I had a bit of a break down at work today. A thousand little things have been going on for years and today I broke. A staff member came to see me, I think she said, how are you? maybe she didn’t, but I said, I’ve had it up to here today, and then I broke down sobbing. I guess I really had had it up to here.
I remember everything I said, and I said everything I wanted to, and I wasn’t nasty, but then I had to get on with the job. She was really worried about me and made an appointment for me to see the acting boss. Good that it was the acting boss because I’d never say anything to the real boss, because I have the impression that he doesn’t really care, or he’s too busy to care, and he just repeats back to me what I’ve said. Of course, all my complaints are just little niggly symptoms and I feel ridiculous voicing them when I’m all calm. I don’t think there’s any real solution. I think they’re all just symptoms of the feeling uncared for and alone. All I ever here is about what a great team we are, and this independent survey and that independent survey says we’re all so great – I don’t know if I even got the survey.
I’ve been asked to write an email. What am I going to say really?
I’m quite disillusioned, which is supposed to be a good thing, because it gets rid of the illusions, and focuses of reality.

age and experience

A young man at work today did a devotion about telling others the gospel. It was really very thought out and he was very inclusive of lots of experiences, but he thought “preach the gospel always and use words if you have to” was a cop out.
I smiled, and thought, if you’re really living the gospel like St Francis of Assisi, to whom the quote is attributed, it is in no way a cop out, and a much harder slog than talking about the gospel. What I found significant was how gung ho and excited he was about telling people about Jesus, which is great, and how the older people in the room smiled, and nodded and said you’re right, we do need to tell the gospel, and other times, no.
And what I found really significant was that I was with the older people in the room! I’ve passed some line which puts me on the side of experience! I’m getting old – just starting to that is.

Church picnics

I went to a church outreach picnic today. Invite friends and family type thing. Not my church. I saw an invite on a friend’s facebook page, and I know a few people from work who go, so I thought I’d go. I thought it would be good to meet some people. I thought I could connect a bit more with work people. I was so nervous to be going to a church event, with all those nice, churchy people. My heart was beating in my throat. If I didn’t have my kids with me, I think I would have turned around and left when I was halfway across the grass to meet them.
Have you ever been to someone else’s church picnic? It’s terrible. So many people, not including me, having a lovely chat in the sun. I thought I’d try chatting to the people cooking the BBQ, but they were busy chatting to others. I thought I could chat to the people I know, but they were keen to go and chat to others or go and do some job or other. I must be the most boring person on earth.
I stood there, trying not to look too conspicuous cos it feels terrible, but a bit conspicuous, so people would come and talk to me. I couldn’t see anyone else who looked like they needed a friend. I stood there saying to myself, “all these nice people are just as socially incompetent as me. We’re all the same really.” Still, I don’t want to put myself in that situation again, so I don’t think I’ll be going back.
Eventually a very lovely, nervous old lady came up to ask if I was part of the picnic. Thank you Jean. I asked her lots of questions to try to make things easy for her.
I was very glad to leave.
I’m working at a couple of places, trying to join in with social events and hang out at lunch etc. I guess I thought I could have work friends. Maybe that’s unrealistic. They’re such a clique-y bunch, so many in-jokes, and I don’t think some of them like me – I think some of them are actually avoiding me.
Of course suggesting that instead of throwing old bibles in the bin, they could be burnt (imagine look of horror now) and scattered under a bush to return God’s word to the earth, didn’t go down well. I’m still laughing about that one. I guess I’m not totally boring old suburban middle class.
But you know what, since I wrote that, I’ve thought, who really who cares what anyone else thinks. I have an important job to do, which I can do without being buddies with anyone. I’ve got a nice family, I do have a good friend. I seem to feel bad every lent, looking back. The church picnic was terrible, but that doesn’t matter, cos I don’t have to go back.

Hello my old friend

hello again. I’m working my butt off, feeling rather lonely and friendless, so thought I’d start up the blog again. Who knows, maybe it will last longer than a week.
tonights dinner – fish and chips, wine, tea, banana cake.

Butterless chickpeas

I have 19 cans of lentils in the cupboard, and no chickpeas. How can there be no chickpeas? There’s always cans of chickpeas in the cupboard. I had to make this one with 4 bean mix. 12 cans of four bean mix in the cupboard. I don’t think I’ll ever use that all up. From now on I’ll always have 4 bean mix in the cupboard instead. I’m so pleased this recipe didn’t have onions in it. I’m getting tired of the onion, garlic, tomato mix. I’m also very tired of anything with tomatoes or cumin. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

2 400g cans chickpeas
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp dried ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 400g can tomatoes
juice of half a lemon
3 tbs ground almond meal
2 tbs olive oil

Combine the chickpeas, spices and tomatos and gently simmer for 20 – 30 minutes. Add more water if necessary.
Just before serving add the almond meal, lemon juice and olive oil.
Stir through.
Serve over a bed of rice.

And a salad. Salads make a meal I’ve decided. Maggie Beer (TV cook) says salads are Australia’s national dish. Eat them with everything.
This salad had baby spinach leaves, avocado, roast sweet potato cubes, grated carrot, cherry tomatoes and a dressing of a little lemon juice and a little olive oil. Some left over ground almonds might have been nice too.

Pumpkin Soup

1 onion, finely chopped
1/4 of a pumpkin, chopped
1/2 cup of red lentils, washed
1 vegetable stock cube

Fry onion in a little oil until browned
Add pumpkin and leave to sweat for a minute
Add enough water to cover the pumpkin
Add red lentils.
Bring to the boil, then simmer until pumpkin falls apart.
Puree if you desire, but a quick stir should make it soup like.
Add more hot water until soup is your desired consistancy.
Serve with bread and baba ganouj (that’s hommus with eggplant, basically)

Toast with hommus, avocado and lemon

I’ve been criticised, fairly. You know when you do your best and pour your heart and soul into something, and it’s not good enough.
Enough said. I feel crap. But not so bad. Just sad. I’m not bawling my eyes out like I’ve done in the past. I’m deflated, and ready to just walk away.

So there you go.

It’s interesting that with no chocolate, alcohol or other food treats to turn to, I have to own my feelings and actions instead of obliterating the memory of them. There’s nothing to do but accept them, sit with them, or turn to God. I don’t think I’ve really done the latter yet.

One more thing, I’m sure lent is not supposed to be a self improvement plan. Is it?
It’s not about making yourself or the world better is it?
I’m not entirely sure what it is about though.
I think I’ve given up thinking, and trying. I might try just doing obedience. I’ve read some interesting things in Ascending the Heights, a layman’s guide to The Ladder of Divine Ascent. There might be something in there about obedience. I’ll have to hunt it out to share some with you.

In the mean time I’ll go back to eating toast with hommus, avocado and lemon juice.

Also, please pray for healing for a friend Tom. He is booked for major, major, major surgery tomorrow.

Chilli sin carne

Chilli without meat, as opposed to Chilli con carne – chilli with meat.

1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can full of water
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 chopped onion
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbs chilli powder
1/2 tbs dried oregano
1/2 tbs cumin powder
1/2 tbs cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 grated carrot
1 grated zucchini
A handful chopped walnuts

Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to the boil.
When boiling allow to simmer for an hour or more.
Serve with rice, corn chips, fresh tomato, avocado and cucumber.