misdirected emotions

I am a great example of how to display an emotion completely separate from what I m actually feeling. I have written before that I can be an ostrich when it comes to emotions and feelings but I also have a knack for completely dwelling on something minor as a way to distract myself from what I’m really feeling.

Case in point: about 2 hours ago I said goodbye to my wonderful American friends. I just about held the tears back as the kids all got emotional and as they prayed for me and told me their favourite things about my visit. I felt so sad to be leaving that I wanted to tell Rachel to turn the car around and I would just stay forever!

(But of course I didn’t and I said goodbye at the bus stop with a huge knot in my tummy and a lump in my throat from trying so hard not to lose it)

So then I spent an hour on the bus trying not to cry, reading my Bible and praying and looking at pictures. By the time I got to the airport I still felt sad but I was thankful for my time with the Libbys.

Then I checked in and my bag was too heavy and I had to pay the excess fee and instead of being my usual practical self and rearranging items between my carry-ons to make my check-in lighter I just went ahead and paid the whole charge! Which left me kicking myself all through Security for not making a wise decision.

Of course, I got so frustrated with myself over it because I didn’t want to think about what I was missing with Rachel and the kids.

I really had to fight to let go of that frustration and not let it take away from the joyful time I’ve had. Seriously, I’ve just had 2 wonderful weeks with some of my favourite people and I’m going to dwell on an insignificant thing like paying a baggage charge?!

How could my heart and head be so ungrateful so suddenly. It honestly took a lot of prayer and thanking God for all blessings of the last two weeks to make me see that while yes, maybe I made a silly split second decision, but it was even sillier to let it spoil my heart.

In the end I was thanking God that he provided me with enough spending money in my purse that I could pay the charge in cash and still have enough for a Starbucks while I wait for my boarding time. He didn’t have to provide that, but He did, because He loves me.

One thing I am taking away from this experience is to always have a thankful heart even when you feel silly or frustrated with your situation, because there are too many blessings to count if you look for them.

The other thing I am taking away from this is to be more wware of what I am feeling and why. This has always been a thing for me, and I have to constantly examine myself: what am I feeling, why am I feeling that way? But now I also need to challenge myself to change my attitude if it is not right and focused on God.

Such deep thoughts whilst sat at Gate D11. I have another hour or so until my flight starts boarding so I think I will head around the concourse in search of that Starbucks!

-x-

Vive la revolution! …or not

Greetings from my little hub of insanity, chaos and rantiness. *Disclaimer* I am feeling in quite a strange mood; a little bit hyper, a little bit dopey, quite sleepy and just generally weird. Please bear that in mind when reading the following post.

It has been an odd week, or to be more accurate, an odd fortnight. I don’t know if it’s the Les Miserables influence, but the whole world (or at least – the people I work with on a daily basis) seem to all be on the verge of a revolution, and to be quite honest with you it is WINDING ME UP!

On one hand, it’s ok. The young people I work with are all doing great and I’m so proud because even the ones with the most ‘baggage’ are surpassing expectations. But on the other hand…well… It’s more than a little frustrating, to say the least – and the least is all I can say here due to professional boundaries and confidentiality etc. Let’s just say that over the last few weeks, it’s been a challenge to hold my tongue and remember what Thumper says:

tumblr_mao6niNWIS1rs7hv6o1_500

Today in church, the sermon was taken from James 1: 19-27

Verse 19 really stuck out to me. “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God”

Martin, who was preaching, explained that we need to be self-controlled in both our heart response and our physical actions because they both have an impact for good or bad.

Over the past few weeks I have come up against any number of difficulties – trials. And it has been hard, very hard, to not get frustrated and snappy like others around me. Instead I have been trying to count it as joy (James 1:2) because God is teaching me to be patient and steadfast. But it isn’t easy. In the environment in which I work, it is so easy to be slow to listen, and quick to speak IN anger. Every day my colleagues and I see and read horrible things and deal with the worst of the worst situations, and lately we have been facing a huge amount of opposition in our work. It can be hard to remain self-controlled and not hit back verbally…to just reach boiling point and have to really bite my tongue before I say something snarky and mean.

But the book of James says it is better to be quick to HEAR – to really listen and take in what someone is saying, than to say something out of anger. We need to focus on the person’s heart – what they are really upset about/struggling with, rather than perhaps getting angry at the way they express it.

Don’t get me wrong – a lot of the anger that I’ve experienced over the past few weeks is righteous anger – shock and hurt and disgust at the injustice of the world and horror at some people’s attitudes when you have higher expectations of them. But the correct response isn’t to get all riled up about it, and say something nasty – that’s just as unhelpful: for your own heart as for them.

I need my heart to be in the right place and today’s sermon was a timely reminder from God that in the season my workplace is in, the way through is to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.

Well – what began as a ranty and quite “blah” post has actually cleared my mind a bit. Writing is so helpful in getting my thoughts ordered. Like I said, this week has been a challenge and it’s thrown me all off (3 days working late and being shouted at a lot will do that to a person) but above all I am thankful for these trials – yes, THANKFUL.

I choose to be thankful for my God who knows me and does not give me more than I can bear in Him, who cares about my charater. I choose to be thankful for my God who allows situations that test and strengthen me, I choose to be thankful that He loves me so much that He wants me to be the best version of myself, and I choose to be thankful that I can rely on Him to give me everything I need to accomplish that.

-x-

Beware the Grumperson

Sheesh. Today has been a very long, very stressful, nightmare of a day. I feel like hibernating. I thought yesterday was supposed to be the National Gloomy Day. Why can people just not be NORMAL?!

I have been totally grumpy all day – and when I say grumpy, I don’t mean in an adorable Disney character way.

old%20grumpy%202

My grumpy mood has been more like this:

grumpy

Seriously. Don’t mess with me.

I hate being grumpy. I don’t think it suits me, and more to the point, it is not the best side of me. Definitely not. The girls at work all noticed that I was in a foul mood and even though they thought it was pretty funny (because I’m NOT like that normally) I wish I had been able to snap out of it and deal with the stresses and issues better. Grr.

Fortunately I’m now watching Miranda from last night and it’s just made me laugh out loud – literally. And I have good plans for tonight so hopefully I can get over it and start again tomorrow.

-x-

Just a little bit…meh

Where has my lovely, happy, chirpy mood gone? I was ever so contented last week…there was so much to enjoy!

I kicked off the week with a whole day of Disney movies &¬†crafts with my friend Karen, which was great…then on Tuesday and Wednesday I had free evenings so after work I went to the gym (which was actually a bit of a mistake on the Wednesday evening because I had physio that morning and I think I undid some of the work…) and then chilled out at home, doing more crafty things and watching The Paradise on iPlayer (I have to say, The Paradise is the most gorgeous progamme I have seen in a long time…I’ve loved it and watched all 7 episodes over the space of a few days)

Anyway…where was I? On Thursday we had our Small Group Firework Night social – I headed to Jonnie and Kate’s straight after work and we had hot dogs and a bonfire and FIREWORKS!! Which I loved ūüôā And then on Friday I went to the gym again after work and came home to chill out and had a proper early night…

and then Saturday came along and punched me in the face ūüė¶

Who knows what happened between going to bed (perfectly fine) on Friday night, and waking up (as Grumpy McGrumperson) on Saturday…but I did.

I tried staying in bed a couple hours longer, and actually managed so sleep in until 10am…but when I got up I just could not shake the grumps, and then came the anxiety because I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me and I don’t like that feeling. I could feel that I was just working myself up into a tizzy so I went out for a few hours – pottered around The Range, picked up a parcel and did a few other errands…but the whole day I just felt like crawling into bed and sleeping it off.

I didn’t though…I stuck it out til 5 and then went to our Work Bonfire & Firework Party which actually turned out to be alright and I perked up a bit, but then it finished around 7 and I came home to the flat and just felt so rubbish for the rest of the evening that I went to bed as soon as I could.

Sunday, fortunately, was better than Saturday but I still felt pretty miserable. Which was horrible because I was going for lunch with some friends from church – they were lovely, and it was lovely, and I perked up again but just …

Yes. It’s just been a little bit rough…but for no real reason. It just is. Hopefully this week will be better – today has been so/so…I went to a Safeguarding (training) Conference today instead of my usual day off and while it was a little bit boring,¬†I think it was actually good timing because I probably couldn’t have managed another day dominated by my own company.

I have some good things in the next week – Rosie and I are going to see Chicago which will be super because I haven’t seen her in a while, and then on Friday I’m driving home to see my family for a long weekend. I’ve got Friday-Tuesday off, and my middle sister & her fiance are coming home as well to do wedding stuff. I get to try on bridesmaids dresses!

So in summary…I just don’t know what happened on Saturday but I’m trying not to let it drag into this week and spoil the nice stuff I’ve got planned.

-x-

 

 

How old am I?!

Earlier this week I went to the cinema to see Perks of being a Wallflower, with my sister. She’s 18, and I’m 23. We both got charged for Teen tickets…meaning that the ticket seller girl thought I was between the ages of 13 and 18.

Ouch.

Yes, it meant that the ticket was £1.65 cheaper (I bought popcorn with the saving) but really?? I am twenty-three.

This is not the first of my mistaken-age situations.

When I went to the States earlier in the year, the check-in attendant at Heathrow asked me if I was “an unaccompanied minor”. I checked out the airline, and they class these as under-16. At the time I was 22, so he thought I was at least eight years younger than that. Of course, I just smiled sweetly and said “no, I’m 22”, at which point he looked mortified and apologised profusely. [My mum said I should have said yes, and then I might have got crayons and a colouring book on the plane]

But seriously, almost everyone I introduce myself to thinks that I am way younger than I actually am, which can get quite annoying. I also think that I lose some professional credibility – when I went to a training conference last week and introduced myself to some people in one of my groups, all of them thought I must be a Youth Club Worker or something similar; when I said my actual job title there was a lot of “oh really? But you’re so young!” to the point where I actually felt like just calling myself a Youth Worker because it seemed more acceptable, and less like hassle.

I know, it’s dumb.

On the flip side of this, people that know me often think I’m older than I am. I sometimes joke that I’ve been middle-aged since I was 13…but I think in some way it’s true; my life has been so full of chaos and drama that I feel sometimes like I’ve already lived¬†a whole life. I definitely think I’ve had more than my ‘fair share’ of¬†angst growing up, which makes me hopeful for the rest of my life because surely it’s all easy from here?!?!

I don’t know what point I’m trying to make.

Sometimes it’s hard to remember that I’m only 23…and to emphasize the “only” in that sentence, but for now I am trying hard to remember it, and be ok with it too…for example:

  • Even though I’ve had a crazy¬†decade, ¬†I’m only 23
  • Even though my job role is usually reserved for people with 10+ years’ post-qualifying experience, I’m only 23
  • Even though it feels like all my friends¬†are in relationships/married/have kids, I’m still only 23
  • Even though I like “middle-aged” thinks like sewing, baking and gardening, I’m only 23 (and those things are definitely cool right now, so neh to the kids who made fun of me in school for liking to sew)

I still don’t really know if this post has a point, but it’s late and my face is all itchy from an allergy I seem to have developed, and I’m achey from sleeping on a rickety sofa bed…so I’m going to post this anyway and hope it makes some sense!

-x-

A little phone drama to start the week

Here’s the thing. I use my mobile, quite a lot. It’s not a fancy thing – in fact, by today’s standards it’s a bit of a brick even though it’s only 18 months old. I don’t actually like the handset, but it’s functional and I need it to be functional because I use it a lot.

My phone died when I was in America, and since the only other handset I have is also broken (the microphone and speaker are dead, so all I can do is text which isn’t helpful) I have spent some time trying to get through to the provider, Virgin Mobile, to get them to sort it.

You’d think it would be easy, right? Seeing as it’s a contract phone, and there are 5 months left on the contract, I figured I’d send it off and they’d fix it and everything would be hunky dory… except, no.

The phone handset has a 24 month warranty, but the battery and charger only have a 12 month warranty. Guess which bit of my phone is broken?

Thanks Virgin.

Essentially if I want a functional phone, I have to go to carphone warehouse and buy a new battery/charger…or download some software thing from the internet. But¬†even then it might not work because the fault could be the handset.

Part of me thinks it is easier to just go and get a new handset…but it just feels like such a hassle and not how I wanted to spent my day!

-x-

Day 8: Something you hate

Something I hate…well, I did spend about forty minutes writing a very eloquent and empassioned blog about how I hate that there are so many children needing foster carers, and not enough foster carers to go around….

But then I clicked the backspace button one too many times, and it sent me back to my homepage and I lost the whole freaking thing.

So today I hate that my blog sometimes has a mind of its’ own and doesn’t let me post what is really on my heart.

Grr!