I have talked to colleagues about the kind of re-charge that’s necessary in the work we do. Our jobs, if we do them reasonably well, involve trying to actively listen to what people need, and then attempting to work within a system that seems bent of confounding this to accomplish that end. On a good day it all comes together in a kind of flow, but on a more usual day, well, it’s a good practise in letting go. Of expectation mostly, that all the factors will line up, that what we want is what our clients actually want and what is actually good to do. This sounds a bit esoteric but good case management, when you are meeting people where they are at, involves all of this. (And more.) I listened to a dear colleague the other day who essentially had to convey that there was nothing he could offer a fairly stressed family but he did it with such kindness and honesty that the family thanked him afterward. He took the time to listen and connect and sympathize with their worries about their loved one. I was really impressed as I listened to his voice through the wall separating our offices. Anyhow, the consequence of doing this kind of work means that a little down time is needed to stay healthy. My colleagues all describe how after hours, no one really wants to interact socially for some time. It’s easier for some than others. We don’t tend to spend lots of time on the phone after work, and the option of letting calls go to voice mail is a blessing! It can be a little off-putting for friends and family who aren’t required to be “on” all day long. Or who may wonder why, like Grant and I, we head into the woods in some form at any good opportunity.
Generous friends offer their rustic cabin and we head there periodically. In summer we walk, in winter one needs snowshoes to get in. No water, no power means just the basics. I love my amenities but it’s good to do a retreat sometimes.
This Buddha overlooks the valley seen from the cabin. This small figure sits unmoving through the seasons.
View of the privy.
Grant made the sled to carry our gear in, pretty handy actually in the fairly deep snow. Easier than packing a backpack. The chocolate may have weighed it down a bit but those are essential rations!