I like the “between time”; in between Christmas and the New Year. I regularly work this period and, somehow, it gives me a chance to reflect. It is as if the pace of work slows down a bit. There is still work to be done but there also seems to be time to breathe.
With the rush and pressure of Christmas over, there is, dare I say it, a sense of relief around. And because of that breathing space there are new opportunities.
And so I had just walked into the brisk air outside the main entrance, heading for somewhere else, when I rushed past an elderly lady shuffling in on her own. “Just keep going” said one voice. “See if she wants help!” said the other. I asked if she needed an arm to assist her, and she did. “Who are you? The arm assistant,” she asked. I assured her that “arm assisting” was what I did best but that I was also the Chaplain of the Hospital.
Her appointment was down the longest corridor of the hospital and, as we ever so slowly made progress, she told me about herself. She told of her diagnoses of Parkinson’s Disease and macular degeneration. She mentioned her family and their care for her. She spoke about deciding that now was the time to give up her home and transfer to sheltered accommodation.
And I thought what a courageous, inspiring and determined lady she was.
Having reached our destination, helped her book in, and made sure she was OK to get back home, I said my goodbyes.
I know it’s not a huge thing but it lingers with me now. And I’m so glad I listened to the one voice and not the other. Maybe that is what the breathing space of the “between time” offers to us.
By the time you read this, that time will have come and gone. Welcome to 2017! Happy New Year! New hopes, plans, dreams, possibilities. And so it all kicks off again.
But maybe, once in a while, we should allow ourselves to drift into that breathing space again; we never know what we might discover.