Tuesday, 24 July 2012

growing old

I don’t know about you but I love old people. Well mostly! As a minister's daughter I spent years saying that I didn’t want to spend time with all the old fogies in the church. Then I moved to my university city and spent many Saturday mornings with a bunch of older folk. And now in my little village I go to a weekly coffee morning where I’m the youngest by two generations most weeks. By some I’ve been adopted as a granddaughter, by others I’m the techy / mobile expert. Some think it’s rude to mention the struggle they have getting on and off the toilet, others tell me of the husband’s fondness of their behind. I have some – one particularly who is probably reading this and is going to tell me off again for suggesting he is old who tells me often that it’s all about common sense, and he is right. I love the wisdom of people who were born (much) earlier than me.

Why do I tell you this you ask? Well maybe you didn’t, but I like to explain why I’m thinking what I’m thinking, or where my thinking stemmed from. Yesterday I was on my way home from a weekend with boyfriend which I will come back to in a bit. So en route I stopped in at my grandparents’ house. I got caught up on the family gossip, was fed (which was beans on toast and I have 1 and ½ slices of toast – the extra ½ to fatten me up!) and generally chatted. Now I’ve come to believe that my granny’s stories all have a thread of truth in them, but I generally after visiting Granny have to ring my parents to check I wasn’t a horrible teenager, or they aren’t upset about something from before I was born. I’ve also found that old people also sometimes don’t have the limits we would so I learnt some things that I was quite happy not knowing.

All these thoughts were embedded within a weekend of sunshine and ceremonies. Saturday was the 3rd wedding of the year (out of 5) and it was great to see boyfriend’s Uni friends get married, after a lovely ceremony where the Vicar got the groom’s name wrong and told us to remember the significance of the blue rose – which she didn’t tell us, a whole bunch of methsoccers of old went out for a lovely meal, if you ignore the small portion sizes. The evening do was lovely, more food, dancing and J20s. After dropping friends off all over the city and nearly going through a red light – I didn’t, and actually earlier in the day someone had who then nearly went into the side of me, wasn’t a great driving day really! So yeah, after dropping friends off we went back to boyfriend’s house where the laptop wasn’t working and mother-out-of-law was trying to get stuff printed.

Sunday started with church and a christening, being introduced to many of boyfriend’s friends, and being support techy. Can I just say as an aside that I love boyfriend a lot because he tapes down cables and I’m a health and safety freak. Now I’m not always a fan of christenings as it feels like the church is being used by families, making promises that they don’t mean and we can’t keep for them. However it was great to see the church so full – literally standing room only. The minister did a great service linking the family’s passion of football to prayer. I also don’t admit this often so I hope he appreciates it but maybe boyfriend was right when we discussed infant baptism the other day, maybe the church should be there and be excited that people still want a Christian ceremony to celebrate their child’s birth.

After that we went back to the local city for a festival with some more friends. It was a lovely and sunny afternoon, catch up, and I had my first ever hog roast, followed by ice cream – yummy! We said goodbye to our friends, and then boyfriend and I went out on a date night. We ate popcorn, saw ‘seeking a friend for the end of the world’ and then went to the popular restaurant that sells Italian food that boyfriend can get cheap! This led to conversations about the film, and if the world was ending what would we do, expect and all those sorts of things. Now I’m a planner, my diary is generally full of what’s happening months in advance, would I still be doing what I’ve got planned in the world was gonna end in 3 weeks time? Monday’s meeting about 3Gen in November might have been a waste of time, but then is it? When you spend time with friends, have fun, share sweets and generally be with people.

I live like I’m going to grow old, nothing is rushed – well apart from being a bit last minute. I’d love to be an old person, the freedom to say things you can’t when you are young. I don’t however want the aches and pains but that’s a different issue all together.

Maybe what I’ve learnt it to seize the day. I don’t want to live regretting things I never did, or was too busy planning the future to enjoy the present. As in the film I want to spend my days, seeking friends, seeking love and living for now.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

6 months on...

Hello loyal blog reader, nice to be back, I’ve been meaning to blog for a while but my life was a bit like going round in circles. But then it wasn’t. Life has a habit of throwing things at you, never more than you can handle, but always something. Or at least that’s how my 2012 has felt. But we are now 6 months in so it’s about time for a recap.

So I’m failing on some things, chocolate is one of those things – but clothes I’m doing well on! Let's check the list!

1, Get fitter and healthier - In a number of ways.
a, Walk / run - aiming to do a 5k run for charity by the end of the year,
b, Do more exercise in general - mainly on the Wii as well as walking.
c, Have a better daily routine - including eating breakfast more often.
2, Blog more - I'm not saying how regularly, but more often!
3, Worry less about the future!!! 2012 is gonna be scary but worrying helps no one!
4, Stop being so obsessed with marriage.
5, Be more fair trade:
a, Only buy clothes that are fair trade or second hand
b, Give up non-fair trade chocolate.(Now that is the really difficult one and I've already failed once as I forgot - will ask Brother for tips!!)
6, Be wiser with money.
a, Reviewing giving - not give less but do more with what I give.
b, Review my spending.
c, Make more sandwiches / packed lunches rather than buying them.
7, Pray More! Lancashire district are having a year of prayer I'm hoping to get involved in a number of ways! First plan is to say grace more often before meals. Maybe find a spiritual director.

So 1a – I did my race for life 5k, in 42 minutes!!! Raised £200 (if you include gift aid) you can still sponsor me at – https://www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/rachic11
1c – well I had breakfast this morning!
2- well I’ve blogged more! Just not a lot recently
3 – I’ll come back to this later.
4 – fail!! Which I knew I would so replaced with grade 5 theory! Which I took in one very random weekend – day before the 5k, still waiting to hear how I did...
5 – a pass, b fail!

6 – hmm, well I bought accident insurance today – they obviously rang when I was feeling fragile.
7 – yeah, @yr_of_prayer is really helping 

So the future!

Well I had 7 interviews in 8 weeks and was about to implode, but then I got a call from my circuit boss asking if the circuit meeting agreed would I stay another year! So after my brain exploded and circuit meeting agreed I can now say I’m staying where I am for a further 12 months.

I’ve spent a lot of time recently reflecting on being called to stay! I was expecting to have to move, to be sent, or even to be without a job, but now I’m staying. I thought I was about to start the next race, but actually I’ve just passed another milestone – on the 5k there was a sign very kilometre on the route, it was such a relief to see the 1k earlier than I was expecting. My job will be changing slightly so I’ll have to change my way of working – more local stuff, more children’s work.

There is other stuff going on, but I’m not very good with words, and songs say things better than I can. I’ve been clinging to the words of Faithful One, and remembering I’m part of a bigger community. I love that there are people who are there to hold me when I cry, or let me use their shower – had many boiler issues over the past month. In my car at the moment is an Andy Flanagan cd which includes the song – Fragile, written about the tsunami in 2004 but has been a comfort to me this past week.
Life and death are so hand in hand. On Monday my youth group were having a bbq at a farm, we had a tour and saw a calf that had been born that morning. New life. Death reminds us that this is not forever, that life in the grand scheme of things isn’t very long, but means that we have to live each day, spend it with those we love, doing what we love, being who we are called to be.

So here I am, not moving, called to stay. Trying to be the best me, in the time that I have, working towards the next milestone. Much of the past 12 months have revolved around the word Bambelela which when all is well feels like a carnival word, but maybe it’s more like supercalifraglisticexpealidosiuos – the word to say when there is nothing else. Bambelela, Never give up, Christ is our hope.