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Archive for February, 2021

The past year has been a pain in the…um…neck. Let’s go with neck. A lot of tragedy. A lot of loss and yet, also a lot of laughter. Learning new things. Engaging in new ways of being Church and doing ministry. Lately I’ve been paring down my “stuff” because I realised I don’t need much.

I never imagined I would live to fifty years of age. Now I’m beginning to think about retirement, and again, I can’t imagine living to 65, so I’m hoping/planning/daydreaming that I will be able to retire at 60, buy a cargo van, renovate it into a tiny house on wheels and go travel. I hope beyond hope, that the pandemic will be a distant memory in six and a half years.

Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do. Yet I also realise that I am the number one expense for both Churches in my Parish. Our congregation is aging, and it is naive to think that we will return completely to how things were pre-COVID. Our online Worship has been invigorating and life-giving, yet it also excludes people who are unable to access technology, even though they could join us by telephone.

I made two goals for 2020/2021. First goal is to maintain status quo with respect to Worship. Not take on any new projects or over-tax my time and energy. I’ve only got so much to give and I have a bad habit of giving beyond my capacity. Which isn’t good for anyone. The second goal is to treat myself with the same respect I treat my congregation, in other words, putting myself first. Setting boundaries. Knowing my limits. No apologizing for saying no. No guilt or explanation needed.

I am setting time aside every day to daydream, sometimes for a few minutes, sometimes as long as an hour. I think of the type of van I want to get, what I will build, what I will need and what I will want for the rig. I’ve been watching YouTube videos and researching portable power sources online. If all goes well, I’m planning to go back East this summer, as I was unable last summer. If it is possible, I’m going to car camp across the country, staying in Canada. I’ll take my time, sleep (comfortably) in my car and see if this is something I can actually do. If nothing else, it will be an adventure!

My doctor raised the dose of my antidepressant a week ago. I’m not sure if it’s working, but it has only been a week. I want to fight the brain fog and fatigue, caused mostly by grief. Raising the dose of my antidepressant won’t do that, but it may give me more energy to do that holy and sacred work.

So here I am. My Beloved’s birthday is Sunday. He would have been 61. I miss him so much, at times if physically hurts. But here I am, doing my best. Taking it one moment at a time.

I journal every night. I pray almost constantly. I don’t usually speak aloud to God, but rather, open my heart so she can hear me at my innermost core. That has brought me peace and for that I am incredibly grateful. Adopting Sir Vincent has also been a gift. Even though he can be a jerk (I mean, we can all be jerks) he is my grumpy olde jerk. And he’s begun giving me not so subtle hints when he wants my attention. He will climb onto the desk and lay across the keyboard, or he will climb on my lap and do the same, while demanding I scratch his head. Subtle, yet affective.

I wonder if there will be a world in which ministry can go mobile? A community of clerics living the van life where we travel from place to place providing ministry in person and online? With balanced days, less financial burdens and more self-care. Sounds ideal. Now if we could just do something about the frigid winters in Canada. 🙂

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