Monday, October 17, 2005

Announcing Princess Morag, the Grown-up graduate!

During the summer, I received correspondance regarding a graduation ceremony for those of us known as "The Grad Dips". Mercifully, we had all previously undergone the process in other subjects so were not exactly waiting with baited breath for it to be further confirmed that we are now Occupational Therapists, especially since most of us already have two certificates and job descriptions to prove so. The Occupational Therapy department at S. Martin's College, Lancaster were simply demonstrating their usual level of competence when they requested the honour of my presence in September to rather belatedly receive my college badge!

I had in fact been looking forward to some sort of an excuse to return to Lancaster. Although I spent virtually the same amount of time away from Lancaster on placement as I did residing there, I still regarded the town as my home for the two years it took me to complete my course. I had appreciated and enjoyed the fellowship I found at St Tees (St Thomas's Church of England): being a part of the student lunch gang, the friendship and support I found in my housegroup, the fabulous hospitality of my student link family which extended to providing me with a home for the last month of my course and the prayer and counselling support a wise woman of the pastoral support team provided. All of which kept my otherwise stressful and constantly changing lifestyle stable.

Going back to Lancaster was a reflective experience; all the things that I had spent my time waiting for while I was there have now happened: I managed to complete all my assignments adequately, and on time! I am now safely married, permanently reunited with my beloved therefore no longer pining after my 'phantom fiance' who nobody had met! That was one of the things that was great about going back because I was able to take Ryan with me and introduce him to my course mates and my church friends.

My course mates awarded me the prize of 'most successful long distance relationship' at our end of course party and having now received my college badge, I would still say I am more proud of the former rather than the latter. It was said in the graduation opening address that completing the demands of such an intensive course was an achievement, but to know that I did so while under additional personal stress makes me wonder how I managed. Of course I know the answer to that, it lies in the church support that I mentioned above and other friends that I was able to call on in moments of strife and distress and the faithfulness and love of the friend I have in Jesus.

Now that I am living my grown-up life as a wife and worker, I am thankful for the Lancaster time, the time that allowed me to discover who 'Morag' was. For while I was there, that's who I was, simply Morag; for once I was not someone's sister or daughter or girlfriend or academic mother, just ME. And I discovered that it was OK to be me, and that some of the things I believed about myself were not necessarily true but that quite a lot of people and God seemed to love me despite my making mistakes and getting mixed up about stuff.

God did some painful, difficult and amazing work in me while I was a student in Lancaster for which I'm grateful. I met some great people both there and in Carlisle, Hull and Glasgow where I spent time on placement and somehow along the way I managed to do some growing up. Not that I intend to ever fully grow up but the loss of student card and young person's rail card and the acqusitions of a car, job, husband and very soon a mortgage might indicate that 2005 has heralded Princess Morag - the adult.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Addressing the stress

Princess Morag has found her reign in this region somewhat stressful. After longing for the elevated title of 'Occupational Therapist' and wifely status, both work and home have required a period of adjustment. Having to devote 37 1/2 hours per week to the care and encouragement of fragile, troubled and lethargic souls does drain one. Previously full-time occupation was only ever of a temporary nature before taking sanctuary once again in the protected world of academia. Likewise, time spent with Sir Rianus tended to be taken within the context of vacation, and in the sunnier climes of California! Although a blessing to be married and not desiring to be parted, tension does seem to appear when sharing space, especially in how to keep that space from being taken over by piles of clutter!
Not only does work and the inevitable compromises of marriages affect Princess Morag but she seems to have a knack of allowing the everyday hassles to accumulate adding to the strain of appearing to cope. Perhaps it is not surprising that cracks would appear in the act of appearing 'normal'. Unfortunately when the cracks appeared, they were soon followed by gushes of water, a flood was avoided but there were definite puddles!
Sir Rianus managed to contain the occasional leaks with hugs and jokes but when yet another dam threatened to burst its banks he wisely advised to patch it up using the power of prayer! What good advice thought Princess Morag, who had previously thought of this solution but somehow never managed to put it into practice. However at this moment she knew exactly what to do. You see, she had voiced some of her worried to Sir Rianus in a long spiel of complaint but they still floated about and returned to annoy her, the way to get rid of them was to pin them to paper.

So out came the childrens drawing paper (it's large and therefore more able to catch God's attention) and the crayons (when you know you are a child of God, you might aswell act like one!) and onto the paper went the artistic representations of all that Princess Morag had allowed to overwhelm her. Sir Rianus helpfully contributed to the prayerwork but it was an offering that Princess Morag gave to Jesus with sorrow for not sharing with him her woes sooner.
So this entry goes out with a warning and encouragement. Don't let your worries build into a stress mess, the inevitable outburst is embarrassing and painful. Do share your concerns with the Lord Jesus, he is our Friend and promises to give us peace. Not a new lesson but it seems one that I require to learn again and again.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Mystery of the Missing Kettle Tipper

One day Morag was taking a patient back to his house for a visit. There was a piece of equipment the man needed that would help making cups of tea easier. It is called a kettle tipper (because it tips the kettle), kettles can be very heavy to lift you know. The kettle tipper was supposed to be ready and waiting for the visit to the man's house, but it mysteriously disappeared.....
Thankfully the mysteriously disappearing kettle tipper was not the only one in the world and another kettle tipper was obtained in time (hooray!) At the man's house Morag had to utilise her problem solving skills in order to marry the kettle to its tipping apparatus - easier said than done and the instructions were awfully useful, as was the man who got to grips with the whole concept much faster than Morag! After cups of tea and coffee and a chat, Morag and the man returned to the hospital leaving the kettle tipper that had not mysteriously disappeared to fulfil its destiny.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Princess Morag falls ill!

On Wednesday, Princess Morag was rushed to the doctor from work by the wonderful Anna, who waited with her until the end of the ordeal i.e. collecting the antibiotics from the pharmacy! On her return home, Sir Rianus greeted her with a concerned embrace and sought to make her more comfortable providing the sustenance of food and drink. Princess Morag spent the evening and the following day languishing on the sofa in front of the television which offered little entertainment, but some escapism. Returing to work the next day seemed like a good idea until feelings of wobbliness arose again, so it was back to the sofa for Princess Morag!

Unfortunately, the weather today is not aiding Princess Morag's recovery as it is terribly humid, however the frolics of the Linlithgow Gala Day gave her some cheer. Although frustrated at the limitations of body, Princess Morag is rediscovering her long enjoyed past-time of daydreaming that helps to while away the hours. When she fully recovers she shall report more of her antics.