Its been a funny weekend. When my husband and I usually go and spend time away, even just overnight in a Premier Inn, we usually return home refreshed and relaxed. No cooking, no anxieties about our family, no worries about laundry or tidying up – just us, our plans, and plenty of food.  We were away the weekend just past, and whilst enjoyable, it was not relaxing and has left us with the need to spend a quiet day or two recovering from all that happened.

It is unusual for us to feel anxious during a weekend away. We sometimes are faced with anxieties when we return home, but rarely do we bring added anxieties home in our luggage. But this weekend we did, in relation to several different things.

Once again we were reminded of the stupidity of council planning departments when putting aesthetics before accessibility. We were reminded just how different each united reform church congregation is in terms of worship style, expectation, size and age.  It became apparent that keeping ‘in person’ friendships going over a longer distance at this time of year in Scotland is very much subject to the vagaries of the winter weather. And again we were reminded that there are still so many entrenched homophobic attitudes among religious people – not, I hasten to add that we experienced any homophobia – just how sad it is that a friend we made, who leads a church in a quiet part of England, has to keep their positive support for LGBT people quiet for fear of the hierarchy.

These things, and others, weighed heavily on our minds as we crawled in a traffic jam over the Forth Bridge and into our capital city on our way home. And when we got home, a petty argument and tears brought it all to the fore.

It is surely obvious that everyone experiences many stressors beyond their control and in this respect we are no different than anyone else. And many people will feel under personal attack by whatever is stressing them and again, we are no different, however illogical that feeling may be.

It is because of all the many external stressors we experience that following the news and current affairs with anything more than a cursory glance becomes impractical. When one feels overwhelmed by events that directly impact on ones’ own life, one has no capacity left to give to events that impact on others. This does not make a person uncaring, far from it. It could, and often does, mean that they care a great deal, almost ‘too much’ and worry about and get frustrated with all the myriad things that cause stress in friends and loved ones.

We will be okay, in time. In a few days the worst of our anxiety will have passed and we will be moving on with our lives. But for the moment, we need to tread softly and act quietly and take time just to be.

 

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