Chaplains Chatty – November

Dear All

This month’s Chatty comes to you on the back of a very challenging and stressful week for members of my family. A long story short, a week last Friday my wife and I travelled south of the border to help my wife’s sister organise a double move. My mother-in-law has been poorly with vascular dementia for a while now. However, the first lockdown in March has accelerated the condition, to such a degree that she now needs 24 hour care that only a local residential home can provide. Reluctantly, we looked round for an appropriate place. Thankfully we found one that Mum-in-law liked and so we travelled down to help her and her partner move, only for Boris Johnson to announce a further lockdown for England the day after we arrived, which as you will be aware started last Thursday.

Aye moving one person would have been manageable, but we also had to assist my Mum-in-law’s 89 year old partner move from Crewkerne to Bridgwater to sheltered accommodation, together with all his furniture, clothes, kitchen equipment and alike. This included loading and unloading a van we had rented. So as you can imagine it was all hands on deck.

Monday was sorting, packing and preparing furniture in readiness to be loaded on the van. Tuesday was loading the van, driving to the new premises and then unloading the van. The flat was on the first floor. Wednesday was transporting the said gentleman, together with a car load of stuff we could not load onto the van the day before. But we managed to do that and get Mum-in-law moved before Thursday’s lockdown!.

Aye it was a stressful, especially for those going to new premises and having to leave their home of the last 10 years and for us who were ensuring everything was packed and moved in such a short space of time. The reason I have mentioned this is because sometimes life throws us a curved ball, out of the blue, something happens that we didn’t expect to happen. How do we deal with such circumstances? Some of us may bury our head in the sand and hope the problem just goes away. Some panic and start doing one job, see another job and move on to that leaving the first job unfinished, but as they start the second job, they are distracted by what seems a simpler job and so on…. These people end up completing nothing. Others of us just try and do everything on our own, not asking for help. Sound familiar?

Each of the above reactions will create additional stress. So what would be a better response to reduce stress? For me it would be to deal with the situation, like the example of my Mum-in-law’s and her partners move, by firstly taking a step back and thinking through what needs to be done and in what time scale. Plan each day so that it is manageable, in other words control the situation don’t let situations control you. We planned and we worked together as a team, that’s not to say tempers weren’t a bit short on occasions. But we got through!

As well as the above the last week or so has also included the newspaper articles, the article for Thistle Foundation and the radio chat with Russell Aitken on Black Diamond FM on what your Chaplain has being undertaking during lockdown. I hope you caught one or more and found it or them helpful in understanding what my role at the Club involves. If you have any questions please ask.

Well done to the lads on the last three wins out of four games. It is great to see all the hard work put in by the management and team starting to pay off. Be on the Star!

Steve Nash, Club Chaplain