At the risk of being repetitive, how many times have we heard that you cannot pour from an empty cup?
Every time you open a newspaper there is an image of someone bereft of the strength to continue, blank eyed and exhausted.
We all know that we must eat well, sleep and exercise to maintain our bodies and protect our minds but how often do we forget to do these essential jobs because we are busy or because we are overwhelmed?
I am incredibly lucky to live in the countryside with space around me, good neighbours and friends, my family and my animals.
In the last year I have been able to balance my work so that I have two regular Doula clients who I see every week and an after-school club that I run which keeps me in touch with the village and the community in which I live.
I am able to work in the natural burial field as well as at the local crematoria and we are well served with excellent local funeral services. Small companies with dedicated and professional staff who have worked so hard through the last year to look after the community they serve.
By the end of next month I will have been able to complete the weddings that I had had booked for last year as well as a few extra ones that have found their way to me.
I know that I could do more, but I enjoy what I do and I do it to the best of my ability – there is always time for a chat and the workload is achievable.
Just recently I helped a couple who had been let down by another celebrant. It was a sadness to me that someone who had the privilege to be part of a very special occasion should be so dismissive and careless in their role.
I love what I do, I invest heavily in time and energy and support and enthusiasm for all the interactions that come my way. I firmly believe that you reap as you sow … and what may start out as a small job will often develop into a relationship that is really rewarding and fulfilling.
What you might do
I am interested in what other people do to find contentment. I love to read, to cook, to walk with my dogs and to make things.
There are some very talented makers who will show you how to weave, throw, paint or carve.
One of my wonderful wedding couples are very talented makers. Nick draws the most intricate pictures of lichen and nature in microscopic intensity, he also makes beautiful longbows and basketry. Mollie weaves with willow and other reeds and canes. She has recently learned to make the most beautiful coffins. They are true artists and generous with their talents and skill.
I have treated myself to a jewellery making course this autumn. I have spent time with Olivia before and she has worked with a number of my couples in crafting their wedding rings. This time it will be my time to make and to enjoy learning from her.
What ever it is that you are able to do to give yourself a break is invaluable. You will be rewarded with well-being and you will be able to give yourself to your tasks more fully and with greater effect.
There is beauty in shared experience and being with others. Truly my life as a celebrant and doula affords me a work-life balance that brings me joy.