Life doesn’t disappoint when it comes to surprising you. I started this blog about 18 months ago, marking a transition in my life. It came about because I had an abrupt finish to a job that I loved, and hoped I would be doing for a good few more years.
I need to go back to the beginning of 2020. I just returned from my first vacation in Europe with Sue. Rachel, our youngest was studying near Frankfurt and we decided to spend Christmas 2019 with her, and use the rest of the time to see a part of the world, which shaped both Sue’s and my heritage.
It was a brilliant holiday, spending time in and around Frankfurt, then Prague, London, Cornwall, where Sue had lived just prior to migrating to Australia with her family. We finished our time in the Cotswalds and managed a few hours in Zurich en route to Singapore for a few days. It was a dream start to a year that would bring seismic shifts to our lives, as well as multitudes of others I’m sure.
Covid-19 changed the dynamics of my job, especially as the person to whom I reported decided that there was no longer a need for it. This was in early July. Others can judge whether his decision was warranted. I’m too close to it and still take it personally if I think about it too long. About a week after he dropped the bombshell on me, I decided to take control back into my life. I was due for a week’s break and when I returned I requested a redundancy. Within two months I was out.
At the time, I wanted to simply take time off and review life. So much was happening to people very close to me that rocked me and the shocks kept coming. I’m not going to write about them here, because they belong to other people’s stories. But, just as the refrain from the musical Hamilton keeps repeating, “the world turned upside down”, I could say the same about my experience.
2020 led to this blog, trying to understand parts of my story. Also, digging into other people’s stories: Hearing about their first jobs, their moves to new countries, their struggles with relationships, health, vocation and status. Ordinary people, just like me. The world is full of us. It’s been a rich time of reflection, reappraisal and review.
2020 also led to a part-time job. It was all I wanted, so that I could devote time to writing and exploring other transitions. This season is now over. Part-time work and part-time blogging will have to go on ice – for a little while at least.
This week I start up full-time again: A new beginning – leading a team of people in an inner part of Sydney to show love, compassion and practical help to those who are homeless, those who are surviving Domestic Violence and those on the margins who need scaffolding in their lives to rebuild them. The work started as Rough Edges, but now operates under the more wholistic umbrella of St John’s Community Services. I pray this season will be a fruitful one for many people, as well as myself.
So, this is probably my last post on Don’t Write Us Off, for a little while. But I hope to be back. There are still a couple of stories up my sleeve. Who knows what life may bring in 2022?
To God be the glory…