Categories
NHS respect

Respect

This view from my window this morning does not show the magnitude of the rain or the ferocity of the wind

This is a bit of a ramble from my thoughts this morning. I might do something more coherent in a few days! Maybe!

I was journaling around this word “Respect” and about the strikes and a WhatsApp conversation I had had with my son last night around him leaving the army this morning as I listed to the rain throwing itself at the window and the dustbin men emptying this bins at 7am.

He is leaving the army, along with many others, because he does not feel respected. When one really listens to the NHS staff on the picket lines, as in really listen, the main issue is the lack of respect. When we used to do Airbnb, because we lived within five miles of our local hospital, we had lots of junior and trainee doctors and nurses along with other hospital staff staying, and all were struggling with the lack of respect they were receiving – from their management and from the expectations of the public. One instance was when there was a call for doctor’s to be working all over the weekends, and one young woman told us that for that to work the doctor’s canteen would need to be open, the laboratories would need to be open, and there would need to be more doctors to cover all this.

A friend who worked on the railways was saying that most rail-workers contracts include having to do overtime and that most contracts are Monday to Friday and very few for the weekend and yet people want to catch trains on the weekend.

It made me think of the line from The Jam song “Going Underground” – “the public gets what the public wants” and I do wonder if this is what is going on. The government are so desperate for votes that when those they see as important voters ask for something they get it whether it is supporting the people who work in that area or not. But it is all done without respect for the workers – or even for how much it costs.

It is this respect that is the big thing though. I remember my Mum saying that they would always give the tradesmen – dustmen, postmen, milkman, paper boy – a tip at Christmas. Ok so I do remember her saying that with the dustmen it was more for fear that they would not pick up their bins in the new year but it was still done. It was till saying “thank you for being out there in all winds and weathers to do a rubbish job. I appreciate it”.

I know there was the clapping for the NHS during lockdown but then all was expected to go back to “normal” after a few weeks. And actually normal, as I had heard when doing the Airbnb prior to lockdown, was overworked staff, was ambulances outside hospitals for hours, was someone who phone for an ambulance for her father having a heart attack being told to get the town’s defibrillator and then drive her dad to hospital because the ambulance would not be there for over six hours. The news about all this is not news. It has been going on for years and years.

But I believe it is from years and years of lack of respect. I don’t think it is money really that is wanted. Though a decent wage for a hard job would be a start, but I think it is the need for those in power, and for us the general public, to show respect to those doing these jobs and stop expecting more than they are able to give.

I’d just like to end with this that I saw on Facebook this morning which I think sums things up

Thanks to Gaz for sharing
Categories
joy peace

True Peace, True Joy

Sunrise over my local park. Taken by myself Oct 2022

There is some stuff going on in my life and I spent half the night planning my speech to say what I really thought, talk about my hurts, my fears, etc. I felt I had a right to say this. Funny how we are brought up that way. And then go on to do some self improvement stuff which talks to us about firm boundaries, being honest, our rights, etc.

Well for me about 5.30am I felt an almost audible voice asking me why I felt the need to say what I felt, why I needed to put over my point of view when in fact no one has asked for it. So I chewed this over, noticed a few repeated patterns that I thought I’d dealt with, and then asked what I could do to change.

What came to me was Philippians’s 4:7 “The peace of the Lord that transcends all understanding” So being me I journaled around that.

What came up was that that real joy and real peace are there for us no matter what is going on in our lives, no matter what we are feeling. It doesn’t mean that we deny our feelings. Often living in that total joy and peace of God/the Universe we can be more open and honest with ourselves about how we feel. In fact I googled an article around this and the writer said how they go walking with their anxiety rather than trying to hide it, and this was from a piece that started with the Phil 4:7 verse.

How would I describe that total joy and peace? I don’t know. All I can say is that I know it is there. I know I can tap into it whenever I want to, though often I don’t try to – which is when I say what I shouldn’t or do what I shouldn’t and let my fears, issues, self-righteousness, hurt others.

The whole point of something “transcending our understanding” is that it transcends it, which means we cannot and should not try to understand it. What would be the point? It makes no sense to be fearful but at peace, to be grieving but feel deep joy. But then what would be the point of understanding everything?

It is great to have mysteries and as a Christian I do not want to understand all that is God. I do not want to be able to figure God out. Well what would be the point of that?

I have to trust in God with all of my being, not understand God with all my being. I have to let go of my need to sort it all out, of my need to be right all the time. I think if we all lent into a higher power of some sort, let go of our need to control each and every situation, let go of our need to figure the whys and wherefores of everything and just accept that somethings just are.

So today I am accepting that no matter what is going on in my life I am going to walk in a place of peace and joy that is bigger than I am, that I don’t understand, and that is ok.

Categories
Castle Security trust

Castles!

A castle in Gwynedd, North Wales, photographed on my husband's birthday in June 2018. Taken by Diane Woodrow
Dolbadarn Castle. Taken by myself June 2018

Last night I had two dreams with castles in them. I have looked up what “dreaming about castles” means and there are many different interpretations. Then I journaled around and about castles for myself.

I’ve had a few things going on recently that have left me a bit insecure and I think that might have been the reason for the dream. I want something safe and secure – for myself and my loved ones. But being a medieval historian as well as a writer I know that castles aren’t as secure as one would like. It is a perceived security not a real one.

A castle could be besieged; wall dug beneath and weaken or surrounded and wait for the occupants to stare or throw in contaminated meat and poison the occupants. Castles weren’t as safe as one would have liked them to be.

So I wonder whether sometimes we try to build things like castles – boundaries, walls, barricades – in our hearts, lives, work, relationships – to try to keep out the things we perceive to be bad and keep in the order of things we perceive to be good. And it is our order we can contain within our castle walls – when not being besieged. But all we are doing is exerting our control because of our fear and lack of trust in ourselves, others, the Universe, God. But all of these things need lots of maintenance and effort. And all can be destroyed.

Even though I think in my heart I want to build strong castle walls to keep myself safe and to exert my control on the things I know, even though it looks strong that it is in fact fragile. Instead I need to be in the open, be free to the changes of the seasons, trust in those around me, trust in God/the Universe, let go of fear.

If I do this I can be free to run in open meadows not trapped within castle walls. It may seem more scary out there but in fact, if I can trust then I can be free

Down on the Abergwyngregan coastal path. Photographed by Diane Woodrow
Categories
journaling writer

Looking Through The Garbage

Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas on Pexels.com

About three weeks ago I had a QEC session and my counselor challenged me on journaling. She said it was like putting all your stuff in the rubbish bin and then going back to check what you’d put it. I have journaled on and off for most of my writing life. I would say that it is where I explore my thoughts and feelings and with my pen come up with a plan for what to do with what I feel. Her challenge was that a feeling is a feeling and a situation is a situation but that with QEC we’re putting new beliefs into my world about how I am.

I have been going off on walks, just me and my dog, to places where I won’t see people to chat to, and I write. Some of which I have written up and can be found on My Writing page under the heading Artist’s Date Inspirations. From these random writings I come up with interesting realisations.

Yesterday I had been upset by something and reached for my journal to unload but stopped myself. I decided instead to use a postcard and write a short story which I have called “Autumn Foretells”.

Here is the postcard I used which is totally disconnected from anything that was going on yesterday

. Through this I was able to vent how I felt, explore thoughts and ideas and come to a point of being calm and relaxed. It is an interesting story and can be found on My Writings if you wish to read it. Note it is not true

So I did not look back through past events, did not explore how I felt and why, but took myself off on a creative writing route that did not “look through the garbage” and I felt much fresher and freer afterwards.

I must say when my counselor mentioned I did only slightly agree with her and also did not want to break a habit of a life time. But of course that is what QEC is all about – breaking those life time habits that we have brought up so we can be free to truly be.

I wonder what I’ll use as a prompt next time??

Categories
accepting being me deciding happy life light mixed emotions sad

How we view things …

I have realised it has been over two weeks since I last wrote. There has been a lot happening in my life so not much time to find head space to write. My days have been full of family visiting, my daughter’s graduation and then her visiting, as well as spending time getting ready for the open day at the community centre where I will be running some writing course in September.

walking_in_the_water___by_dodephineIt was strange but I felt really flat after the open day and had to ponder why. Some of it was because I had been really busy and was tired and needed some introvert time. With running a hospitality/Airbnb/room rentals house it can be hard to find that time. I need to learn to seize the moment rather than expect long days for just me.

Some was because it would have been my sister’s 53rd birthday yesterday. It’s odd but I miss her more and more as time goes past. There is that old adage that “time heals” but for me it seems to hurt more at certain times. And it got me thinking about anniversaries. There are so many and then can converge on each other and we have to choose how we look at them. We could focus on what isn’t, what has gone 122378_story__movingonbut then miss out on the good. As you should know I do not want to bury my grief but I do know the anniversaries of deaths, birthdays of those gone too soon, things that didn’t happen, coincide with good things – graduations, moving house, birthdays and weddings of the living – so much. Which way will I look?

This is some of what I journaled this morning:

As I look through the window at
the trees billowing
the raindrops
the small clouds drifting in front of the bank of trees on the hill
I marvel
Marvel at the blessings
It would be so easy to remain
in this well of sadness
to count the losses
court the pain and
let them rule.
I want to list them to let the world see
how much I have to grieve
And yet …
I look out of my rain splattered window and know
that I am blessed.
Like that small cloud emboldened on the darkened landscape
I can drift
I can choose which way I look.
At the dark backdrop or
out to sea.
I can look up or can look down
I can choose, for now,
to take myself away
Like that small cloud I can enjoy the view
I can choose to marvel at my God
Today I choose to look and see
that I am blessed.
Today I choose LIFE!

Maybe not the greatest of poems but it says what we can choose. And so yes I do feel sad waiting-for-godand needing space but also know that I am blessed.

I have a follow on to this about being open. Both the thing about perspectives and about living in the light seem to be reoccurring themes for me at the moment.