Monthly Archives: February 2010

I have given up the various fights

and finally admitted my parish church is not where I want to be every Sunday. There is nothing wrong with it at all, in fact, I would recommend it if  it’s the kind of church you’re looking for, but I just didn’t want to be there. I didn’t feel any sense of being able to fit in there, or being a part of it after a couple of months. It took two months for anyone to even ask my name.

So, as I’d had a conversation about playing somewhere on a regular, but not every week basis, I went there to suss it out… and immediately felt comfortable.

Given the job situation, which I thought was about to be resolved has gone base over apex again,  this could be very welcome as a small form of income, as well as a good church!!

I am utterly furious that a job for which I’ve applied and handed in a completed application form, actually doesn’t exist, as it should’ve been advertised as two smaller part time jobs, not one almost full time job – investigations are under way as to what went wrong, but I’m beginning to wonder if I really do want to work in this environment after all. Or if God is trying to tell me something!

Adventures on Buses

I’m spending lots of time on buses at the moment! This is probably the main cause of my laxness in the blogging department of late. I am very hopeful that I will be cutting my hours spent travelling to and from work soon, and spending less time out of the house, but far more of those hours working (and being paid for those working hours!)

I have several options for travel to work, which is about 25 miles away, beyond the opposite edge of the city, and at the moment I am favouring a bus/train combination, with a different bus route in the morning. I don’t mind tackling the city centre in the early morning, in fact, it’s quite pleasant! But, I am losing the will to deal with the human race by the evening, and have found it’s best to get off the bus about halfway back to the city centre, and get on the “outer circle” bus. Which happens to stop a minutes walk away from my house!  It looks ludicrous when I look at the map, but time-wise between 4.00 p.m. and 7.00 p.m, there’s nothing in it. Though, I prefer not to get on it at school out time.

I’ve lived in this city three times now, and always close to this outer circle route – it has featured a lot in my public transport adventuring! Those of us who know it well know the “Every ten minutes” on the timetable is a myth… in fact, timetable and this bus route are not concepts that have been introduced to each other.  It’s a regular complaint that you wait ages and three or four come at once… five is the most I remember, after a forty minute wait, followed by a twenty minute walk when I gave up… and they all arrived at the bus-stop I would have got off at, as I was walking past it. It’s not a bus route I like to rely on when time is of the essence!

Today, however, I got really, really lucky. Not only did it arrive within five minutes of me getting to the bus-stop, I happened to get on one that was instructed part way round to “Unload Only” – so for about half of my hour long journey we were whizzing along, until I was the only passenger! It started picking up passengers again about ten minutes from home, but it still shaved a good 20 minutes off my journey.

It makes up, in part, for all the hours and hours of my life than I have spent being thoroughly frustrated by this bus route!!

Mysteries and Problems..

I could get deeply philosophical here, but it’s a bit early, and I’m not up to it, really.

But, when I’m being thoroughly interrogated by those who mean well, and want to know more about how I’m going to proceed through the next few months than I’m prepared to talk about, I am keeping in mind that I am “not a problem to be solved”, but “a mystery to be wondered at and grappled with”. Thanks to Gerald O’Collins SJ and his book “Jesus, a portrait” for providing me with the words to voice my growing frustration. And for giving me much to think about in a different way.

How unexpected

but I really ought to know God has numerous surprises up his sleeve.

I’ve been fighting an internal battle with myself about church lately. Actually, I’ve also been fighting with myself and God all through every church service I’ve been to for about six months. So, a month or so ago, I stopped going to church. Sort of accidentally on purpose. I kept intending to go, but never got there.  I spent all of Sunday “oversleeping” or “forgetting” what time the service was. Or saying to myself “I’ll try somewhere else.” and discovering the somewhere else was doing something that would just make matters worse. Or excusing myself on the grounds my work patterns had changed, and I was too tired…. This didn’t stop the battle!! I’ve just been spending all of Sundays vaguely at odds with life and the universe and God and myself.

What’s with the “vaguely” description? I’ve been hating Sundays without church, but not knowing what to do about it. I’ve also not been keeping to any kind of prayer routine, or Bible reading, in the week either.

Strangely, several things this week have given me the kicks I needed! The first was a funeral I attended at the beginning of the week of an eighteen year old. I didn’t know him, but I knew his friends, through my work, and promised I would go with them to support them. The second, third and fourth kicks were all work related, too. But, they all had in common the thread of reminding me God doesn’t want me to be anything other than myself , to live my life in the way that works for me, and to do my work in any other way than the Japes way, and that the foundation of that life is my relationship with God.

But – that foundation needs care, nurture, and checking up on. Neglecting it Will Not Do!!

I did not, however, expect an early morning said communion service, (from the Book of Common Prayer of 1662 – Church of England) to provide me with a deep sense of peace, and coming home to God again, in such a strong way. I think, for now, I have found my place to do that care and nurture, and when I’m feeling stronger again, I can make my way back to the main services, with a sense of willingness to get involved in the life of the church again, rather than the sense of deep unwillingness I’ve been living with.

For, I think, what the big, big, big battle has mostly been about has been the sense of being involved for many years, but running on empty for so long, yet feeling bad if I wasn’t volunteering to do various things, or playing for the services, or being on committees, or doing things just because I could.

But a quiet early morning service, then coming home to read, reflect, and write – and more importantly, spending Sunday enjoying it sounds a pretty good idea for now.

Three, one, two, one – this week’s numbers game

this being my current working pattern for term time. Three days on, one day off, two days on, one day off. (One of the days is not in an educational establishment!)

Then there are the three different getting up times – 5.15 a.m. for the three days, and 7.00 a.m for the two days. (8.00 a.m for the second if I don’t mind a bit of a rush!) I’d quite like a lie on on the other days, but my body doesn’t seem able to manage it!

But, joy of joys, after tomorrow morning, I don’t have to be up before 7.00 a.m for 9 whole days!!

It definitely worked

I’m sleeping loads better than I have been for months!

I’m also confining my clutter to one room, and one room only! The kitchen, for various reasons, had become a semi-transit camp for many things until I’d found homes for them, and for my work stuff that wanders between work and home. Everything now has a home, and I’m making sure I dump my work bag in the right place when I come in and change out of work clothes, and not just by the kitchen table, and ignoring it until time to check I’ve got the correct folders/files for the next day just before I go to bed, as I’ve been doing.

It would seem I do really rather like my kitchen, and living room to be clear, clean calm places, but have no qualms about living with the mess and chaos of a work room, as long as I can shut the door on it when I want to ignore it! So, restoring my kitchen to tidiness, as well as cleanliness, and having all the untidy work stuff in one place has helped my sense of well being enormously.

Which, given this has been a week at work where I’ve needed to be at my best emotionally to help others through a very difficult time, has all been very good.

It seems strange to admit, but this is the first time in my life I’ve been living on my own, in my own space, and going out to work five days a week. I’ve spent almost all of my adult life living along side other people, and in unusual circumstances… I’ve always worked, and often much, much hard than I do now. (I’m out five days a week, with three different jobs, which don’t add up to full time hours or pay… but that is about to change, I hope!) My tiredness is more to do with the excessive amount of travel I’m doing. But, I’ve mainly worked in and from home, and fitting in and around other, complex needs, with occasional part time jobs.

I’m having to think about so many things I’ve never really had to think about before! Decide which matters are things that have been inflicted on me, or things that really are part of who I am and that I would choose to do regardless of whether it affects only me, or twenty others. Big things like jobs, and little things like buying a mop.

And, getting more sleep is definitely good!