You wait ages for a blog post, and then three arrive all at once… This time, having reflected back on the first term at college, I am thinking forward to the term that starts on Monday. Partly to help marshall my thoughts and partly so you, dear reader, can remind me of my good intentions and keep me accountable for my actions.
The timetable looks more or less the same, with a few more lectures in – two courses have teaching this term, so I am looking forward to getting stuck into a couple of new subjects. We switch focus from the OT to the NT too in our ‘Reading the Christian Bible’ course, so not everything is picked up from where we left off.
There’s a few new responsibilities to add in, too – I’ve joined the children’s work team, I’m also now a member of the common room committee and one of the college’s reps for AOCM . I think I mentioned I also have to train for the Cambridge Half Marathon in March.
It became clear after term finished that I had fallen into the trap of not noticing how hot around me the water had become (think boiling frogs…) and so a resolution, if you like, for 2015 is to get away more. I didn’t really spend many nights away from college last term, partly because I didn’t want to leave a place I barely knew for sanctuary of the familiar elsewhere. Now college is the familiar, Fridays away will become useful time to breathe. In the same way, I didn’t miss any college meals because I was concerned about the impact of buying food on my budget – why pay again for a meal already provided…? However, a term’s budgeting shows I can afford to not be completely tied to the meal schedule and that is going to help when trying to fit in a long run as half marathon preparation. Sunday mornings are no longer an option…!
Something else I hadn’t noticed until the end of last term was how exhausting worrying about friendships was. I knew there was no real need to worry if I hadn’t found an Everlasting Best Friend within the first two weeks, nor, in fact, by the end of term at all – but that niggling doubt never went away, and sapped so much of my energy. I don’t super-spiritualize everything that I do, but if I were inclined to ponder the influence of the negative in life, I might conjecture that this is a weak spot where I am vulnerable. And so I fully intend just to leave that one to time, and to prayer, and to be aware of when I am leaking useful energy on a worry that is not worth it. The flip side of this is that remembering how to live alone, a skill I will need again in 18 months’ time, is important, and that being comfortable in my own company is definitely a good place to be. Incidentally @DigitalNun just published a very useful iBenedictines post on friendships which reminds me to go back to the House rule of life, and to revisit what Bonhoeffer had to say in ‘Life Together.’
That’s it, really – I’m looking forward to going back, renewing friendships, finding new ones; learning a bit more; beginning to plan for the summer; starting on assessed work; gaining confidence singing; running more, and generally Getting On With It.