For the last week or so I have been doing slightly something with my running. I was getting a bit comfortable – and we all know how much I hate being comfortable – so I changed it up a bit, and decided to stretch myself. I decided I was going to do some HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training. Basically every time my Fitbit told me I’d run 1km I would then do 30 seconds at a much faster pace. It was a challenge but it was good. The second time I did this, it got to about 3km, I’d done the 30 seconds and felt good so thought I’d carry on and counted to 60. It was tough but it was fine. So I thought I’d do it again at the next Km, which just so happened to coincide with a steep hill! But the time I’d counted to 45 I had to stop, I even struggled to walk. There is a reason that I don’t run at that pace all the time – it’s not manageable! This is a metaphor for my life this week, but after various messages I think I’ve finally grasped what I need to do.
It’s been a week of tears, I cannot remember the last time I have cried this much. I’ve not been upset, I have just been exhausted and overwhelmed. People literally just had to say hi to me, and that was it, I was gone, blubbering like an idiot! The ultimate embarrassment came on Friday when I ended up blubbering in front of my boss – not good!
Friday evening I text my vicar to say that I wasn’t sure if I would be at church, just to warn him as I welcome people etc… In response I got a thoughtful, thought provoking, kind, lovely text. Which essentially said I needed to pace myself – it said a lot more than that – but that was the essence.
Yesterday, Saturday, I went shopping with E, it was a great day where we became like little school girls getting excited about being able to go into so many different shops and trying on lots of clothes! We also had a lot of deep chats, where she too was challenging me about pacing myself. She pointed out that teachers are possibly the worst at this, because we work to holidays. I’d already come to the realisation that I am going to have to work thigh the holiday this year, but I could see exactly what she was saying.
The message from my vicar also spoke about the fact that I am on a journey, but that I’m travelling so quickly that I am missing it, and that people are struggling to keep up with me. When we wer in Scotland, I went for a run along the sea front, it was lovely. My friend went for the same run the following morning. When she got back she said ‘I didn’t go as far as you, I kept stopping to take photos, and look at bunnies, it was so beautiful’
Friday, afternoon I met up with my spiritual advisor. I meet with her about 4 times a year. I was talking about everything that happened, everything that was happening. She was so excited about everything that God was doing in my life, in the life of those around me, Church and the fact that my health was so good. She reminded me that previously if I’d got myself in the state that I was in that I would have probably had seizures. She could see the bigger picture, she could see my journey, I had missed it!
This morning, I had decided I wasn’t going to go to my usual church, but I kept getting this nagging feeling that I she still go somewhere, as I needed the space. So I went to an early communion at the church I used to go to. I knew that my friend was taking the service, not that that should make a difference but….
I went, it was quiet, it was nice, I had no role to play, I just was. The first bible reading spoke about Elijah looking for God, and that God eventually appeared in the quiet. We then sang that beautiful hymn ‘dear Lord and father of mankind’ I couldn’t bring myself to sing the final verse because it touched a nerve and the tears were starting again. Then the sermon, speaking about losing a voice because emotion takes over, and it isn’t until we sit with Jesus that we find our voice again. As I left the service, I thanked my friend saying it was exactly what I needed to hear. He asked if I was Ok, I couldn’t rally respect other than to say ‘not really’ – he did not question me but just said ‘I hope you find the space you need’.
God certainly does persevere with me when he needs me to hear a message! So what have I learned?
- I need to pace myself, I can’t keep going full steam ahead constantly, because I will just burn out and not manage anything at all
- I need to take time to stop and listen, to me, to friends, to family, to colleagues, to God
- I need to enjoy the journey, and acknowledge how much has happened in such a short amount of time
- I need to realise I’m not superwoman. I don’t think that that is what I think, but it seems to be the impression I give to others!
- I need to prioritise and accept that some plates are going to have to fall – but that’s ok. If they need to keep spinning then it is ok to pass them to someone else.