Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Stressed on my day off?

I have felt a bit stressed today. We have had a lot of rain lately but today was fine and my day off, so I should have been feeling relaxed. Here are the reasons why I feel stressed.

  1. Dunedin Night Shelter Trust. There are three things going on that have me stewing in my position of Chair of the Night Shelter Trust. First - We are trying to get Phoenix Lodge up and running as a place for transitional rented accommodation for men, particularly ex-prisoners. That has had a lot of teething problems and it seems the nature of the people we work with that there will always be issues. Today I had a Newspaper reporter trying to get information out of me, and I have been worried about what will be printed out of what I have said. Secondly - we have our Annual General meeting for the Trust coming up on December 6th. I have to make sure it is advertised, that I have a report printed by then and I have the program for the evening all sorted out. There is a lot of work to do in the next week or so. Thirdly - We as a Trust have decided to fundraise for $600000 to purchase the buildings we currently rent. We are starting the fundraising now. We are planning a special presentation on the 11th December for which I need to arrange a video, work out who should come, contact the people we want to involve and facilitate the committee getting all this off the ground. Again a lot of work needs to be done in the next couple of weeks, much of it is out of my comfort zone, and will be new learning for me. I keep telling myself that I was an important part of a Habitat for Humanity group which went from nothing to financing and building 13 houses, so I should be able to handle this. I guess it is just the unknown ahead of me that stresses me out.
  2. Our 24th Community Christmas Day dinner. The phone is ringing more and more frequently with people booking in for our Christmas Day dinner and caring agencies are ringing seeking information. Even today on my day off, I have fielded a number of calls. I know we will get it all done, but the next five weeks will be busy with extra work getting this all funded, planned and presented. So as well as the extra Night Shelter responsibilities, I have the normal busyness that has happened for the last 23 years each November/December. It will happen, people's generosity make it happen, I just have to organise and channel all that energy.
  3. Behind in my normal work... I am deeply aware that I am behind in some of my normal work. There are people in my congregation long overdue for a pastoral visit. There are similar people in my chaplaincies. There are administration issues I am behind in for both Church and chaplaincy. These weigh heavily on my mind. I think some times others think I am available at any time for meetings, conversations and other extra-curricular stuff. It is good that I can be a bit flexible, but I am employed by Church and chaplaincy to fulfill certain responsibilities and I need to catch up on some of this work.
  4. I have my enlarged prostate "bionic plumbing" problems. I am coping with having to wear this catheter and bag set up which requires time and extra thought to just do the normal things. It also occasionally brings with it times of discomfort.  I am doing OK and try to just get on with life as per normal as much as possible, but I know I have this annoying bit of equipment and the uncertain cloud of surgery and further diagnosis at some stage hanging over me. 
  5. Two sad events in Dunedin There have been two sad events in Dunedin. One was a cyclist hit and killed by a truck in town. I know the emergency workers who would have attended this accident and I am a cyclist who has had a few close shaves with trucks, so this has made me sad. The second was a woman attacked and given stab wounds by some unknown man in her house. Did I know this man? Given the people I mix with, perhaps he is one of "our" drop-in guys? I somehow feel a measure of responsibility. It was just blocks away from the Church. Was there anything we could have done to prevent this? These two events have made my heart feel "heavy" today.
I tried to repair an electric fly mower that we have. I pulled it apart, cleaned and adjusted it but there were still problems. It was disappointing not to get it going. While I have been doing such "day off" things the above four issues have been hanging around my mind not allowing me to relax. Phone calls have kept them alive.  I did enjoy my walk up my Mount Cargill to do some thinking on the week ahead.  There is nothing like physical exertion, expansive scenery and bush to bring a measure of renewal to the inner man. Tomorrow another working week starts for me. Wish me luck. 

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