Thursday, March 26, 2020

Just about managing

I see lots of posts flying around on various social media platforms about how I ought to use this funny old time.  Since lots of normal things have stopped, why don't I brush up on my Greek, or take the time to read that novel I've always meant to read, or... whatever?  Since we're in an enforced Sabbath (so I'm told), why not take the opportunity to refocus on patterns of more disciplined prayer and Bible study?  With the distractions of normal life stripped away, wouldn't this be a great time to go deeper with the Lord?

Well, no.

I'll tell you how I'm planning to use this period of lockdown: I'm hoping to just about manage.  And I'm less confident than I'd like to be that I will achieve my goal.

Before it all Got Real, lots of folk were joking about this being an introvert's dream.  I can report that it is not.  My house is small, and it has four people in it.  They are always there.  Apart from the days when I manage to take my state-sanctioned walk alone, I have not spent this much time with people for ages.  Some of those people (the kids, that is) require structured attention for much of the day; I am very glad that there are two adults to share the burden of giving it to them.  This is tiring.

Then again, lots of things that used to be easy and relatively relaxing are not.  Meeting with people is nice; meeting with people over video is still sorta nice but also much more tiring.  I haven't noticed any slow-down in 'normal work'; I get the same amount of e-mail, need to try to look out for the same number of people, prepare the same number of sermons - but with the brain-fog that comes from an upset routine and a lack of recreation.

And the news is draining, and the sense that you really ought to be doing something but you're not sure what is exhausting, and trying to learn new technologies is both boring and very difficult.

And can I tell you what is more frustrating than all those things?  The endless advice.  I'm sorta grateful because some of it has been genuinely really useful, but it is also wearisome.  I can't do all the things you think I should be doing, okay?  And the relentless optimism: really we should see this as an opportunity!  No, we shouldn't; it's rubbish.

Now, by this point you might think I'm having a bit of a personal crisis - which would be worrying, because it's only day 3 (of ?).  I want to reassure you that I'm not.  I'm just about managing.  I'm praying, I'm reading Scripture, I'm doing my best by the family and the church and trying to think about how we can bless the wider community.  It's okay.  I'm managing, just about.

The reason for sharing this is not particularly to let you know that I'm struggling with stuff.  The reason for sharing is to let you know that if you're struggling with stuff, that's okay.  Join me in my great ambition: to just about manage.

By God's grace, we'll do it.  Just about.

No comments:

Post a Comment