Sunday, 1 November 2009

'rabbits', relaxation, and reflections...

It has been crazy busy over the last wee while.  So busy that I realised I'd fallen into the not taking time off trap - bad Nik.  The susequent knock-on effect of all of that has been utter tiredness and the sense of feeling overwhelmed, not too mention rabbit-in-the-spotlights inability to actually accomplish much at all.
I finally took myself in hand the other day, said cross words to myself, and decided to rationalise some things... and so I've been cutting away some of the mental undergrowth and clutter... as well as divesting myself of a couple of responsibilities.
Much better.  Good plan.
And time off was had Thurs and Fri nights going out with friends and getting my perspective back at last.  Was great doing something other than PhD work or church work: good to feel like I was doing something vaguely normal again.
Within several days I'm surprised by the change and how much more relaxed and focused I finally am.
Hurrah.  I wonder why I always have to re-learn this one?

'Parish by the Forth' placement has been poddling on for nearly a month now and am getting to know new folks and new ways of doing things.
Enjoying it.  Good bunch of people.
So utterly different from previous 'big Kirk in the toon' placement [which was great, but very, very different indeed!].  And of course, different from having been doing locum in 'leafy parish in the burgh' over summer - where I was just left to get on with stuff.

Am pondering the noticeable difference between degrees of responsibility: between being a placement student with minister;
and locum with more responsibility without minister - but if it goes horribly wrong still not as responsible as minister would be;
and also thinking back to times when I've 'parachuted in' to do the occasional pulpit supply.

There's a sense of slight surrealism being back in supervised placement after the freedom of the summer locum - it's fine, I'm not chafing under the bit... it just feels slightly odd, lol!!!

Am also teasing out difference between gathered church and local community church dynamics and particularly what it is like to be living in the parish in which I'm also working - I wanted to try to get an understanding of what the 'goldfish bowl' felt like and it certainly is providing food for reflective thought - will blog on that at a later point.  The immediate effect is that I find myself walking down the street and smiling at anybody who walks by for fear of being told I've totally ignored someone.  Sigh!!  I'm sure this will settle itself down, but it's definitely an odd feeling.

I am very much enjoying the fact that there are kids around - even if that does mean having to occasionally do all-age addresses - like this morning.  Which was a hoot and very interactive and seemed to go well.  I have a group of small people who seem to have now befriended me, which is lovely.

I'm also getting to grips with the 'everyday stuff of life' such as visiting folks....  At some point I really want to take a bit of time to sift through my thoughts but this is being blogged almost as a 'note to self' for later.

I'm currently working my way quietly through a list given to me by my church supervisor.
There is a vast world of difference on several levels when it comes to visiting because of a need: baptism/ wedding/ funeral/ home communion, and the 'just popping in to say hello' visit.  I find the former much easier - guess I'm just more used to that sort of visiting - than the latter.  Might be a good exercise to sit down and ask 'why' the 'popping in' visit feels a little more tricky.  And yet this afternoon's visit was very good, and out of it stuff arose that was immensely satisfying.  As opposed to visit on Tues where I felt it hard, hard, hard to get any conversation and yet I knew it had been appreciated.  Ah well.

This week is prep. for Remembrance service on Sunday, more visiting, Guild on Wednesday.  At some point, my thesis may even get a wee look in.  But I am pleased to be feeling more in step with everything.

1 comment:

Shuna said...

I still find the popping in visit hard - depends on the reason for popping in (if indeed there is one). I always felt as a student I was cold calling - which is not me. But I have always enjoyed the visits once i got over the doorstep and have met some fabulous people through just popping in. I still ponder it tho' and do wonder about what constitutes a pastoral visit...