggling really badly at the moment.  I am SO blessed to have my lovely husband, T & E, to lay my hurts and fears on when it all gets too much.  I also have a fabulous family and people like you guys to rely upon.   However, my friend – who has become like a brother to me – has no such joy.  His pain hurts me, if that makes any sense, and touches on things in my past that I need to draw on in order to help him, but cause me to feel pretty exposed as a result.

So, there you have it.  My life, as in my own personal circumstances, is good.  Some of those I care deeply for, not so much.  Leaves me with a peculiar ache in the corner of my soul, whilst the rest of me is laughing.  C’est la vie.

Hope all is well with you lot. :)

Mmm, lovely.

Sometimes, all that is needed is a brief time away.  Time away in good company, doing things that refresh.  It does not need to be for very long, it just needs to be.

Jeff and I almost did not visit Caring for Life (www.caringforlife.co.uk ) for their Supporters’ Day this week-end.  I, for one, am glad we did.

:D

News about me…

I am aware that my previous post about myself (rather than my knitter friend) was when I was in the middle of lots of stuff.  Just thought I would update people on developments since that time:

(a) D remains unwell, it is an ongoing situation in need of much prayer.  I was able to visit my folks a few months ago and lend my support for a while, so feel a little less guilty as a result.

(b)  As those of you who know me on FB are aware, I have a new job.  Three days per week in Cardiff, leaving me the rest of the week free to focus on (c) below.

(c) The allotment project is growing (no pun intended) and the Social Enterprise aspect is looking far more like a reality than an unattainable dream.  More on that in due course on the ‘Plot’ wiblog.

(d)  New job means that I am able to continue with writing course (WooHoo!).  I even managed to submit my work for the module that suffered from being concurrent with job-related difficulties.  It is amazing what a bit of writing and reading on a train commute can achieve!

(e)  Guilt still remains an issue for me, but I at least recognise it for what it is these days.  A really poor motivator, for a start! I had a discussion with a friend yesterday about this (non-Christian, as it happened) and was able to explore the theme even further.  I am very glad of grace and forgiveness; offered by God, by friends & family and – finally, incrementally, gradually – by myself to myself.  It is good to be able to shrug off the burden of unrealistic expectations and enjoy the ride.  Does not always work,  I need to be vigilant about my motivations and spot when I am being hard on myself, but it is a step in the right direction.

So, people, thanks for all your prayers and support.  As you can see, things are looking up. :)

More on the knitting bloke

I don’t know how many of you remember the link I put in this blog a while back, directing you to a lovely chap in America who was homeless and knits as a way of making ends meet.  Well, he has had to put his needles down for a while, due to pain issues, and wants to be able to concentrate on writing a book of his experiences.  He has set up a crowd funding page to help him bridge the funding gap as he does so:

http://igg.me/p/218908?a=1161588

Go take a look and support him if you feel so led.  Cheers and God bless.

I’ll start somewhere in the middle…

Aware that there has been an absence of any meaningful update on here for a while.  Couple of reasons, I suppose.  The first being that stuff has been happening that I do not (did not?) want to broadcast on this forum, the other being (paradoxically) that I was not sure that the support would be there if I did tell people how things are.  I have been away for so long, in any real sense, that I would totally understand if people did not bother to read my blog now.   Especially as it will consist mostly of moany rantishness.

As I type, I realise that I have done something that I did not used to do.  I have retreated from the reality of the difficult stuff.  If anyone knows me from former years, you will remember me as an inveterate navel-gazer.  On the whole, I have found that ‘thinking out loud’ has served me well in the past, as a way of getting a handle on things.  Now, not so much.  The thing is, there is so much to potentially think about at present, that the best thing to do is to totally zone out.  Watch some telly, knit some squares, surf about on Facebook and dabble at the edges of life.  As I say, not my usual ‘coping mechanism’, but one that I currently employ.  Works, for now, and I guess it may equate to trusting God with the stuff – tho it does not stop the small, guilty itch at the back of my head, the little voice that asks “Well, what are you DOING about it, eh?  Are you not going to DO something?  Can’t sit here all day, y’know…”)

I have just been struck by the irony that I am now deconstructing my tendency to not deconstruct as much!

Anyway, in short, this is the stuff that is orbiting my life, in no particular order:

1)  Continued illness of sister, now in hospital again.  Sight has become very poor, necessitating recent eye op, the success of which now may be compromised by her recent bout of s and d (unexplained, as always).  Concurrent negative impact on Mum and Dad.  Holiday with sis and I cancelled, break that M and D planned to take in our neck of the woods, also cancelled (for the second time).  Finance and time issues make it currently impossible for me to visit family in Dorset, despite desire to do so – see (b) below.

2)  Lack of ‘proper’ job.  Part-time job stopping me from sinking into slough of despond.  Not really practical though, in terms of time, commute or finances.  New job needed.  Incessant round off application forms, ad scouring and job centre stuff.   Thought I had landed a job at the end of last week.  Further conversation proved that certain questions need answering before I know if this is a good choice or not.  I did not realise how heavily the job-related uncertainty had been sitting upon me, until the point I felt it lift – if only momentarily

3)  Concurrently trying to keep abreast of Sustaining Life matters.  Day to day running of allotment project as well as looking to take things forward, Social Enterprise perhaps.  This also relates to choices and approaches regarding (b) and gives rise to a number of possible outcomes (too many to sensibly think about in one sitting!)

4)  Writing course no longer feasible due to need to take shifts to pay bills – see (a).  Loss of creative outlet and social interaction likely to hit me pretty hard.  Any ‘leisure’ time leads to guilt feeling anyway, as haunted by previously mentioned  little voice, asking me why I am not DOING something more productive with my time!

5)  Actually realised that this guilt has entered into my Christian life, too.  Perhaps it was always there.  The feeling that if I am not praying, serving, repenting etc, then I am somehow not doing (there’s that word again) the right thing.  Typed ‘work’ before I altered it to ‘word’ just then . . . Freudian slip?

So, I guess my post title is more appropriate than I first thought.  I am, in fact, somewhere in the middle.  I am not saying that the answers are not out there, that there is not some conclusion to these matters – or at least some improvement.  I am however saying that I am stuck in the middle, in the middle of events (a), (b) and (c) in particular.  There are things I can do to help matters progress, but there are things I cannot in fact do.  I think the things I can’t do far outweigh those I can.  I do not like this place.  I want to solve, to fix, to resolve, to answer.  As it is, I put one foot in front of the other, on day after another, one task that I can do after another, until I come out of the other side.

By means of illustration of this kind of situation, a client in my depression management group once said this:

Q.  How do you eat an elephant?

A.  One bite at at time.

All I can say is that I hope this is over soon, as I am pretty sick of  my elephant diet by now…

News

So, D currently not in hospital – which is good.  Planning to go away together to Jersey with her in May – her 40th birthday treat for me.  Trusting her health will continue to stabilise and that this will happen.

 

Unexpected termination of contract at work due to funding issues, going til the end of March at the latest.  Job hunting and also looking into the option of starting up a Social Enterprise.  Interesting times…

 

Keeping my hand in with the whole creative writing thing, it is an interesting hobby at the very least.

 

Work on the allotment continues.

 

Husband and self moved chapels, and are now back with his ‘home’ church, which we moved from when we bought our house further up the valley.  Was right to put down roots nearer to where we live, but we have felt called ‘home’ recently, and it is gooooood to be back. :)

 

That is enough to keep us going for now, amongst all the other usual stuff.  How are you…?

I cannot say

I heard earlier today of the tragic death of a wonderful young man.  It put me in mind of another terrible loss some years ago.  These lines are for Rich Taylor and Mike Blakey – also for anyone of you who is grieving at this time.

 

I cannot say

Why

He took you so early.

You were so full of life.

 

I cannot say

Why

He took you so early

With so much left to do.

 

Why do the good ones

Get pulled from this Earth

When their presence here makes it better?

Why do the bright ones

Burn fast and burn out

Leaving us wondering, wondering, wondering

 

Why?

 

I cannot say why

The radiant ones die

So young

So strong

With so much yet to give

So long left to live

 

But this I do know

Will know

And will show

 

I

Will not waste a day

As I walk on my way

Remembering you

As you would have us do

 

And to live

Each day to the full

Never knowing when

Or why

It may be

Our turn

My turn

To die.