I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead

sleep_2480539When I first got sick, I received a lot of really unhelpful advice. One thing that I heard a couple of times, when I was leaving a function early to go home and go to bed, was that I should ‘toughen up, ‘cos I could sleep when I’m dead.’
(Surely the insensitivity of this is obvious since I actually felt like I was dying and was trying hard to avoid it??)

 Anyway, much as Bon Jovi’s song is very poor advice to give to a sick person, and much as we totally have a responsibility to take care of our bodies, I’m actually starting to think that maybe he’s got a point.

 Last night one of our pastors spoke on Hebrews 4. He began by acknowledging that this life is tough. So many of us are tired, so much of the time, and life can get overwhelming. Monday mornings seem to come around so much quicker than Friday afternoons, and so often our weakness and humanity overshadows the greatness of our calling. But therein lies the point. We have an amazing calling on earth, and an even more amazing future awaiting us in heaven.

This life is tough, but there remains for us a Sabbath rest.

I’m going to spend my eternity resting and rejoicing in the presence of Jesus, but while I’m here, there’s work to do.

 We may be exhausted, but God provides the strength for us to do His will and the promise that we can rest in Him.

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A Different Look at the Garbage Man…

662916_88280650When I was growing up, if you’d have asked me what was the lowest and least of all jobs, I’d probably have said ‘garbage collector.’

If you’d asked me again as an adult, I’d have been more diplomatic. I’d probably have spouted some jargon about every job being valuable and any aspiration being noble, but really I was just being politically correct. I mean, seriously, what a horrible job. Sure, someone has to do it, but surely not anyone I know.

Shame on me for my ignorance and stigmatising.

I have to say, that my mind has been drastically changed by the simple viewing of a TED talk. Robin Nagle challenged my stereotypes of garbage collection and radically reversed them. Never have I been so appreciative of those faithful people in that humble industry who are the lifeblood of our civilized society.

We have taken sanitation for granted for so long, we can hardly imagine the consequences of a society in which it doesn’t exist. We hold professionals such as doctors and nurses in high regard, crediting them with the management of our health and well-being, all the while forgetting how much we owe to those who are our first line of defense in the prevention of sickness and disease.

Have a watch of Nagle’s clip, and gain a new appreciation for these men and women who work tirelessly and often thanklessly behind the scenes.

Octopus, rain and a kitchen table (Or: the work dinner that will happen again)

532035_534912026540235_1661749161_nI admit I was sceptical about my work dinner.  We were from different generations; different walks of life. Outside the teacher-prep room would we have much to talk about?

Our small office group met at a rustic-meets-modern restaurant, just outside town. It was already dark and after a drink at the beautiful redwood bar, we took our seats around a large wooden table, reminiscent of that in a farm kitchen.

The restaurant specialised in tapas, and we gave the chef his head to bring out whatever he chose.

The food was divine. As the night meandered on we feasted on fresh bread, olives, pesto and chorizo, complimented by the most exquisite duck and shitake spring rolls. Our plates were cleared and they brought out squid and lightly crumbed octopus with huge char-grilled prawns, followed by sticky beef ribs and piri piri chicken. We ate slowly, savouring the delicacy of the flavours; the perfection of the combinations.

We laughed and talked about life, and travel and film; and we ate.

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Gradually the restaurant cleared and we sat back contented as they brought coffee. The open door brought the fresh smell of new rain from the darkened street. We were the last ones there and chatted to the owner and chef as they stood at the bar.

After four hours we left, knowing that we had been a part of something special: the harmonious meeting of work and life.

Forgetting that I have a job.

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I do love my job, but there’s something even better about forgetting that I have one. It’s amazing how quickly I can slip into holiday mode and begin to think that sleep-ins and coffee dates and shopping trips are actually how life was meant to be.

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Photo Courtesy of Kerrie

Today I discovered Dilmah Exceptional Rose with French Vanilla tea, passed onto me by my friend Nelly, and a new local magazine, fete.

I’m spending a couple of days at a beautiful house with stunning views over the ocean. Sitting on the couch, looking out at a vast and vibrant blue ocean with a fragrant, spiced cup of tea and a magazine that takes relaxation, beauty and class and puts it on paper, my high school teaching job seemed like something from another life.

What a blessing to be able to take some time out and be relaxed enough to enjoy some of life’s simple pleasures.