Learning to be Lonely
This may come as a shock to you but I, Jessica Bullett, am an extrovert...
I know this for 2 reasons:
1) It is very obvious
2) I did a test (which you can find here and it will take up at least 15 minutes of your time! )
The term extrovert is defined:
[ ek-struh-vurt, -stroh- ]
an outgoing, gregarious person.
Others define it as someone who gains their energy from being with others, compared to an introvert who gains energy from having time alone or to themselves.
I’m not good at being alone, some of you may have noticed this. Perhaps on a Wednesday afternoon when I’ve been in the office on my own all morning I might pop my head out and have a natter to folks at Wednesday Welcome, or I might have a pre-emptive chat to people at arts and craft, knowing I might spend the rest of my day alone.
I love being with people. It gives me energy and breaths life in to me. Which is why (most of the time!!) I love my job. I love working with toddlers, and carers, and kids church kids, and messy families, and parents and all the people who help with my work and the rest of the congregation! I love it.
So being stuck in, having had to cancel all of my events, knowing that I wont be in the hustle and bustle of a Sunday morning service at Grangewood again for some time. Well… like many of you, it has filled me with great sadness, and some dread.
As you probably know Michael is a social worker, which is one of the jobs classed under the ‘key worker’ status. Which means he’s at work still. Some days he works from one of our upstairs bedrooms, but he still has to go into the office for duty days, and although they are limited, he still goes out on visits, and is still working really hard. So this means Monday to Friday 9-5 I am… alone.
I’ve been filling my time with lots of different things, some of you will have seen. Putting this blog up and new posts each day from people who send them, coordinating and putting together the weekly service (which is equally fun and stressful!) delivering service sheets and notices to people at Grangewood who aren’t online, and doing shopping for a few different people. Keeping up with our church families via phone and sending out videos of myself reading bed time stories!
Each week we’re virtually meeting up with the kids from kids church, which has been great fun.
These are some of the work things I’ve been doing. I’ve also been doing yoga most days, running, making hummus, growing herbs, filming myself for my friends documentary, listening to podcasts, watching Netflix for hours and hours and fortunately hanging out with Michael in the evenings.
How are there suddenly so many hours in the day?
So have I learnt to be lonely? I’ve certainly am getting a lot of practise!
I’ve been trying, over the last two weeks of lockdown to keep it at arms length, some days I’ve succeeded and others my anxiety overtakes me and sadness seeps in and they leave me struggling to do much at all. Which is probably not a side of me that many of you have seen. I don’t think I’ve got much better at being lonely, I’m not sure I ever will, but perhaps this will and is teaching me somethings...
I try to remember that, however lonely we feel - we are not alone. We are connected. Connected through our humanness, through our ability to carry on, to keep on keeping on. We are connected through our loneliness and connected through our hope. And most of all we’re connected through our great God who loves, guides, comforts and strengthens us.
There will be good days, and there will be not so good days. Some days we’ll be like the Psalmist, crying out into the wilderness, and others we will rejoice in God’s goodness.
Whether we’re high or whether we’re low, we’re together, (apart).
So keep messaging, and calling, and zooming and sending things for the blog, and doing whatever it takes to keep us connected. I miss you all and can’t wait until we’re together again!