I’ve been thinking…

20 Aug

Some days I just feel like I need to step off the world for a while, ponder my existence again, reflect on where I am at right now, and look at where I am headed. Today is one of those days.

Lately I just feel tired all the time. I feel tired when I wake up, I feel exhausted when I get to bed. I feel weary at the thought of going to work, and the thought of exercising leaves me feeling almost despondent – after all, if I’m tired before I start, how can I possibly finish a swim, ride or run? Making an effort to get out of the house, be sociable, try and make some friends, and continually push myself to keep on keeping on is exhausting – especially when this has to be done around shift work which also, let’s face it, leaves me tired.

That’s how I feel. If I’m honest, it’s how I’ve been feeling for a few months. I hoped a holiday would fix it, but it didn’t. Because a holiday really is stepping out of life for a couple of weeks, and when you step back in, you find that life really hasn’t changed – it’s just you took a little minute to step away. So I’m currently looking at what I can do to turn this around.

Exercise does help. It is so hard to get out there when you feel tired. It is deflating that when I do get out there I’m so much slower and don’t have the endurance I’m used to having. BUT, I need to keep getting out there. I do feel so much better after I have exercised, been out in the world, explored, breathed in the fresh air, and used a few muscles.  I need to remember that feeling, stop procrastinating, and just get moving.  Set the alarm on days off, get up, get started and go! Note to self, re-read this paragraph whenever required – you’ve got this! Also self, remember that in 15 weeks you have the Hervey Bay 100 long course triathlon so a little fitness would be useful…

There have been many days recently where I have considered that I need to change my job. I have often felt that I am just not cut out for the role that I have. I am in a shift leader position, and my shifts have a habit of having a few unexpected surprises. Each day in the last week, as I have been considering leaving I have had someone say something… Yesterday I received this message after the shift – “Hi Jen, you did great last night as always… I always feel safe to work when you are on… take care”. I had an agency staff member so pleased that I was in charge because he knew “the shift will run smoothly no matter what happens, it always does”… and on a day when we were VERY short staffed, and I had struggled all day, another colleague said “your calmness, unruffled nature meant that even though we were up @#!% creek today everyone took their lead from you and just got on and got it done without a fuss as well” – I even had staff thank me for a great shift at the end of the day!! These felt like little prompts to me to keep hanging in there from a job point of view. On many shifts while I may be the in charge, I am far from the most experienced person on the floor. This can sometimes feel really wrong to me – because I feel that I just don’t know enough to be the one in charge – but we’re a team – and if we all combine our strengths it manages to work. So for now, I think I’m to stay in this job, as each time I considered leaving in the past couple of weeks, someone has encouraged me with a kind word out of the blue. So I’ll keep doing my best to leave the stresses of work at work, and take time to ensure my days off are restful/replenishing – knowing that having days off is part of ensuring that I am fit and healthy for my days on.  If God needed to rest on the seventh day, then I’m pretty sure I need rest days too!

I’m also currently looking at options for how to make things in life a bit “easier” at the moment. This includes meal-kits. For the last week and a half we’ve been trying out Hello Fresh – a meal kit delivery company.  We select five meals for the week and pretty much everything you need to make that dinner is included in the kit. This has been a big relief for me – and I didn’t realise just how much stress thinking about what to cook, shopping for what to cook and actually cooking was causing me.  Sounds ridiculous when I put it like that, but it was true for me.  Now when it’s dinner time I can simply pick one of the five bags, follow the steps, and dinner is on the table within the hour. Five dinners has been working well as invariably we’ll have a dinner or two out somewhere each week.  It isn’t the cheapest option in the world, but you also don’t have any food waste as you have exactly what is needed – no more, no less – and right now I’m more than happy to pay for the convenience of this.

I often think about getting a cleaner. Let’s face it, I’m not a great cleaner to begin with.  The house stays relatively clean, but I admit it’s not cleaned regularly like it should be.  There are times when this really frustrates me. I like a clean house, I don’t like the time it takes to do it. I know I’m busy and I could consider a cleaner, but then it feels like I’ve failed if I hire a cleaner because I should be able to do it myself – if I wasn’t lazy. This is something I’m still working through… If you have a cleaner and you think it’s the best ever – let me know… I’d be interested to hear your thoughts…

I’m putting a bit focus on my sleep – sure as a shift worker this is a big challenge. But days off, I want to make sure that I am not aimlessly sitting up when I should be resting and sleeping.  Getting adequate sleep will make everything else feel a whole lot more achievable.

If you are reading this and have any other suggestions on things that make life a little easier then I’m all ears – please please let me know!

The last thing, and probably the most important thing though is refocusing my attention. I’ve been reminded at a church team night, and during this week’s church service, of the value and importance of worship. I have been challenged that worship is what is going to get me through this season.  So since then, I’ve also been really looking at what biblical worship is. When we worship, we ascribe worth to something – and that can be so many things (that are not God!) – we can worship money, power, a job etc but biblical worship is assigning worth to God. True worship then, is the priority we place on who God is and where God is in our list of priorities. I found this definition from Sally Morgenthaler:

“Christian worship is not only offering all that we are to a Holy God. It is the intentional response of praise, thanksgiving, and adoration. The God, the One revealed in the Word, made known and accessible to us in Jesus and witnessed in our hearts through the Holy Spirit. In real worship, we carry on an exchange of love with the God who is present, the God who speaks to us in the now, who has done and is doing marvellous things.”

I therefore again I re-centre my life – for what feels like the billionth time (gosh I wish I was better at this!). I’m reminding myself of the character of God – His generosity, love, wisdom, mercy, grace and holiness (amongst other things!). I’m going to get my strength by continually tapping in to His strength. I’m going to take my weariness and exhaustion and trust that, with time, God will do a new thing in me. He will prune off the dead bits in my life, and give me the strength and life to be exactly who He wants me to be. We’ll just take it one day at a time.



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