Solitude ..

I would not be being honest if I pretended it is all just fun and giggles.

November 19th, 2017

All of the things I have shared about my journey are pretty bubbly and crazy – that’s me and I hope you enjoy hearing about this journey.

I would not be being honest though if I pretended it is all fun and giggles. It is not. I woke up late this morning, distinctly depressed and down. Yesterday had been spent working late and not getting as much done on my research projects as I wanted to.

Solitude sounds SO enticing but it comes at a price. Weekends and evenings here are lonely, it really is cold outside and the phenomenon of cabin fever is quite real. As you can see in the photo, Bottomly got lots of cuddles this morning.

The history of Arctic and Antarctic exploration at the beginning of the 20th century is one of my passions, so this trip really is a dream come true. However, I know from my reading that being cooped up, far from home in a cold climate, was something the early explorers wrestled with.

Amundsen insisted that all his team went outside for a while as soon as they got up each morning, even if it was blowing a gale. I did that rather than sit here and feel sorry for myself. The room felt delightfully warm when I came back inside.

Sometimes, it is too easy on social media like Facebook to only post the bubbly stuff, the places we are going to, the food we just tried. To be truly part of a community that cares, we need to be honest and admit that it is not always easy, that loneliness or depression is a condition we all live with, all to different degrees. Just as I was writing this, my friend Jenni Magee  shared about the changes she is experiencing too. We share a common faith in Jesus, so the link she posted comforted me…. it felt like it came at the perfect time . Thank you, precious Jenni  <hug>.

We have to remember that all this, regardless of if it is your work and family challenges or your research, it is all a journey. It is not always meant to be smooth but we have a Father who loves us regardless of how many times we fall down or feel sorry for ourselves. We curse our weakness but He understands and calls us to keep going because in Him alone is the true perspective and grace from which to make sense of this.

No, distance does not matter either. I talked to Nic McClean for 42 minutes last night while he was in New Zealand. Thank you Nic <huge hugs>. You made a difference just by being there.

Being there… Think about how things have changed. In the US when I worked there in the 90’s, a call that long would have broken my budget. Now in 2017, we could have talked all night for few mere kronor <grin>. The only challenge is time; 9:30 am his time was 9:30 pm my time. Hey, what’s a few hours between friends? Later, I was answering emails for my supervisor Roopak at 3:00 am because I could.

Don’t get me wrong: I really do love this stuff.  I just have to keep working through it…

Author: Rockweather

I am a writer, musician, teacher, and researcher at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in Auckland, New Zealand.

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