Are you comfortably numb?

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

I have to admit it's getting better

Hello.

Thanks for everyone's concern over the last post. I am happy to tell you that things are indeed improving, but I have to do that quickly cos I'm already teetering on the brink of being late for work!

The main news is that my boss is changing my shifts as of next week to the ones I've asked for!! So I'll have Wednesday, Thursday AND Sunday off, as well as Saturday night. Oh fantastic.

Also I realise that even though I may feel my Gap year is not turning out quite as I planned, I definitely know God wanted me to take one. I was always certain I wasn't supposed to go to university this year. And I know God will grow me somehow in this year even if it is mainly through doing talks at Zig Zag, getting to know church people more and learning to cope with running a household - things which don't seem so exciting to those swanning off to Thailand etc! So I'm happy to wait and see what his purpose is in this. :)

So I am feeling better, despite being struck down with a cold right now!

Thank you for all your prayers

Bec xx

P.S. more people should comment on this!

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Long time no blog...

I know I haven't posted on here for ages and I suppose I've missed it. If the truth be told I haven't really been in the mood, partly because life is mad and partly because I've been a bit down recently.

My birthday was really good though, I was very tired on the day but managed to get in the mood for the evening, which was much fun, and involved much dancing and hilarity in the form of a caption competition with pictures of me from years gone by.

To be honest at the moment I am feeling low as I said. I feel overwhelmed by having to organise everything about living on our own. Because I'm working so many hours waitressing (although I am desperately trying to cut down... we're so understaffed at the moment they're not having it though) I don't really have enough time to do all the household stuff, and even when Tom does it I have to ask him, thus I feel the responsibility is all mine, although he is very helpful when asked. It's also very lonely like this. Especially after living in a house with 7 people in, when there's just two of you and one is often out, it feels like there's no one to offload onto. And I know there are loads of people I can call to talk, but I don't have time, because I'm so busy.

I also feel like I don't really know what I'm doing here. Although my training is good it's only one day a week and I'm beginning to think why am I taking a gap year at all? Especially when they don't even know if it's a good idea for me to actually start counselling when I finish the training. I know it will be a valuable experience and that I will mature with us living on our own yadda yadda, but I feel a bit lost. Especially as for the first time in my entire life I have next to no intellectual stimulation, which is very weird.

I just so want to cut down on my shifts but I can't!!!! If only my boss actually applied to job applications or advertised for staff!!!!

Also I feel quite distant from God recently, even when I'm praying or reading the Bible... I don't know why. Life just feels weird.

Well on that depressing note, I will leave you. Off for another split and kids' club. You know how it is...

Prayers would be appreciated.

Bec

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Goooooooooooooood morning!

Well yesterday I did go out and ended up buying lots of clothes! Oh it was fun! I rarely go shopping so a little bit of retail therapy is in order now and then. Went with Becky which was nice, hadn't seen her for a while. She's only just passed her driving test though and travelling with her is an experience which very much reminds me of me when I passed - scary! Haha.

Work was alright last night, muchos tips were made on the PDQ, which is good cos it means I can't spend them so quickly! Although unfortunately it looks like Tom is going to nick what I made in cash as he needs to borrow money for some posh lunch he's going to in London... I ask you. Unfortunately we have cashflow problems as the accounts we applied for haven't actually posted us our cards yet so we have to buy food and stuff with our own money (well, my own money. Tom doesn't seem to have any, like, ever). It's great.

Today is my favourite day in the week... (if you haven't worked out that's sarcasm you will have by the end of this paragraph). I do a split shift - I think I've already mentioned them before on here - and in the middle I do Zig-Zag. Joyous is one word to describe it. Disastrous is another, take your pick. However I do have fun with the little tikes so I can't complain. Quote from child: how many children do you have Bec? Me: how old do you think I am?! Child: 27? Me: hmmph.

I also need to do my homework for the course, I realise time is rapidly running out! Not to mention the HUGE pile of ironing behind me as we speak. If only we didn't need to sleep. Although I love sleeping, so that would just be silly.

Wow I've really rambled on about nothing in particular. Amazing!

C u all later!

Bec


Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Post-awakening thoughts

Oh what a glorious morning, O what a glorious day! (I apologise for the cheesy opening, but you gotta love musicals!)

Isn't it amazing waking up and thinking that you've been saved by God and don't have anything to fear? I think we should do it more often.

You know, it's so easy to take our salvation for granted. Often I think it's because we don't realise how sinful we are. I know I don't. I think one thing that has helped me is when you're praying, to say sorry for specific things. It makes you realise just a fraction how horrifically low your standards are compared to God's. And then you realise how high his standards are, and how amazing his love is because he sent his perfect Son to die for someone whose good deeds are like filthy rags to Him. But even though you realise this in your head sometimes I think we don't really feel like it's true. The command to rejoice always seems quite alien to us sometimes, don't you think? I mean Paul is talking about rejoicing because of what the Lord's done for us, not because of A level results or getting married or buying that new car - although I'm sure we should rejoice for some of those things too! A big challenge, really.

Anyway, I'm feeling a lot better today. Slept till 11 o clock this morning which is good, and feel very much rested. Considering whether to go out or just rest all day again, but I think I should get out of the flat, I'm feeling a bit claustrophobic. Working tonight though... hmm, decisions, decisions.

Right I'm going to go now, no doubt talk to you soon

Rebecca J. King

Monday, September 13, 2004

Testing

just trying something...

I'm so-o-o tired, I haven't slept a wink, I'm so-o-o I'm so tired... I think my mind is on the blink

Hello there.

Today I went to the first training session of the counselling course I'm doing - the first step to becoming a pregnancy crisis counsellor if you didn't know. The morning got off to a bad start as after I had dragged myself out of bed, gone through the dreary duty of washing and drying my hair (I don't know why men think we get pleasure out of spending ages doing our hair, it's actually incredibly boring), and left in PLENTY of time to allow for extra traffic because it was raining, I got stuck in massive traffic jams all the way to Crawley. There is something incredibly psychologically destructive about being in a traffic jam. Far more so if you're driving, as I am discovering. Sometimes I think I might actually drive into the back of the person in front of me just to feel like I'm going somewhere. I'm sure everyone else feels the same. The feeling of being in a machine that was created solely in order to increase the speed with which we can travel and yet not travelling more than a few metres in a minute is quite terrible. Reminds me of the graffiti on a bridge on the M1 somewhere that says "HIT THE NORTH. GET OUT AND WALK, IT'S FASTER".

We seem to get separated into 3 groups of people in a traffic jam. First of all you have those who do what seems to make you feel better about the situation: accelerating as fast as possible whenever the cars start to move, only to have to slam on the brakes two seconds later as they discover that actually the jam has only moved forward a distance of mere inches. It's quite disturbing having one of these behind you. However if you actually try this you'll find that far from making the situation seem better than it is, it just frustrates you even more. This is why I believe option (2) is the best. This is the one endorsed by those drivers you see in your rear-view mirror who are always a few metres behind you, rarely arriving close enough that you can see what the driver looks like, annoyingly (well, sources of amusement are thin on the ground when you are stuck in a queue involving several hundred tonnes of metal lined back to back on a piece of tarmac). One may think that these drivers are all over 80 and have not actually noticed that the car is front of them is moving, or maybe they just can't see through the steering wheel - most elderly drivers seem to peer through it as if it is just another big black plastic coated pair of glasses that will somehow magnify the road in front of them all the more. However, one would be wrong to assume this. These drivers are actually the cleverest - they realise that by leaving an enormous gap between the car in front and theirs, they can maintain constant movement, albeit at 2 miles an hour, thus creating the impression that they are not actually in a jam at all. The only disadvantage with this technique is the old "hmm am I going fast enough to go into second" dilemma, one which is frequently misjudged by myself, resulting in a "glug-glug-guh-lug-guh-guh-lug" noise, which is most unpleasant to the ear, and sends one's torso juddering backwards and forwards as your hard-done-by engine struggles like a pregnant American trying to run the Athens marathon kitted out in the contents of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill. And then of course option (3) is taken up by the drivers frequently referred to as "complete idiots" by Christians (out loud, that is) and less friendly names by most of the population. These are the ones who seem to think that the road is akin to one of those football or hockey training things with all the orange cones you have to dribble around. Of course in this case the orange cones are the other cars. If the inside lane starts moving at a pace of roughly 5 mph, these drivers will immediately start signalling and although 90% of the drivers on the road are incredibly anxious not to allow them to have even the smallest gap to move into, you will always get an option (2) driver somewhere along the line who unfortunately leaves a space for the complete idiot to move into. The process is repeated every time traffic starts moving, like a sort of crazy obstacle course, but about 100 times more dangerous. I always imagine that option (3) drivers are called Stu, or Gregg or Dave and are referred to as "cards" by their acquaintances.

Anyway. Despite quite ridiculous amounts of traffic on the road I managed to get there, and thankfully the trainers had also had to do battle with the infamous A23 and so despite being a quarter of an hour late I wasn't actually late, if you see what I mean. The actual session was good, mostly introductory, although we watched a video of a developing foetus, had a look at the biblical foundation for the sanctity of life and discussed some abortion statistics, which was sad. Coincidentally, I've recently been reading the book "Inconceivable" by Ben Elton about a couple that can't have children, and finished it this afternoon amidst many tears. It just brought home to me once more how incredibly strong and heart-acheingly painful the unfulfilled desire to have a child is for some people, and how stark the contrast is to an alone, scared girl considering abortion because her life has taken an extremely unexpected and seemingly horrific turn for the worse. How strange it is. It's also quite scary to think about childlessness and how it could happen to me - I mean, I have no idea how my life is going to pan out. Made me think how children really are an incredible gift of God. It's so weird how a baby can be seen so differently in varying contexts. If wanted, it is the most valuable and amazing miracle anyone can imagine. If not wanted, it is seen as an embarrassment, a tragic complication that should be got rid of with as little fuss or delay as possible. But to God the human life is invaluable no matter whether its creators willed its existence. How heartbreaking to think that a dream that childless couples agonise over, that eats their entire lives up because they feel they are only alive to fulfill that dream, for someone else is a nightmare from which they feel the only escape is to destroy the being inside of them, a being that is sought after and longed for and desperately wanted by so many others.

As is fairly obvious, my mind is quite active at the moment, although my body seems to think it only exists to go to sleep. I tried sleeping this afternoon but as per usual the idea of being unconscious in the daytime is as alien to my mind as the natural look is to Jordan.

This post is far too long so I'm going to nip it in the fully-petalled flower now. Will write more soon.

Bob Dylan is a genius...

Most of the time I'm clear focused all around,
Most of the time I can keep both feet on the ground,
I can follow the path, I can read the signs,
Stay right with it when the road unwinds,
I can handle whatever I stumble upon.
I don't even notice she's gone,
Most of the time.

Most of the time
It's well understood,
Most of the time I wouldn't change it if I could,
I can't make it all match up, I can hold my own,
I can deal with the situation right down to the bone,
I can survive, I can endure
And I don't even think about her
Most of the time.

Most of the time
My head is on straight,
Most of the time I'm strong enough not to hate.
I don't build up illusion 'til it makes me sick,
I ain't afraid of confusion no matter how thick.
I can smile in the face of mankind.
Don't even remember what her lips felt like on mine
Most of the time.

Most of the time
She ain't even in my mind,
I wouldn't know her if I saw her,
She's that far behind.
Most of the timeI can't even be sure
If she was ever with me
Or if I was with her.
Most of the time
I'm halfway content,
Most of the time
I know exactly where it went,
I don't cheat on myself,
I don't run and hide,
Hide from the feelings that are buried inside.
I don't compromise and I don't pretend,
I don't even care if I ever see her again
Most of the time.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Ramblings of a developing insomniac

Not sleeping well is bad. But not sleeping well when you are bone tired and have no reason not to sleep very well - well, that's just downright frustrating. Frustrating partly because your own being is miscommunicating. You would think that your muscles might have told your brain that you need to sleep now, you need rest, you need to stop being conscious and enter into the land of nod. But the brain appears to be utterly oblivious to this fact. Either that, or there is an ongoing feud between body and mind and it's flared up again. Body: "Oh just let me get some rest! I've been running around all day at your beck and call!" Mind: "I'd have left you years ago if it weren't for the central nervous system!" Body: "Oh, and then what would you do? Where would you go when you needed an intermediate neurone to tell you what was going on? Hmm?" Mind: "I'm not listening to you la la la la la la...I'm just going to lie here and think all night long, and you can't stop me, haha!" Honestly.

On an entirely different subject, one thing that's struck me in the last few days is this use of the phrase, 'I'm not being funny'. It definitely confuses me. I keep hearing it being used in a context in which the words, 'don't get annoyed with me even though I'm being rude and complaining about something, because I think I'm better than you' would fit more appropriately. For example, young customers at work (generally of the pseudo-pikey variety, you know the type, bloke with at least one ring, girl with 16 layers of foundation and lipgloss on with peroxide hair, fake tan and low cut top, probably wearing white shoes), keep saying it when they want to complain about stupid things. "I'm not being funny but I want a new drink/meal/Vauxhall Nova/mobile'". Perhaps Hitler said it to the Jews, "I'm not being funny, but I think your entire ethnic group is subhuman and should be exterminated." Or Thatcher with the miners: "I'm not being funny, but I'm just going to take away your collective voice and destroy your life as you know it, is that ok?" Well of course it's okay Maggie, you used the magic phrase! You see as long as you tell people beforehand that you're not being funny, they'll bite whatever bullet you fire in their direction. Apparently. You see otherwise they might have got the idea that you WERE being funny and all of a sudden got terribly upset, but as long as you tell them that you're not it's all okay! People now say it in personal contexts too, "I'm not being funny but I don't like you and think you have the personality of a maggot-turned-accountant". No, you're not being funny. If you were being funny you would be saying something comical and amusing, to make people laugh. I think it is perfectly obvious that by being a rude and arrogant person you're not being funny at all. Sometimes I feel like saying something along these lines but then I'D probably have to start my sentence with "I'm not being funny but" in order to communicate with them and then I'd be saying "I'm not being funny but of course you're not being funny", which would just sound stupid. And don't even get me started on "No offence but..." which of course is code for "Don't get annoyed with me, even though I'm now going to offend you".

Anyway. In proper news, my day yesterday was not so bad. I got through it all, even doing 2 sections at once on an extremely busy night (paid off in tips though, woohoo), until the end of the evening, when I was absolutely shattered and a table came in to order at just before 10. Anyway the woman ended up making me cry she was so rude! The first time a customer's ever made me cry. It is just remarkable how wide the spectrum is: some customers could not be lovelier and make you want to do the job forever, whereas others, like last night, make you want to carry out a combination of sobbing and hitting them, and make you want to jack the job in right there. However, for now the nice ones have the upper hand.

I've just thought of loads more things to write about but I think I'll stop there, don't want to sap the mind and all that.

See you soon

Bec x




Thursday, September 09, 2004

What would William Wallace say?

Well, I write on my second day of being co-home runner with Tom of the flat. Mum and Dad went off on Tuesday night, post-traditional meal of Burger King. I have to say driving home, getting home and waking up the next morning were some of the strangest experiences I've ever had. Despite planning and thinking through one moment for so long, we can never prepare ourselves for how the actual moment will feel. Knowing that we are now on our own, that if we sleep through our alarm there will be no one else to wake us up, that if we can't work out how to fix BT broadband there is no one else to try and fail, that if I burn something in the kitchen there is (probably, going on Tom's cooking experience) no one to empathise with me - this is a very weird feeling. However, it's also quite liberating knowing that if you go out till 3 am there is no one having a sleepless night at home, wondering if you've been raped and pillaged in Brighton by a gang of knife-brandishing 7 foot tall prison escapees. And I'll tell you what's really nice - having my own room! Yes, the moment has finally come.

I have a hideous day today. A joyous split shift awaits me, and in the middle of it I have to do kids' club from 4-5:30! So all in all I am going to go through roughly 12 hours of non-stop activity, most of it fairly physically wearing. If you have never been acquainted by the idea of a split shift, it probably means you have never worked in catering, but fear not! - I will tell you. What happens is you go into work from 12-3 (or 11 if you're REALLY in luck), so as to make the most of the lunchtime rush, of course. This normally involves little to no tips, if you are a waitress. This has always been one of the things that has puzzled me. It's as if people think that, because it's lunchtime, it doesn't really count as a meal out, and waitresses don't really count as waitresses. I mean, do they think that the waiting staff spend their lunchtimes there anyway and that bringing out a couple of plates of food and some drinks is just an aside, and therefore there's no need to pay them anything for their services? The other day I had a table of three who had starters, mains, and then coffees, with quite a few soft drinks as well - their bill came to over forty pounds but did I see a penny in my own pocket - no! In truth there is nothing less strenous about a busy lunchtime than a busy evening - in fact it's perhaps more so, because it's hotter, there's more of a rush all at once, and you know that people aren't going to tip you which makes your job seem like even more hard work.

Anyway, I digress. So after this palatable period of 3 hours of lunchtime mayhem, usually including a few whingy toddlers, deaf old people who can't understand a word you say and vice versa, and the occasional pervy and/or rude businessman indulging in a liquid lunch, you get to go home! Whoopee, you think! No 12-6 shift for me today! I get to go home, have a rest, put my feet up! However, your spirits plunge quicker than an Olympic synchronised diver as the cold realisation that you must return to your place of work no later than SIX PM seeps through your tired, sweaty body.

Now on the face of it this seems quite reasonable. Okay, you finish at 3, you go back at 6 - that's 3 hours in which to have a snooze, maybe meet up with a friend for a drink, perhaps even enjoy a quick game of cricket. But no. By the time you've walked home, made yourself a meal (because you won't have eaten yet) and cleared up after yourself it's nearly always 4. And the reality is that if you have to be back at work by 6 you have to start getting ready at about 5:20. So that leaves you a gap of 1 hour and 20 minutes in which to... well, let's face it, we normally end up lying in front of the telly.

Work will probably be worse than this today as well. "Not worse!" I hear you cry, "How could anything possibly be worse than that? Forget human rights in the Sudan or collectivisation in Russia! Split shifts make those look like a walk in the park!" Well, tsk tsk my dear reader, I feel you are perhaps overexaggerating a little; I would ask you to calm yourself. However, the calamity that has befallen us is this: my boss has 'done his back in' - apparently the technical term is that he has 'crushed vertabrae'. This happens from time to time, but this is the worse I've seen him. He even has bloodshot eyes (read that how you will). So anyway, I go into work last night and am informed that I should help on the bar as well as run my section, which is fine by me cos my section was quiet and I like bar work occasionally. But what really gets me is this: I ask, 'what's the doctor given you for it?' and he says, 'a week off work'. And then he shakes his head in a very solemn fashion and says 'there's no way I can have a week off. No way'. You know how people do that overly serious thing, with the little sarcastic snigger in their voice, to try and make you think they're proclaiming the 3rd world war, or the coronation of Prince Charles, or Daniella Westbrook being made a Lady or something? And I must say this phenomenon of my boss not being able to take a week off does quite baffle me. I mean, what does taking a week OFF from smoking and drinking entail, really? My boss is the only person I know who quite literally has given up cigarettes and then started smoking Hamlets at the same rate. He's very good at starting shifts. Starts them brilliantly. Serves people at the bar, does food order, might even run a couple of meals out. But the problem is that after roughly 42 minutes (maybe an hour if we're lucky) his body just seems to cry out in pure physical pain (or maybe it's an allergic reaction, I don't know), at the thought of carrying on! So sadly, he is forced to drop out of the race, to 'do a Paula', if I may use that expression, and retreat to the smoking area where his talents are much more at home. I will say that in the workplace he does have several skills which he uses extensively. Most of these are to be found in the drinking and smoking bracket it is true, but still he must be commended for them. The most amazing thing is he actually thinks he works harder than almost anyone else. It's quite astounding, his self belief.

Anyway enough of me whinging. I haven't written here for ages and obviously the creative potential is just pouring out of my pores, so to speak - or is that something to do with the fact that I haven't had a shower yet. Anyway, must go. Despite my seemingly negative tone I am in a good mood!

I will write more soon, even though no one reads this!

Bec x