Sunday, 28 February 2010

The Right to Die?

At church this morning I attended the cafe-style 'alternative' service, instead of the main sermon, and today's subject was assisted suicide. The service comprised of group work, where we looked at individual case studies; a moving reading of Joni Eareckson-Tada's testimony, and a video clip. 




The case study my group discussed was that of Terri Schiavo. She was a young woman who collapsed in her early twenties and, due to lack of oxygen, was pronounced to be in a vegetative state. Her husband won a suit against the medical practitioners, and shortly after being awarded one million dollars, he entered a 'do not resuscitate' order. After a string of affairs, he then petitioned to have Terri's feeding tube removed. Terri's parents opposed him in court, arguing with proof of a video that their daughter was still responding to conversation. Terri had also been a Catholic all her life and would not have wished to have her life ended in this way. However, her husband won the case and Terri's feeding tube was removed. According to sources, it took her thirteen days to die (n.b. I'm not sure how accurate this account is - the main source I used was the information we were given for the case study, but I did some further reading on the internet and found most sources to be fairly inconsistent. I think it depends on the view the source adopts).

This particular case stirred everyone in the group, and we all agreed that 'assisted suicide' had not been the right answer here. For one thing it went against Terri's personal choice. For another, her life was not only ended but her death was prolonged and cruel. It would have been kinder to have given her a lethal injection. Also, it strikes me that Terri died as a convenience to her husband, who not only gained financially, but had two children with another woman before his petition to have Terri's feeding tube removed was granted. The sources I looked at suggested that Terri was still responding on some level, despite her apparent vegetative state, and further recovery could not have been completely ruled out. 


Personally, I disagree with assisted suicide. However, I appreciate that in some circumstances people may suffer from extreme pain, loss of dignity, and both physical and mental deterioration. Some invalids may request to die because they feel they have become a burden to their families. Therefore, I believe that each and every person is entitled to make a choice, but the decision must be that of the individual, and should not be influenced by or made by a third party. If the individual is unable to answer for him/herself, then I don't believe any bid to end their life should stand. 

One problem with assisted suicide lies in cases where the invalid is unable to voice their preference. If a third party requests assisted suicide on the invalid's behalf, the validity of the decision cannot be guaranteed. Even if the invalid reaches a decision in advance, there is a chance that they may change their mind when the time comes, and may not be able to voice this by that stage. 

Those in favour of assisted suicide may argue that it is humane to put a suffering animal to sleep, and therefore, surely it is in all kindness to give a suffering human the same treatment. In response, I would like to observe that the majority of us don't object to killing animals for food (whereas if we killed people for food that would be perceived as murder and cannibalism) and others still hunt animals for sport (n.b. fox hunting involves a 'mob' pursuing a fox until it reaches exhaustion, and then allowing dogs to rip it to pieces). Perhaps I sound as though I'm going off the subject, but the point I am trying to make is that we perceive ourselves to be above animals, and therefore, in order to justify ending a person's life we are effectively viewing them as little more than an animal. 

These days technology and medicine has advanced to a point where pain can be controlled, and equipment assures that the invalid can live fairly comfortably for the rest of their days. In some circumstances, such as dementia, the invalid is oblivious to their deterioration, and so they lack all awareness of their loss of dignity. In cases of terminal illness, we have hospices which provide the essential care, and even schemes that help to fulfil the invalid's final wishes. 

I don't believe God condemns people who ask to die. I believe he has nothing but the utmost compassion for those people, as he too experienced human pain and suffering when he came down to earth in human form. I hope I will never be in a situation where I have to make this decision, but personally I don't think I will ever give consent for people to end my life. I believe God has a plan for us all, even in unlikely cases, and I would not want my life to end prematurely, before God could fulfil all the plans he has for me. 

Another of the case studies was that of a seventeen year old boy who broke his neck playing rugby, and was paralysed from the neck downwards. He lived to play sports, and so hindered by his body he wanted to die. However, time gave him the opportunity to consider new possibilities, ones he could realise despite his condition, and so he pursued a degree in law, obtained a job, and promoted awareness of his condition. 

You may remember me mentioning Joni Eareckson-Tada, previously. An accident during her teens left her paralysed from the neck downwards, and for the first two years that followed Joni wanted nothing more than for her life to end. However, she learned to appreciate what she could do, and God did so many things through her. She wrote several books, produced paintings, recorded music albums, and promoted awareness of her condition. Her testimony is inspirational! 

I believe without the invalid's consent, assisted suicide is potentially ending a person's life against their will, and therefore effectively equates to murder. 

I know this is a difficult issue, and one impossible to resolve. I am just demonstrating where I stand in the debate, and I do not claim to be correct. What is your opinion?

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

+ / -

(Subtitle: Another Day in My Life. (+) signifies something particularly positive, and (-) something particularly negative that came of my day. This is Tuesday 23rd February)

I woke with the alarm at 06:15, feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead. I began the day with my favourite maple syrup granola bar, and a glass of water (I've given up tea for lent *sniff*). I then dressed, put in my contact lenses, and brushed my hair, and then returned to bed for 10 minutes with a book. At 06:47 I leapt out of bed, gathered up my backpack and left the house in a waterproof jacket. 

At approximately 06:57 I arrived at the bus stop, where another girl waited, absorbed by her music which was faintly audible, seeping through her earphones to embrace the morning quiet. Just after 7am the bus arrived and, after purchasing a ticket, I slid into a seat at the back of the bus, and released Robinson Crusoe from my backpack. I immediately regretted my position, as I had inadvertently chosen a seat where the light was at its dimmest. However, I felt no inclination to move, and I still had sufficient lighting to continue my perusal of the novel. 

Ninety minutes and forty-five miles later, I reached my destination a little later than expected due to heavy traffic approaching the city. Shortly after stepping down from the bus I observed my next bus sailing triumphantly by crawling along the opposite side of the road (-). Despite its pace I knew there was no way that I could beat it to the bus stop, and so I was forced, due to very recent timetable changes, to wait another half an hour in the cold rather than twenty minutes. 

At 09:40 I raced across the campus, making a beeline for the library. Thankfully, I already knew which books I required, and so it didn't take long to locate them. I sidled into my lecture room at 09:55 and the lecturer appeared at 10:05. 

For the next hour and a half we critiqued each others poetry. Eager to break tradition and participate this time, I made attentive notes each time a poem was read out, and waited patiently for an opportunity to air my views. However, before I could overcome my discomfort of public speaking, or even find an appropriate occasion to 'butt in', my lecturer made a comment that was almost identical to my own observation. This happened also on a second occasion, and after that I simply gave in (-). However, despite my failure, I feel I came one step closer to defeating my fear of public speaking. Perhaps next time I will have the opportunity to share my thoughts with the class. My own poem received some useful feedback, both positive and critical, and I felt that it was more successful than the last poem I submitted. 

After a twenty minute break, during which I joined Robinson Crusoe and ate a ham sandwich, the workshop resumed, and four people presented poems written by renowned poets. The session finished twenty minutes early. The buses are due at two minutes past the hour. If a lecture finishes on time, we usually just miss that bus, and have to wait half an hour for the next one. I was pleased with today's timing, because by the time I'd reached the bus stop I had just a fifteen minute wait. 

An hour later I was still at the bus stop, along with a crowd of students. It rained and as there was no room in the shelter for me, I got wet (-) . I was very thankful for my waterproof jacket. During this time I was joined by my friend, Hannah, who I don't always see on a Tuesday, and wouldn't have done if if the buses were running as usual. The wait provided ample opportunity for us to chat (+)

Eventually we decided to walk down to the next stop, where we can access more of a variety of bus services. At about 14:05 the bus we had been waiting for appeared. We learned that the road to our university was temporarily closed due to building work and the buses had been diverted so that they missed our stop. And none of the builders loitering in the building site that currently surrounds our university campus, even bothered to notify the numerous people gathered at the bus stop! (-) Also, traffic seemed to continue despite this apparent closure of our road, and it seemed only to be our bus that was affected. Other buses passed us by while we were waiting!

It didn't matter too much, because I had arranged to have coffee with another friend, Matt, whom I've known for years. We had originally agreed to meet at 13:45 so that I could catch my usual 14:25 bus home, but as his lectures hadn't finished he texted me to see if we could meet an hour later. This suited me fine, considering the circumstances I have previously alluded to. 

I arrived in the city centre at 14:25, and parted with my Hannah. I then went to Boots and printed some photographs on their twenty-four hour service. I will collect them on Thursday. I met Matt outside the Thorntons cafe, and ordered a coffee and a mouth-watering toffee tart. Our meeting was a short one as I had to go and catch my bus, and couldn't really afford to delay any longer, but we enjoyed a good 'catch up' (+), and I appreciated having a sympathetic ear to listen to me rant about buses! *Joke*

I arrived at the bus station to find my bus waiting for me, scrambled aboard. It was a relief to sink back into the seat, and breathe a sigh of relief. In an hour and a half I would be home. I finished Robinson Crusoe shortly before my stop. It is a book that I thoroughly enjoyed, and hope to review soon. 

At 16:55 I unlocked the front door, and stepped wearily into the hallway, where I was met by my youngest brother. He announced that Spud had literally just rung. I had told him to expect me home at about 16:00, so I decided to ring him back immediately. I arranged a snack of celery and cherry tomatoes, and a glass of water, which I proceeded to eat while we talked on the phone (+). Hearing his voice really made my day, and we talked for nearly two hours.

Dinner was ready just before seven - plaice, home made chips, and peas, a simple but welcome meal. I finished it off with an apple for dessert, and then did the washing up: my regular contribution to the housework. 

By this time it was 19:20, and so I got into my pyjamas. I love to wear my pyjamas, and often change into them hours before bedtime, so that I can unwind in comfort. I climbed into bed and did my nightly readings. These currently consist of a short devotional (I'm currently reading The Unlocking by Adrian Plass, which spans the course of lent), an extract of Never Hit a Jelly Fish with a Spade by Guy Browning, two poems from a volume of Philip Larkin's poetry, and two poems from The Rattlebag, a poetry anthology Spud gave me for my birthday, and approximately four chapters of the Bible (Numbers today). I also wrote in my diary, and doodled in my visual diary, a project inspired by this blog. It has been pleasant to rediscover an old hobby (+)

At 20:16 I switched on my laptop and began typing this entry, which is very nearly complete. In a few minutes I will post it, and then get ready to go to bed at 22:00, in preparation for another 06:15 start tomorrow. If I have a few minutes to spare I will begin the next book on my reading list, another Defoe, Moll Flanders

I hope you have enjoyed reading this detailed account of my day. 

(Total: (+) = 4, (-) = 4 = Tie. I guess, overall, it wasn't that bad a day!)

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Back Soon



Apologies for my prolonged absence. I'm in the process of discovering that I currently don't have time to manage reading, assignments, a job and a fiancĂ©, let alone my poor, neglected blog. What I'm really trying to say is that I'll be back soon, or at least I'll try to be. I'll post whenever I can. 

Spud and I are having a great time, but work has been kept to a real minimum, and I know I'm going to have to work really hard to catch up when he returns home on Monday. Time is rapidly dwindling now. I nearly had a panic attack when I realised that I have just four more weeks for dissertation meetings, before the long Easter holidays begin and I'll have to go it alone! I'm going to have to commute to university an extra day next week in order to meet with my tutor! Still, I know that in a few months things will be much more relaxed, and I can enjoy time with Spud without the prospect of a long separation. I am dreading his departure the day after tomorrow, but conversely I know that with him absence I can work a lot more effectively. 

I will leave you with a photo Spud took of me last night. I was really tired and went to bed several hours a little before he did. Actually, this has been the story of most of his time here. Spud generally goes to bed later than I do anyway because he sleeps in for most of the morning and gets up at noon. My body clock is the complete opposite. I go to bed earlier and consequently get up earlier the following morning. As I usually have a few early starts each week, it is crucial that I go to bed in good time, and I can't allow Spud's presence to prevent this. 




Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Friday, 12 February 2010

Birthday Week

Sorry for being fairly elusive this week. I find it difficult to get online when Spud's here, and tend to only find the time while he's napping. Even on these occasions I have just enough time to check my inbox and my facebook, and rarely the time to compose a blog. So apologies. 

It has been a week full of birthdays, beginning with my dad's on Monday. A colleague of mine, and Spud's sister, celebrated their birthdays on Tuesday, and then Wednesday marked not only mine, but my younger brother's 15th birthday! 

Spud arrived last Saturday, and then on Sunday we went out for a pre-birthday meal with my grandparents. The restaurant we chose is popular, and we discovered particularly busy on Sunday lunchtimes, and consequently, some of the dishes we would have chosen were unavailable, but the food and the company was good, and the eight of us had a wonderful time. Afterwards, my grandparents showed us their photographs from their trip to Australia in the autumn, and my brother put on an Australian accent and gave us a humorous commentary. My grandparents gave me a beautiful wooden music box to mark my coming of age. It plays Greensleeves. 

Spud woke me up at midnight on Wednesday to wish me a happy birthday, and give me my first birthday present! Weekdays are not the most convenient days for birthdays, and with most of us out of the house celebrations had to be postponed until evening. Although I worked first thing on my birthday, I had no lectures and was free from 9am onwards. Spud took me to the cinema to see Avatar, and it definitely conformed to our expectations, based on the good reviews we've heard. Despite it's length we were enthralled for the entire performance! 

Everyone arrived home late, and we ordered a Chinese takeaway. My father opened a bottle of bubbly so that we could toast my 21st. There was a pile of cards and presents for me to open. My parents gave me a beautiful locket that I chose. I want to put a photograph of Spud and me in one side, and a photograph of my parents in the other. 

Today we spent the afternoon with my other grandparents, and my grandma laid out a lovely 'birthday' tea. My grandad has dementia, and was mostly unresponsive, but when my grandma played a favourite CD of his he sat bolt upright and looked at us for the first time that day, a broad smile on his face. He was anchored into his special armchair with a pillow on either side, and a blanket across his knees. He had a small blanket, and toy in his lap intended for a baby, but he likes the different textures and bright colours, and fiddles with the tabs around the edge of the blanket. It has been sad to watch him deteriorate over the years, and so seeing any positive response to his surroundings is always rewarding. 

Tomorrow I will be holding a little party, reminiscent of childhood parties. There will be jelly and ice cream; lemonade coloured pink and blue; games of pass the parcel and pin the tail on the donkey. Surprisingly, some of the guests are people I thought had forgotten me; rejected me even. I invited them as a last resort, expecting them to decline, and most of them are coming! I have much to do, and so will now post this little update for you...

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Coming of Age

Today is my 21st birthday!


This is what I looked like 21 years ago!

Saturday, 6 February 2010

On This Day...

...a year ago, we got engaged! 


I have a confession to make though. This photograph was not taken on the day we got engaged, but just last month. When it snowed at the beginning of January, sad as this may sound, we decided to reconstruct the proposal so that we could capture the moment on camera!

I'm seeing Spud tonight. He's coming down for a fortnight so that he can be here for my birthday and Valentines Day. I'm so excited!

Friday, 5 February 2010

The Pursuit of Romance





That clear, cloudless night in August was surreal, lying there upon a carpet of grass and gazing up at the multitude of stars strewn across the heavens. Beyond the cliff edge the waves lapped softly against the shoreline, the only sound I was aware of other than my beating heart. The occasional light danced across the dark waters, indicative of a distant ship making its lone voyage. It felt like a dream but the sharp night air was a constant reminder that this was reality. 

We talked for hours that night. 'I love you,' he breathed, as a shooting star swept across the sky and disappeared amidst a cluster of stars. 'I love you too,' I murmured. I wanted to turn a cartwheel, to dance for joy. I could barely look at him because I wanted to kiss him, and was afraid. I don't know how much time had elapsed before I tentatively turned to face him, and when I did our lips met fleetingly. Our first kiss was hesitant and ungainly, but when I returned to my tent some time later, I felt like I was floating ten feet off the ground...

Why is it that this memory stands out in my mind more than any other?


Intrinsically Linked

Those of you who read a previous post of mine entitled Beauty in the 'Real' Sense will remember that I discussed beauty as the desire that lies in the heart of almost every woman, alluding heavily to John and Stasi Eldredge's book, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul. This is one of three desires that John and Stasi identify, and it is my belief that all three are intrinsically linked. Today I am going to discuss the second of these desires, namely, the longing for romance.

John and Stasi write, 'A woman becomes beautiful when she knows she's loved' (page 112). I would like to rephrase that and say a woman feels beautiful when she knows she's loved. When I read this, I was reminded of a line from the film, The Princess Diaries. At the end of the film the heroine, Mia, gets together with her best friend's brother. He asks her, 'Why me?' and she responds, 'Because you saw me when I was invisible'. I can really relate to this. Before I met Spud, I felt as though I was invisible, and only saw the ugliness in me. However, when Spud came into my life and saw beauty in me, my self esteem was elevated. 


I am not trying to say that romance is a magical cure for low self esteem that will wipe away all traces of ugliness. The emphasis today is not on beauty, but on romance. What I am trying to say is that all too often our pursuit of beauty and romance are difficult to separate. They seem to be very much connected. 




Unsought and Unfulfilled


Think about it: the favourite conversation topics amongst women are very often centred on relationships. We place so much emphasis on love and romance. Doesn't every woman fantasise about her wedding day from a young age, or dream of being rescued by her knight in shining armour? To use fictitious examples, think of Monica from Friends, or Jane Austen's Mrs Bennett, who is obsessed with marrying her daughters off. Some women feel that their life purpose or goal is to get married, and it is important to remember that up until early last century, marriage was virtually the only respectable position for a woman. 


So often in life we are made to feel unsought and unfulfilled. Some women might watch their friends being married off and at some point feel as though they've been left on the shelf. This is not just something women feel later in life, when they fear their biological clock is ticking. Even pre-pubescent girls worry about being the only one without a boyfriend. The summer before last, Spud and I were tent officers at a Bible camp for 10-13 year olds. I was responsible for four 13 year old girls, and what amazed me was the importance they placed on getting a boyfriend. During the week, several of the youngsters paired up, including 3 of my girls. The remaining girl became very depressed because she had never had a boyfriend before, and none of the camp boys wanted to go out with her. She was so very young to be thinking in that way, but then it suddenly struck me that I was exactly the same at her age!


You see, I wasted most of my teenage years longing for a boyfriend. I prayed almost every night to be noticed by my latest crush, but I never was. By the age of sixteen I had come to the depressing conclusion that I would never be singled out by a guy, and thus never get a boyfriend. I spent another year praying, all the same. When I turned seventeen I was baptised, and began to seek God more. One night, a few months after my baptism, I prayed that God would grant me the will to submit if his plan was for me to remain single. About a week or two later Spud came into my life!


Never Too Late




A few weeks ago I overheard a conversation between two of the residential students I work with. They are two of the more capable students, and had spent some time in mainstream education before they came to the college. They were discussing their lack of boyfriends at their former schools, because the boys could not see past their disabilities. Since starting at the college and meeting other students with visual impairments, they have both had boyfriends. 








I wish I hadn't spent my teenage years worrying about my lack of a boyfriend. Linda Marshall suggests in her book Pure that we should use singlehood to develop our relationship with God,  which was what I was just starting to do when Spud entered my life. If I had adopted this attitude sooner, I could have used the time to grow so much closer to God. 

This is less easy to do once you're in a relationship. When I first started going out with Spud, it took me a while to get my priorities right. I didn't forget about God, but I certainly put Spud before him on many occasions, and was in danger of idolising him. Here's an appropriate passage from Jane Eyre, when Jane describes how she feels about Mr Rochester: 'My future husband was becoming to me my whole world; and more than the world; almost my hope of heaven. He stood between me and every thought of religion, as an eclipse intervenes between man and broad sun. I could not, in those days, see God for his creature: of whom I had made an idol' (page 386). 

I was brought sharply down to earth when we did the Pure course at Christian Union. I realised then that I needed to straighten my priorities and put God first - allow him to rule over my relationship with Spud, and to guide us. 

It's never too late to meet Mr Right. I met Spud relatively early in life, even if it did feel like a long wait before I met him, but it's different for everybody. I think the best way is to be patient and trust God. Pray that if it's not his will for you to meet Mr Right, that he would ease your desire and show you his true purpose for you. I'm sure he'll have something amazing in store for you. Just remember, being in a relationship isn't everything. In fact, it can be a real hindrance at times. When you're in a relationship you have to learn to compromise, and take both opinions into consideration. You might lose friends because of your significant other. You have the pressure of another's expectations, and influence. I know friends who have ended relationships and been glad to be single for a while. Being single is not always a bad thing. 

Finally, strange as it might sound, allow God to romance you. Whenever something good comes out of a day, for example, when I see a beautiful sunrise; when a desired purchase is cheaper than I thought it would be; when a favourite song comes onto the radio, etc., I perceive it as a demonstration of love from my heavenly father. God knows each and every one of us individually, and knows exactly what we like. He likes to please us. Psalm 37.4 reads, 'Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart'. How is he wooing you?

Thursday, 4 February 2010

A Break in the Cloud

For a week or two I've suffered from a depression of sorts, and I know and regret that this has been reflected in some of my posts. I call it the 'pre-birthday blues', and I believe the cause has been my complete jumble of emotions, along with the anticipation of change, and the feelings of rejection I've experienced recently. 

The friendship 'issues' were resolved, at least in my mind, yesterday, and sadly not in the way I hoped. I found out that one of my friends had her 21st birthday party over the weekend, and invited everyone in the group but me. This was the final confirmation I needed that they no longer considered me a 'friend', and the final wound I was willing to take. I knew there was nothing more that I could do, and it was time to let go. 

I cried for most of the morning because I couldn't believe that a group of people who built me up  could suddenly knock me down again. I admit I had a bit of a pity party. It really hurt to see photos of them all having a good time without me, and to know they didn't want me there. The house was empty, and in my bewilderment I felt lost and alone. 

It was a relief to go to work at 4, and a real comfort to have people around me. Caring for people who are dependent on you is certainly an ideal distraction. I think some of my colleagues could see I was not quite myself, as I received a couple of sweet facebook messages expressing concern. One of my colleagues gave me a much needed hug!

My heart was still heavy, and my true sunny-natured, care-free self still absent until this evening when I had a heart to heart with my mother. I poured out my heart to her, and felt so much better for it. The heaviness seemed to lift slightly, and has gradually eased over the last couple of hours. I feel as though the old Kess has returned. I know the pain and fear is still present, but in the midst of this all I have so much to look forward to, and a God who loves me and will make everything right in the end. I also realise just how many people do care about me. 

There will be days when I feel down, as is the norm for everybody, but I think the 'pre-birthday blues' have gone for good now. This is not a mopy post, but a celebratory one. My joy and excitement has returned; my vigour renewed. Everything's going to be just fine!

* By the way, today also marks the halfway point between the day Spud and I started going out, and the day we plan to get married! * 

The Zebra Calendar

It has sat in my desk drawer for about six years, and every so often I like to take it out and reminisce. I am not given to hoarding calendars. Once the year is done I recycle them to save the clutter, occasionally sparing a picture or two that I think particularly striking. The zebra calendar is an exception, not because I am especially partial to zebra, but because of the memory it holds. 

I remember the day my father brought it home for me. I was about fourteen or fifteen and home from school. I forget what was wrong, and don't think I was especially ill; I just had a cold and was feeling a little sorry for myself. The calendar was a gift to cheer me up; something he had picked up on his way home from work. I was touched by the act, and the thought. I still get a little ache in my heart whenever I think about it, because it is a reminder of just how much my father loves me. There are things, not necessarily objects, that remind me just how much my mother loves me too, and it's the same with Spud, and all the people in my life. I am a very blessed woman to be so loved. 

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Time

The following is something I wrote a while ago, although I don't remember when. It's something I felt like sharing...


Time


As clocks tick they mimic the soft, steady
Beating of my heart; loud and rhythmical.
When the time comes we must all be ready;
It cannot be caged like an animal.


It comes and goes as it pleases; feral
And untameable. It cannot be bound
Nor stopped. It may lead us into peril
If it chooses. Sometimes it may be found


And we have an hour or two to kill,
An hour or two that we will no doubt waste. 
Even if we run we will find that still,
No matter our pace, time cannot be chased.


As clocks tick I am forced to meet each fear.
We are thirty-four days into this year. 

Rush Home Road


Rush Home Road by Lori Lansens tells the story of unlikely friendship between an old woman and a little girl. When her mother takes off, five year old Sharla is left in the care of a neighbour, Addy, who is virtually a stranger. Both Addy and Sharla have had troubled pasts, but together they transform their lives for the better...


The narrative cleverly flits between the present, and Addy's tragic past, her moving story gradually unfolding throughout the course of the novel. This is the tale of a black woman who triumphs despite the odds set against her, and one I found difficult to put down!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Up and Down

Emotionally, I've been feeling like a yo-yo all weekend. I put this down to tiredness mostly. I started lectures again last week, and have had to adapt to a new routine. I have also had to pick up my juggling act once more, and learn to fit lectures, work hours, assignments, reading, and Spud into the small space of a week. I am already behind on my reading because my lecturer never sent me the reading list, and I didn't get to see it until my first lecture. This is frustrating because there are some pretty hefty texts on there. 

However, I did receive a lift when I collected an assignment from last semester, and learned that I had achieved another  first-class. This means I passed the module with a first-class overall. I am thrilled! The dissertation is also going well. It may not quite be writing itself, but it's certainly not the uphill struggle I envisaged. I have written 4,000 words in first draft, and I'm not far off the halfway mark. 

I worked all day Saturday, and went straight on to Golden Girl's birthday meal. On Sunday I got up early for church, and then ran 7 miles afterwards. By the late afternoon I was exhausted, and feeling quite tearful. I was looking ahead and feeling quite overwhelmed by the coming months. I have so much to do, but I was also thinking about the move and the upheaval it will cause. Of course, I am not put off by this, and still anticipate it with much excitement, but I was contemplating all the goodbyes I will have to say during the months ahead. There are so many people that I'm going to miss. I think a part of me just wants to get the move over with so that I can settle into my new life, and overcome my silent fears that I won't find a job, or make friends. But still there's another, small, part of me that wants to cling to the present, and keep things just the way they are.