Passion not Panic

Almost nothing is so urgent that it requires an absolute split second decision. There is time. Time can be our friend in most cases.

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Chatting with a colleague friend yesterday I uttered the words “the decisions I’ve made recently have been borne of panic not passion” and a moment of clarity ensued.

I desire to live a life of passion, to passionately pursue my goals and to enjoy my 72 free goes around the Sun. Continue reading “Passion not Panic”

Lip Service Repentance vs Restitution

Lip service repentance should not ever get a predator off the hook. Predators need to know that there is no space for them as wolves among the lambs. #twitterstake #bloggernacle

Many woman in the Church have a story about how they were recipient of really awful behaviour by a man in the Church.  Often the aggressor being someone in some kind of authority or who has jurisdiction over some aspect of their or someone else’s life and safety.  The purveyors of aggressive behaviour are not great in number but they are like chili flakes in a sugar pot – unexpected and unwanted.

The experiences sit around either someone being domineering and aggressive, a creeper, being completely inappropriate or verbally and or physically aggressive toward them.   

They have stories of how, in the Gospel, we are required to be forgiving so after taking the concern or fear to the Church authorities the survivor of this conduct drops it, leaves it alone, waits to be called back in for a follow up conversation but when this rarely emerges they try not to mention it again.   

Frequently the complainant does not perceive they are truly believed. 

But here’s the kicker, the Church authorities frequently “have a quiet word” with the person and perhaps the behaviour toward the complainant stops for a while, perhaps there is tension….  

But there is no actual restitution.   

Almost never at any point is an abuser expelled from the congregation, only once to my knowledge because police became involved and a person was sent to prison for their offence but otherwise I have never known of a predator or aggressor being expelled. 

Never are other women warned about the danger, the complainant does not receive an apology from the aggressor, I’ve never heard of a plan of action being shared with the complainant, and women talk! 

There is a disconnect. 

Predatory or Domineering behaviour is rife, it is everywhere, even sadly occassionally within the Chapel Building walls. 

Young Women of aware parents have been told by their vigilant Mothers “Stay away from that person by any means necessary…. Scream, shout, kick up a stink, be direct with your words, but never ever let them come near you, they are dangerous” and the child’s life is altered with this knowledge and they will never be a completely innocent child again. 

Young Women of other parents are not warned of the danger, and the parents either trust the Lord to protect their kids or hover like helicopter parents and the children never develop a sense of danger and warning and walk through life in a Doe-like fashion. 

First, Women need to be believed.  Leaders need to express their thankfulness that the women have been brave enough to share their experience and asked if they want help pressing charges. 

Second, the predators need to be held accountable to the highest standards.

Third, we need the loop to be closed, the complainant needs to be approached by the person with whom they shared their concern, they need to be thanked again, they need to be told what the consequences were for the aggressor and asked again if they want to press charges. 

Forth, the aggressor needs to apologise and make restitution in full. 

Lip service repentance should not ever get a predator off the hook.  Predators need to know that there is no space for them as wolves among the lambs.  They need to know that the shepherds have got their number and that there is no hiding place.  If predators leave because they cannot predate with ease, so be it.

The missing piece right now rests around accountability and closing the loop by reporting back and receiving a restitutory apology at the very least.

Lip service repentance does not negate the requirement for justice.  In fact, it elevates the requirement for justice because lip service repentance is a dangerous and manipulative weapon used by aggressors to evade justice and consequences.

 

Locked out the house

I looked down and in my left hand was a phone, not the usual set of keys, oh dear.

D’oh.  I did a fuzzy brained thing.  I normally hold my keys in my left hand but I was holding my phone.  I closed the front door and it locked and Missy and I were left standing outside with no access to the house.  We were stranded.  It was catastrophic.  It was freezing cold outside and we were dressed for church.  This was not good.

We tried to open the house using various methods.  Then I asked on FB for someone to come and collect Missy and get her in to the warm while I resolved this issue.  Then we called a locksmith who, knowing we were on the doorstep, gave us an appointment date of 13th of November, a full 8 days time.  Without cursing I think I reiterated we were on our doorstep now, he reiterated the appointment date and I hung up.

I called another service and they gave us an appointment time of 1 hour which was far more suitable.  During the hour wait we followed the winter sun around our front garden trying to stay warm like cats.  We could see a set of keys through the letterbox but neither us nor the locksmith when he arrived was able to get to them so we had to be drilled back in to our house.  Luckily I had a selection of door locks in a box to choose from as a replacement for the now defunct locking system, he selected a suitable one and voila, we had access to our home again.

Things I’ve learned from this escapade.

First, when you ask for help it will not be forthcoming, you’re on your own no matter how much people say they’ll “be there” and “anything you need”, what I needed was someone to take my daughter to the warmth of the chapel on a freezing Sunday morning while I sorted out these things.  Lesson learned.  I shan’t ask again.

Second, don’t lock the door behind you without checking what’s in your left hand.

Third, get the key-safe sorted out.  It does no good sitting in a box unutilized.

Forth, my house is pretty difficult to break in to (not tempting fate) even for a professional so that’s a positive.

Luckily it was a crisp morn and clear skies, luckily I had the spare lock ready, luckily our guy arrived in around an hour, luckily I had the cash to hire the locksmith, luckily luckily luckily.

Be safe, kids.  Make sure it’s your keys in your hand.

 

 

 

The surprise benefit of being free of bad debt

To not be shackled to yesterdays worries so that we can fully face todays challenges is a beautiful gift.

I am pragmatic.  I decide to talk about positive things.  I believe we either talk and act ourselves in to or out of a happy life.  However I don’t care whether the glass is half full or half empty.  I know how much water is in the glass, I know what I am working with on any given topic.

So the benefit, or even blessing, of being unshackled by debt during a period of potential financial constraint is a superb comfort and reassurance.

Like everyone, I have income and expenditure.  Thankfully I was blessed with the moxy and ability to get out from under a serious financial burden in the tens of thousands of pounds range and reset the financial accounts to “we don’t have a lot but we’ve paid our taxes for the benefit of the country and what we do have is our own” as we paid down every debt we’d been left with.

When guaranteed income is in jeopardy we start to look closer at the expenditure side of the spreadsheet.  It has been one of the few delights recently that unlike previous times either house or income is at risk, this time I am not carrying a negative financial legacy like an albatross around my neck.

I have to find a way to generate revenue to cover our modest living expenses but I don’t have the worry of paying for things on instalments, I don’t have the worry of credit card debt, I don’t have the worry of consumer spending spread conveniently on an unreasonable monthly payment at an exorbitant APR.  I just have to make sure that enough comes in for Mortgage, utilities and groceries.  That’s it.  That is far less of an ask than carrying the worry of paying for something I bought and used up two years ago.

Being in this fortunate situation brings a degree of peace, a calmer disposition than I would otherwise have had.

It also frees me up to be flexible with regard to the future opportunities I can pursue.  I don’t have to find a position to cover Bills and Debts, I just have to find something to cover Bills and anything else is a bonus.  That is a freedom for which it would be hard to quantify the optimism and relief felt at the moment.

I am the head of my household and the responsibility sits on my shoulders.  Until you’ve been the head of the household you have no idea what so ever how heavily that mantle sits on the shoulders.  It is completely and utterly different to being the 2nd earner.  Head of the household is like being an Adult Plus.  Nobody is going to bail you out, you are it.  The buck stops at your feet.  The responsibility for keeping everyone in your abode alive, sheltered and fed sits with you.  Once you get the hang of it, it starts to sit easier a little but the knowledge in the back of your mind never actually quite goes away.

If I could wish for you one thing, it would be the freedom of being bad debt free.  It is worth the blood, sweat and tears, the overtime, the going without for a while, the humble birthday and holiday presents, the dinners in rather than takeaway or restaurants, the forsaking holidays in the sun or snow to reach the goal of being without that burden.

Bad times come for such are a part of earth life and mortality.  To not be shackled to yesterdays worries so that we can fully face todays challenges is a beautiful gift.

 

Mrs Wishy-Washy’s Laundry

Do you know about Pantomines?  In the UK we have Panto season every year to coincide with Christmas or Winter Holidays.  Men dress as women, women dress as men, everything is an exaggeration and overacted and the colours are gaudy to say the least and garish at best.  There are audience participation lines *Oh No There Aren’t*  *Oh Yes There Are* such as ” He’s behind you!!!” when a ghost or ghoul pops out and tries to creep up on our hero/ine.

One of the main characters of panto is Wishy-Washy, a laundry keeping “lady” and her stage set has bloomers and unmentionables hanging from every surface and every flat area has a washing line attached for even more laundry draping potential.

Cut scene to Pollyanna’s kitchen/utility area this weekend when after two hours of drying she figures out that the machine has packed up and there is no hot air emanating from the big ol’ dryer who has served her so well and faithfully. Laundry is everywhere.  We’d been away the weekend previously and had enough clothes to squeeze out one more week before having to wash almost everything we owned.  Queue the panto music indicating calamity.  Piles of laundry everywhere sorted in to lights, darks and in-betweens, with two loads wet, one in the dryer still wet and one in the washer spinning as we spoke.

Luckily after quickly realising that the problem was larger than a trusty set of screwdrivers could fix, it was possible to source a 2nd hand replacement which was vented rather than a condenser which it is hoped will dry clothes quicker in the long run.  There was a scramble to collect the new machine, then scramble under the counter to connect the machine, then re-connect the machine to a plug which worked, then a scramble under the counter to find a plug which worked and to gaffer tape the hose to the exterior vent, then a scramble out of the tiny gap, then a re-scrambling when the gaffer duct tape wasn’t sufficiently secure and came undone and vented the wet air under the work counter rather than out of the building and finally all was well as the machine took its pretty little time to dry the mountain which was growing by the 22 minutes, which was the cycle time of the washing machine.

Shortly thereafter, with laundry mountains turning in to molehills there was space in the kitchen to load the dishwasher and have a clean up….

at which point it was discovered the plates are too large for the arm to spin in the dishwasher and now a new appliance is needed or change our crockery.

It is never just one problem, eh!

Okayness and Friends

There is nothing Hippy-ish about life. It’s a hustle. It is hard work and it is just one big long wiggle. But I see the people in my life and I love them and I appreciate their kindness and kind honesty.

We received news that news will be forthcoming in two one week blocks.  That’s perfectly fine and dandy.  The night before we received news that news would be forthcoming I had to lullaby myself to sleep which is daft as heck because I know no matter how the chips fall, I’ll be completely fine. Continue reading “Okayness and Friends”