So, since Lockdown number 1 lifted I have been getting used to juggling being in school some of everyday as the chaplain with all the other tasks & joys of life. To be honest it’s still a little odd getting my head around actually being an adult having an actual job! It’s a whole new way of juggling the needs of family life – any advice do leave a comment!!
One of the things I’m currently not sure I’m winning with is the washing – you’ll know I’m sure that its never as simple as working methodically through the washing Himalayas – there is an almost daily urgent need to prioritize particular items needed straight away… which I kind of (well very loosely) kept on top of before but now seems rather tricky and incredibly last minute. Sounds rather insignificant written down, but believe me it is certainly not insignificant when the only item of clothing that is acceptable to be wearing is in the mountain and not back in the draw in time!
Other than the practical logistics – which I’m sure will settle into some kind of routine – I find myself working out in a new way how to pace myself emotionally and energy wise. Family life for us can be draining, a lot of the support needed that is over above what you might expect as a parent of my age kids is emotional support and the creative finding, teaching and prompting of coping skills to deal with relentless anxiety (which has been through the roof this year), sensory overload plus self care and interpersonal skills – all of which require deep deep wells of patience and empathy, the negotiation skills of an international peace envoy and the imagination and energy to keep finding new approaches and adaptations. I need energy.
In many ways going out to work has been energy-giving in that it is a step away into a different world. I have a lovely base in the school, neat, calm and relatively quiet – which now has its very own colourful bespoke ‘stained glass window’ display. And I am loving the role with its opportunities for building relationships, offering support to the community and helping to shape the faith provision and culture of the school. But of course it is tiring too. Its as much about being fully me, fully present as any of the tasks I have to do and so introvert me is tired as I walk home. So I am praying for extra doses of patience and energy on that walk each day to arrive ready to be fully me, fully present and available to the needs at home.
I am becoming more aware that I need to get better at self-care myself! Eating healthily, trying to get more sleep when I can, doing exercise, and getting back into a routine of writing – about time too I guess many of you are thinking as you read this!! Watch this space. Something I read this week that struck a chord was an invitation to write ‘Ta Da’ lists at the end of a day rather than ‘To Do’ lists at the beginning… so here’s the beginning of my visual ‘Ta Da’ list from this week: