Having seen world's best spir dir yesterday (had a session booked to discuss something else entirely, but dealing with the other stuff was clearly the order of the day), received many and much appreciated hugs from far and wide and enjoyed a lovely snuggly evening with the Dufflepud watching "The History Boys" I'm happy to report that the world is beginning to turn on its axis at a more normal rate, and without those uncomfortable jolts that one finds so disconcerting...
So, today is mostly a day off. I have a birthday lunch for a parishioner, and a Lent talk to attend tonight, but basically I'm hoping to pootle, take the dogs for a good long walk and enjoy my son's company. I'm also hoping to reconnect with Lent...maybe actually open that book I was going to read...investigate where I ought to be with LLLL...that sort of thing.
Looking ahead, I'm trying to work out a sensible pattern of reading days and retreat time (realised last week that, extrovert though I may seem to be, I'm extrovert on my terms and sooo badly need space and silence periodically) that I can put in the diary before I even start, together with holidays. I'm going to have to go ahead and book some slots that may not work for the family, as experience here suggests that otherwise I'll never manage to take my full allowance...I need to remember that Polyphony, the narrowboat, is part of our lives perhaps above all to ensure that I can and do take time out...and that waiting until I know I need it isn't the best way to proceed). My official letter with "Terms of appointment" arrived recently and reminds me that I am supposed to take 41 days of annual leave, at least 3 of which must be Sundays (The letter goes on to suggest that 5 Sundays would be ideal, though I can see that the negotiation of Sunday cover may be so tricky as to make that feel unwelcome rather than relaxing - but it's something to bear in mind). As a curate, there's been lee-way for last-minute holiday decisions which just won't exist once I'm priest-in-charge, even though I'm not planning a life of solitary heroism!
I'm spending Friday afternoon with my new colleague, a guy I trained with, whose approach to ministry should, I believe, complement my own happily. He has a very demanding full time secular job, so there will need to be lots of negotiation around our new relationship as colleagues, and the challenge of his handing over to me a share of the cure of souls he has held while the parishes had no vicar, as I learn what it is to be the one responsible for holding those communities under God. That feels both good and scary...but definitely not cause for panic. All shall be well.