Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Why do I get so stressed?

Today is my day off. We got up early to be at a farm by 9 a.m. to pick up six hens as replacements in our henhouse. We prepared boxes for transport and carefully worked out other needs like appropriate feed, sawdust for the floor etc., wrote out our "to do" list and set out on our expedition. Went to the farm first and picked up the hens stuffing them in two boxes in the car. With them on board we went to the refuse tip where they sell bags of sawdust. The shop didn't open till 9:30 so we drove to a cafe for coffee. There I received a phone call and texts from someone in a chaplaincy wanting to see me. I arranged to see them in an hour. We picked up the sawdust, then bought mash and parked at the church while I saw the person wanting attention. Thankfully the hens seemed settled in their boxes. After due discussion we proceeded home. We cleaned up the henhouse a little more, spread the sawdust and loaded the feeder. We then introduced the new hens to their home. They seemed suitably impressed as we retired for some well earned lunch. It was quite a busy morning for a day off.

The thing I want to reflect on is that coffee shop missed call, the texting session and final meeting. Right from the first missed call I could feel stress rising. What does someone need? Can I deliver? What if I muck up? I then met the person and it turns out there is a relative dying in the hospice, would I take a funeral service and would I go meet the patient? It later transpired there is some urgency in meeting the hospice patient so I have agreed to do so tomorrow. Just now I have this black cloud hanging over my head. There is all sorts of uncertainty. Can I do a good job? The person has recommended me because he likes my approach, but can I deliver? Will I put my foot in it? I will be stressed about it till it is all over. Why? My supervisor asks that question. "Have you ever mucked up before? Why the fear of failure?" The person who rang me is confident I am the man for the job. I wish I shared his confidence. Tomorrow I have to fit in this scary visit. Think of me.... The funny thing is that once there and I begin to connect with the patient I will probably forget myself and be OK. There is a deeper life then flowing. But just now a black cloud.

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