Good Things

On an incredibly tough day, which I’ve managed to battle through, here’s a couple of bright things.

Constant checking by Rags and Fen. Because snuggles and toys help.


The sun setting behind the tree at the end of the garden. Possibly a variant of alder, he’s bearing fruit again after being choked by ivy earlier in the year. That battle, I won.


Plus support from Himself, tea and books. 

Onward. 

The Journey

Yesterday and today I’ve been away from home, ensconced in a lovely manor house with a group of friendly Pagans, learning about Chaplaincy. Much laughter but also seriousness, shared intention and determination.

Coming home this evening I felt empowered, as if another level had been reached through the unity of our work and perspective. I wanted to drive for miles to explore, or to go for a run when back… To Do Something, to hold on to that energy!

Of course, that wasn’t to be. I set my course and returned safely, to a quiet house with just a sleeping kitten and myself, pondering the adventure.

We set the foundation, charge our energy and prepare our focus. When the time is right, we will be ready to move – but not just yet. Enthusiasm isn’t fuel enough, not quite! 

We’re still in winter. Finding inspiration in the dark, the peace, the planning and story weaving. 

The journey has begun. But first gear has to be the starting point; or the prologue before the action. 

I will do my best to hold on to that laughter and determination, moving forward.

Stepping

Life is confusing. There’s so much going on each day, it can be hard to focus. Even narrowing down a bright spark to write about here can be tricky.

This is especially true on the bad days – which today was not, by and large. It was very busy, though, and as the afternoon wore on, I felt myself getting easily overwhelmed at the jobs I had yet to do.

Then I thought back to the start of the day.

I ran in the rain this morning. I’m not fast (at all) and it’s not remotely glamorous – just me, trotting around the park repeatedly, getting hot, sweaty and out of breath.

And I’m enjoying it. I’m improving, getting stronger and going further in the time I have. I have to use an ibuprofen gel at the moment as my muscles are feeling the strain, but I’m seeing physical changes – very positive ones.

It’s the experience that does it. The run becomes almost a meditation, as I look around to distract myself from the muscle aches and hard breathing. The rain is gentle and cool, each step on the grass a good one. Some places are overgrown, others full of dandelions, daisies and, more recently, buttercups. The ravens, pigeons and sparrows go about their business – even the occasional kite.

All of the busy-ness of the day can wait. It’s just me, putting one foot in front of the other. It’s not embarrassing in the least – neighbours and familiar passers-by smile at me and share a kind word, glad that I’m doing it and happy to see me battling away. Even other (far fitter) runners and cyclists give a friendly wave as they zoom past.

I return home, tired but accomplished. A bit of rest is needed before the day is properly faced in work terms, but the refreshing shower is welcome, as is a restorative cup of tea.

Sometimes the madness of multitasking needs to be put aside, returning yourself to truly focus on what you’re doing, to the exclusion of all else. This can be anything, really – running, writing, even making breakfast. I try to remind myself to just do whatever it is that I’m doing, and do it properly, fully. The other jobs can form a queue. Frustration is forgotten as I smile in that accomplishment.

No matter how slowly (or inelegantly), I’m still moving forward.

(Over) Work

Back in the late 1990s, I worked at a magazine in London. When deadline time came around, I would be in early and out late, grabbing food when I could and making the most of every bathroom break to take a moment to breathe.

I did enjoy it. I was young, the work was interesting, I was learning new things. Until it became more of a grind. The awareness of being a rat in an unwinnable, neverending race came when it was my turn to be shafted by the business ‘money over wellbeing’ perspective. Not for the last time, either, but we live and learn. In such a world, nobody’s happiness is important, so long as a profit is made (and must increase, year on year).

This had nothing to do with my introductory steps into Paganism at the same time, of course 🙂

Many years later…

Today, I had my first meal of the day (is it still breakfast?) at 3pm or so. Busy, working, travelling, working, multitasking while on the phone, grabbing food when I could and finally stepping outside to breathe…

The difference? I sincerely love my ‘job’. I do have to work hard for long hours (today being an extreme example!); I deal with random questions, events and demands – but it is all worth it. It’s really not a dream job of magic, luxury and ease, any more than the magazine job was glamorous or schmoozy. But the very visible consequences make it all worth the effort.

Like any motivated worker – from an architect to a gardener, an artist or teacher – the results are there before you, for good or ill. You put your best into the work, and (hopefully) people will be happy. Your creativity and effort inspire others. I’m lucky enough that I can do this and be supported (and I have deadlines, not targets), but I set my own bar pretty high.

I still do temp jobs from time to time, but even there, I try to enjoy them, bringing my mindset to the office and the work. I question, I reason, I do my best to fix issues – and I remember to laugh. And eat. And breathe.

Living Druidry indeed.

Morning Magic

Some days are hard to begin. There seems so much to do, not enough time (or money, or energy) and I’m struggling before I start. Motivation can be tricky to pin down, and worries take over.

Lately, however, there have been small glimmers of brightness to dispel those clouds. Some news from a distant friend, a small joke or happy comment on my social media – or watching the dogs explore the garden first thing, surprising birds and exploring just for the love of it.

I’ve been intentionally not letting the weight inside drag me down. I make time to stop in the morning – when preparing coffee, perhaps, even just holding the cup and appreciating it, before looking outside, seeing what there is to see without judgment.

We need our morning rituals (not routines!) to prepare us for the day. Am I using magic to change my circumstances – altering consciousness at will – or is it simply adjusting my perception to cut through that lurking fog?

There’s always a lot going on in this busy world, and so much of it is good, inspiring, uplifting. Little things that remind us why the day ahead is full of potential, even adventure. It’s up to us to notice and respond, allowing that to fuel us – and inspire others in turn.

It’s time for a run before I start work. Sweaty, smelly and painful… or zooming around the park, confusing the wildlife? I’ll leave the house with a smile now… 🙂