I should be, at the moment of writing, at the Craft Club that we run fortnightly at St Ninian’s. I should be knitting and drinking coffee and eating biscuits with my lovely flock whilst waiting for the Lady from Health and Safety to do her annual visit.
I should be…but am at home waiting for a manny to come and fix my broken boiler instead. Having no heating since Sunday has been interesting. But I am thanking God for immersion switches and the fact it is not January. With a sense of the Blitz spirit drummed into me since birth, I have simply dug out the vests and thermals once again (that I only packed away in the depths of my wardrobe last week), dusted off the hot water bottles and stacked up the blankets. This is Aberdeen after all.
So I should be at my Craft club but I am doing this instead. I am writing my blog. I should be writing my sermon, reading synod papers, getting ready for the Vestry meeting tonight, planning our attack upon the students for Freshers week this year and so on. I should be…
Don’t you find that there is always something else that we should be doing whilst we waste our time doing something else? And with that ‘should’ comes the guilt. I don’t know if it is because I am a woman and a priest but guilt does come rather naturally to me and I suffer from it dreadfully.
I feel guilty very easily, always have done, but the angst and energy it has cost me over the years is probably beyond the realm of normal. And yet I have had to learn to let the guilt go or I suffer from it emotionally, physically and spiritually. It is amazing how tiring and draining feeling guilty can make us.
I suppose that the joy of maturing and, dare I say it, growing older is realising with some relief that we cannot do everything, be everywhere and please everyone all the time. There are many things we all ‘should’ be doing but there is only ever one of us (until we all get given clones) and we do the best we can with what we have. An important lesson to be learned for ministry and in life and one that I am still learning.
Well, today there is only one of me and, right now, my place is waiting for the Boiler man. Of course, whilst waiting I should be filling in the time with other more worthwhile pursuits and I will get to them in a moment. For now all I should be doing is talking to you, dear reader. If you feel guilty today for not doing the thing you should be doing, take heart. You are not alone so please be gentle on your unique, special self.
Now that is enough misplaced guilt for one day, pass the biscuits someone and put the kettle on for another hot water bottle. Mine is tea with no sugar while you are at it, and where did I put my Vestry agenda? It should be right here…