“No public business of any kind could possibly be done at any time without the acquiescence of the Circumlocution Office. Its finger was in the largest public pie, and in the smallest public tart.”
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
I stood on a rock shelf at Black Rocks staring out at the breakers, Hubby beside me. We could taste the salt on our faces. Every 6-wave set rolled eagerly towards us. The sound was terrific. But as each wave came within a few metres of the rock we were standing on, it met a retreating wave and lost some of its power. Defeated, it poured out onto the rock at our feet, not quite reaching our toes. So much energy to start with. Such anticipation. So much promise.
That’s what life feels like at the moment.
Already. Not yet.
At work we have some promising deals on the go, but they are all dragging their feet. Some have dragged their proverbial feet for years!
“We’re waiting for board approval.”
“The money will be allocated as soon as the survey is done.”
“I’m chasing up visas for the inspectors to visit the vessel in China.”
“Project manager is thinking of going with a different solution.”
“Budget is tight.”
“Waiting for green-light.”
“We’ll come back to you when tender is announced.”
“Can you push the client please?”
Everything is … already … but not yet.
Deals just won’t go over the line.
It’s extremely frustrating and tiring.
Business is difficult, make no mistake. Especially when a certain Mr Johnson makes crazy decisions that keep the UK in uncertainty and Mr Trump messes around with world markets (on Twitter). Not that I blame them entirely. Business is just difficult and we do business on our knees.
As Hubby takes a few days of much needed R&R visiting a friend in the far south of Russia (horse riding, fishing, quad-biking and braaing-or-whatever-they-call-it-in-Russia), I’m reminded of verses, one of which I’ve gone to so many times in my life that my little Gideon’s Bible (I got in Primary School) is finger-stained and dog-eared on that spot.
“Do not be anxious about anything.” Phil 4:6
“For who by worrying can add a single year to (her) life.” Luke 12:25
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.” Luke 12:22
FYI, these words have some incredible wisdom when you read and mull over them in their context.
They’ve given me peace beyond understanding. They’ve helped me let go of worries that I’ve taken on, about situations over which I had no control. In some cases they were not even mine to worry about. But I worried anyway. They’ve helped me take one big long deep breath. They’ve helped me.
But never fear. I’m not ramping up to a sermon here, peeps.
I just want to encourage you to take your eye and your mind OFF THAT THING, and onto whatever it is that gives you peace.
Find your ‘happy place’ … that walk through the forest, that run along the beach, a morning volunteering for your favourite charity, a holiday booking, an art class, theatre tickets, a duvet and a favourite film, a letter, a phone call, your garden, your daughter’s smile, your husband’s laugh, a cup of tea, a slice of cake, a book, a hug, a hot bath, an early night, a glass of wine with a friend. Whatever!
That worry does not deserve to be fostered!
And on that note, I hear the kettle boiling. And I still have some Phyl’s rusks – the best rusks in the world.
P.s. I love this quote from Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities: “Cramped in all kinds of dim cupboards and hutches at Tellson’s, the oldest of men carried on the business gravely. When they took a young man into Tellson’s London house, they hid him somewhere till he was old. They kept him in a dark place, like a cheese, until he had the full Tellson flavour and blue-mould upon him. Then only was he permitted to be seen, spectacularly poring over large books, and casting his breeches and gaiters into the general weight of the establishment.”
I do hope this is not a picture of Hubby and me after years of business – especially the ‘mouldy’, ‘like cheese’ part. And though having trainees in our business is a huge responsibility and takes all our energy, we don’t lock them in cupboards and hutches.
P.p.s Leaf by Niggle by J.R.R. Tolkien – read this little 64 page gem. I guarantee it will change your life. Or Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning on hope in the holocaust. O.M. Goodness!
P.p.p.s. If you’re a praying person please pray that we have some breakthrough with these difficult time-consuming deals and that our trainee brokers have some success to bolster them. If you’re not a praying person, drop me an encouraging comment.
P.p.p.p.s. In the meantime, I’m counting my many blessings and reverting to some tried and tested smile therapy. Try it. It works.