Relax dear reader, I don’t mean permanently.
But sometimes when life is happening and I get caught up in the busyness and the mayhem and I feel like things are spinning out of control, I want to throw up my hands at the world and shout “everybody just STOP! Let me think for a minute!” simply so I can catch up.
I don’t know where I first heard this phrase but it turns out it’s the name of a musical. One of my very favourite things is a musical so that’s kind of fitting! Having consulted Wiki, it was last on Broadway in 1978 so clearly I haven’t seen it. But I hadn’t heard of it either. It’s about the life of Littlechap. Each time something unsatisfactory happens in his life, he calls out “Stop the world!’ whilst addressing the audience. Judging by the picture on Wiki, he also appears to be a circus clown. But that’s neither here nor there.
Would you like to know how I came to be sitting at the kitchen table at 1.55pm on a Wednesday, while the rest of the world is working, talking to you about Littlechap? You do? I suspected as much. Grab a cup of tea, I’ll wait…..
Excellent. It happened like this.
I can pin point the moment that feeling became semi permanent for a season of my life. It was in June 2015. And for 6 months I had an overwhelming feeling of needing the world to just stop for a minute so I could catch up. Of course I didn’t want to just stop all on my own and take a breather because I feared life going on without me. Work, family, friends all continuing to spin around whilst I simply stopped. If I’m honest….there is also the fear that life would in fact just continue to spin because I am not the center of the universe….but that’s just between you and me my reader friend! And so I pressed on but it was with reduced capacity to enjoy life, to cope, to be in any way productive as each area of my life took a hit. There were issues at work, huge financial pressures, tensions in some of my relationships and then spiritually I began to struggle. New Year’s Eve 2015? I was away with friends and crying on my poor bewildered sister’s shoulder, I begged her to let me go home for the evening and I spent it alone. I ate Nacho’s and I went to bed at 9pm.
Then I kind of got my unspoken wish in the most unorthodox way! I was made Redundant. The world didn’t stop spinning but it surely slowed down! My friends and family took matters into their own hands and shipped me off to New Zealand for a week. If I think about that to much I feel overwhelmed because their generosity during a financially difficult period and their intervention got me back on track. Away from home & staying with wonderful friends, I began to unload the fear, stress, grief and anxiety that I’d been carrying for a long time. And in the process, I began to heal. And in the healing, I could see all that God had been doing for me all along and I began to feel His presence around my life again. That might sound odd to you, if you aren’t a person of faith. But I’ve reached a point in my life where I don’t want God to just be real from afar. I want Him to be real and evident in my life. My everyday life.
I’ve been unemployed for 8.5 weeks. Not for a moment did I think I would still be unemployed coming into April! I job hunt everyday but I’ve also made some changes. I started keeping a journal because I realised that my ability to carry not just my burdens but other peoples burdens was, frankly, world class. Dutch Holocaust survivor Corrie Ten Boom says this:
“Worry is a cycle of inefficient thoughts, whirling around a center of fear”.
So I started to write it all down. Every question, fear, problem, concern, thought on life and my friends and family, I write it all down. I take a deep breath, close the book and I cease to carry it. It’s my way of offering it up and letting God be God. Sometimes it takes several deep breaths & some midnight entries so I can sleep…but it’s a work in progress!
I’m also going back to study! If there is one thing 2 months off work has done it’s allowed me to take stock of my life and think about what I really want to do next. And with the very timely sale of my apartment, I’m going to work less & take on some study.
I do a bit of freelance work. Work I love and enjoy. It ensures I get dressed everyday (ok, most days) and gets me out of the house.
I got an exercise bike. It’s squished into my tiny bedroom and I ride away while catching up on episodes of Blue Bloods. I know most people listen to music but I feel it allows me to watch it guilt free if I’m pedaling at the same time.
And that’s my story. If anybody is still out there.
“Oy with the poodles already” x
P.S: Maybe next post I will shed some light on that phrase…unless you’d like to boost my confidence by leaving a comment & shedding light of your own….hint hint…
P.P.S: There is something very narcissistic in writing about oneself and expecting people to not only enjoy it but leave positive comments don’t you think?