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…