The next layer of grumpy was the couple persons who, having been given opportunity over MONTHS to contribute to retreat planning and have say, became all brainstormy and enthused about new ideas. I'm sorry but it's a week away and where were you when we had our planning calls and the months of discussions.
Similarly, one person who had had a chance to edit the State of the Meeting report via email, then in the early Worship and Ministry meeting, waited to have ideas during the Meeting for Business where editing as we go is not best practice for our community.
Amazingly, someone i respect praised my patience after meeting. I wonder about whether i would have this composure if i was still managing at work: I have so much feedback about how harsh i was as a manager. I know the harshness was the effect of years of stress, nonetheless it's hard not to frame it as failure. I remind myself that i held things together over the years of insane management, and if i was intimidating and oppressive, the team was being protected from stuff that is no longer going on.
Meeting for Business was very short, and a friend remarked on the shortness when i clerk. I think i have just been fortunate to have non-issues in the past two business meetings: surely issues will come forward as time moves on and i move to the role of Clerk.
Between committee meeting and Meeting for Business, my worship led me to reflect on what's next for Christine and i (settling here or not, my work life), and i feel led to be as open as i possibly can be to alternatives to the expected. I suppose i was somewhat affected by Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, and the vision of pursuing something that made my heart leap. The delight of thinking about forestry management on Friday, leads me to ask how can Christine and i find roles as very middle-aged sedentary persons that allow us to get involved with biodiversity in any of a number of ways?
I reflected back to a series of visions i had over ten years ago. The Divine gave me a huge seed (perhaps more a rhizome or corm) and told me that this was my happiness to plant in my garden. I remember the hesitation and fear i had: what if it ran rampant and took over everything? I distrusted, i was concerned about my control, my decisions and choices. And i overcame that fear and planted it. Over the years i've been aware that i have let that garden get trampled and apparently destroyed, but as soon as i take care, the happiness plant (some sort of lily) sprouts up green again. It persists and now cannot be eradicated.
Providence has given me glimpses of possibilities, of happinesses in work and life, and i know i need to be open to stepping out into the unknown. I think i'm slowly emerging from the deep rut, and so i will have a chance of seeing myself other possibilities. How to get there.....