Tis the start of Advent. Well it is in the Celtic Calendar and I have started my Lean Towards the Light this Advent & Christmas Book Celtic Advent book. Even though this has not yet come up as one of the thoughts in it I felt that over this Advent season was a good time to be looking at the past year. So I’m looking at – Loss – today and I’m going to follow this up in a few days with – Gain – as I journal into what I have gained over this period.
We’ve all experienced lots of loss and change this year. Those “prophetic words” of Rest, Renew, Resore, etc seem a long time ago, and I think many of us rested for a bit and then tried to get on and do. We did not do as the Cormorants do and rest until we are ready to fly again.
I was thinking through what I’d lost this year – my income from Airbnb and from the writing workshops I used to run; with my husband working from home I’ve lost my lunchtimes to just hangout; I’ve lost the volunteer work I used to do up at the Castle (now home to I’m a Celeb); at the begining of lockdown I lost being able to ride, got back in the saddle for August and Sept and then feel off and bruised my ribs; and the plays and productions I used to put on in church, with lockdown starting just as I was bringing together a Psalm Sunday play; I’ve lost out on earning money doing things with local schools, and had 2 paid events that had to be cancelled in June this year; I’ve lost the freedom that comes from the times my husband goes away with friends and when I can get away on writing retreats or visits to friends.
What do these things say to me I thought? What have I lost most of all?
It is the praise. It is someone saying I’ve done well – whether this is from my riding instructor and friends I ride with; from Airbnb guests who give me a good review; from those who attend writing groups who have had a good time and tell me; from the pupils and the staff when I run a fun workshop that we all enjoy; from staff but also visitors at the Castle who would tell me what a good job I’d done. Yes my husband is great at saying thank you for his lunch and supper, but he never notices if I’ve cleaned, and only notices that I’ve made the bed since I hurt my ribs as I need his help. Ok so Airbnb guests didn’t notice that I’d cleaned but they would give a 5 star rating for how clean it was.
I don’t miss the Airbnb, what I miss is the compliments, the telling me I’ve done a good job. I don’t miss the money from the writing workshops whether adults or schools but I do miss the fun I had with the people but also the thank yous. I miss being told I’m good at something, miss achieving, miss that buzz of running a group, of meeting new guests, that nervousness of getting on a horse. I miss the adrenaline buzz.
In journallingthrough this the other day the phrase popped out was “I want something to be bothered about“. But it made me wonder how much we all resist resting and resetting because we have to take stock, rethink, wonder what we have been doing and return to a place of finding what are passion is and what we can “be bothered about.“
So we do need to stop, to think about what we do and why we do it, so that when we do restart we can do so with a passion. So I know I need to be something that will involved that nervous adrenaline buzz. For others it will be something different, but are you willing to stop and ask yourself what is the bottom line of why you do what you?