Tuesday, January 16, 2007

same old pattern, new resolution

Ok, ok, so it got a bit quiet on the NZ Quaker blogging front - but given that so many of us were at Summer Gathering with hardly enough time to draw breath, let alone hook up and type (and Leith doesn't seem to have come out of hibernation yet) what do you expect? But my excuse for taking so long to catch up again is I got home to find my modem as dead as the Norwegian Blue nailed to his perch. After a lengthy phonecall to Telecom persuading them that it wasn't pining for the fjiords or anywhere else I finally got a brand new shiny one... and then promptly ran away to hide in Newtown for a couple of days and cut myself off from the world.

I got home from Summer Gathering and started filling in the diary with all the extra bookings I'd had thrown at me whilst there (except the one I forgot! Thankfully I still had space of sorts...) - it was only when I looked at it all on the wall planner though that I realised that I had about 50 bed nights booked in over the coming two weeks - gulp.... I was exhausted, desperately needing copious quantities of sleep and a chance to recharge my decidedly flat batteries.

Ask and it shall be granted and all that... moments later a regular reliever walked past the window so a quick run round to the backflat and voila, a weekend off sorted. Marion offered me the use of their flat to hide in and then all I had to do was last until Friday.

Maybe I had learned a lesson after all. As we were planning Summer Gathering I'd realised that I had rather a lot on my plate, I know me - I keep going, keep going... and then crash. I knew from past experience I needed someone to boss me around and make sure I took time out, get help if I need it and get some sleep (as my WGYF Management Committe had sussed out, hence my fantastic support team)... but all the usual suspects for such a role were either not going to be there, had too much else on their plate to be worrying about me or weren't turning up until almost the end. So I gratefully took the sleeping tablets and just tried to manage....

I thought I was doing ok - but I wasn't. Sure there was always someone there when I needed a shoulder to cry on but it was a case of dealing with the symptons not the cause. There were those there who I could have (and should have) turned to but didn't, I eventually realised it was from trying to protect them from having to deal with things they might not want to either. But I don't think I did any of us any favours.

By the time Fran had given me a firm talking to and Sarah did turn up, to pack me off to bed instead of a session, take me to play on the trampoline, go for a walk and reassure me that things were ok I wasn't much use to anyone.

At WGYF one of the lessons I thought I had learned that was that the right person is always there when you need them, even if you don't know it - just accept who is there and it'll work out for the best (Louisa, you're a star!). Yet there I was chosing to think I knew better, that it was more important to protect others, to not risk rubbing someone else up the wrong way and rekindling old stresses (I just couldn't face risking turning that clock back a year). But now after sleep and time to think things through a bit more coherently I know I have to trust others to make those judgements for themselves - to say no if they don't think they can take something on, to decide whose needs they feel able to look after. I don't have to make those decisions for them.

This coming year looks as though I'm going to have plenty opportunities to see if I can accept that lesson; after all if you keep doing things the same way you'll end up with the same results - and I don't like burnout. So my New Years resolution/goal is to try to trust others to make their own decisions and follow what feels right, rather than what my worrying on behalf of others head tells me. Hopefully I'll do somewhat better than last year when I aimed to stop hitting the snooze button....

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