Unpalatable Truths

I had to move office yesterday. Long story but I’m in the same building, but on a different floor. The good news is that, after 21 years in the organisation, I finally have my own place. I’ve arrived, an overnight success, I’m the big chief with too cooks to stir the pot. Or something. And, yet, I feel weirdly deflated and adrift. Untethered, unsettled, and not quite sure what to do with myself when I sit down and stare out of my window and across the square at the gentleman drinkers.

Part of it is being used to the hustle and bustle of an open plan office which was rarely dull and never quiet. I used to moan that, at times, I couldn’t hear myself think over the constant ringing of phones and chatter of voices. But now that I finally have the silence I once craved I find myself struggling to fill the void. It’s eerie, unnerving, and frankly quite off-putting. I feel like I’ve been shunted to one side into a broom cupboard.

I do get the occasional visitor, but I sense that even this irregular footfall will cease once the novelty value of ‘going down to see Stephen on the ground floor’ has worn thin. I will be yesterday’s news and, once out of sight and out of mind, it will be a case of ‘Oh, I wonder what happened to him?’ as I toil away in the bowels of the building. I’ll be Fox Mulder, but with no Dana Scully to brighten up the endless days.

It’s not as if I’m twiddling my thumbs. I’ve never been busier with a mountain of tasks and responsibilities to tackle. New office also necessitated a new role which I’ve attacked with some relish. In many ways, it’s my dream post yet I found myself struggling yesterday to reach the required levels of motivation and concentration. I ended up leaving for home early, even though there were still 101 things to do. I just couldn’t bring myself to face them.

The pandemic has left many of us adrift, not quite sure as to where we are or where we’re going. We’re no longer as certain as we once were, for who knows what lies around the corner now? Some of us have discovered some hard, unpalatable truths during lockdown, others have found themselves stuck in the quagmire. Fears and doubts have been multiplied beyond comprehension and the world seems a much scarier place than before.

If it’s not COVID, then it’s climate change. Danger lurks everywhere and I entirely understand when some say they want to stay at home and never go outdoors again. At least when I work from home I feel safe and protected. I know my surroundings and am anchored by a loving family. I trust them more as I trust others less. Friends have fallen by the wayside and I’ve seen the true colours of so many. Unsightly colours. I haven’t liked what I’ve seen.

I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’ve sensed it in others, it bubbles just beneath the surface now. If you look at people closely enough you can watch them crumbling before your very eyes. They are voiceless as they limp through what used to be their vibrant, glistening lives. Nobody glistens anymore, or at least that’s how it feels these days. You have to concentrate very, very hard to find the humanity now, where once it flowed in abundance.

We are all dying, but some are dead already. They still walk amongst us, but they’ve given up. The last two years have sucked them dry, bled them until there is nothing left but bleached, brittle bones. I don’t want to be like them, I want to survive and overcome. Which is why I write, I cling to these words as I cling to my hope that there are better times ahead for all of us. If not, then I no longer know what to think awaits us.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

29 thoughts on “Unpalatable Truths

  1. Reminds me of my bestie growing up. The fourth of eight. A fanily of little means, the eldest child at home got the single bedroom. The rest all shared two huge dorm like bedrooms, segregated by gender. J craved that single room.

    Then the first night it was hers, crawled back to sleep with her little sisters, because she couldn’t hear them breathing. We often crave what we don’t really want.

    Hopefully your office will become your haven x

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I totally understand about not being sure of things anymore. We had to leave Texas to go north to be able to find work to make enough money to make ends meet. Now, with all going on at the border of Texas we aren’t sure we want to go back to Texas. For now, we will be riding out the winter here where we are. My husband, Cliff going to work at this job as long as possible so we can save some money and get things paid off. The future of our country is in the balance and it’s scary times here. It’s sad to walk into the stores to nothing but bare shelves. People are doing there best to replenish what they have used when they can find it. Price is soaring at an all-time high. People are scared, I hope they stand their ground before this country is past being able to be saved. I am all for world peace and helping others. However, things have to be done over time in moderation or it throughs the whole system out of alignment. I am right there with you about feeling secure at home. I used to want to go shopping now I don’t want to leave the house it’s depressing. We can only pray and do our part, the one I fear the most is the younger generation. I am glad you are writing again. I look forward to your words they are inspiring. I pray the best for you and everyone out there may you all be blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What keeps me grounded in hope is my church. I have never known a group of people so caring and willing to help one another, whether it’s meals after surgery, help moving, a ride to the airport, a last-minute babysitter, a place to live, or prayer. Especially prayer. They (we) share requests, pray for one another, then rejoice together when prayers are answered. When we’re gathered for worship, it’s like visiting heaven. My favorite time is when the instruments stop playing and several hundred voices sing the final verse a capella in 4-part Harmony. That’s when I get a glimpse of the love God has for us and the bright future for those who love Him, no matter what is happening today. These people “glisten.” I wish you could join us. Our lives aren’t perfect, but with Jesus we always have hope.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I am glad you have returned to your blog to let everyone know the dealings of everyday life. I am also overwhelmed by the past 2 years of this pandemic, and I just want to let you know that you inspire me, and I don’t feel alone in my struggles. I am now making sense of my life on my terms, prioritizing family time, time with my pets, and true friendships. I hope that you get to enjoy your new office eventually, and can look at your promotion as a blessing in disguise. New situations take time to adapt to, and to find a routine and comfort in it. I wish you the best, dear.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I feel the gloom too. I don’t watch/read/or listen to much news now. Congrats? on new office space! I understand those feelings of isolation. Maybe a radio can bring some noise and chaos to your space! 😁 I’m glad you are not bleached bones. I’m glad you are writing here again! 🙏🏻

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Totally understand what you’re saying! A year & 4 months has passed since I got what I once thought was my dream job… work from home, no more patient contact. But it has brought its own challenges like the loneliness you speak of. The lack of socializing is almost suffocating at times. Not that I don’t get out but I feel stifled.
    Yes, I write but after working 40 hours a week I’m too tired & don’t want to stare at another computer screen!
    Not writing is extremely agitating which decreases my sleep & makes me more irritated by everything.


  7. Hope. There is always hope, just sometimes we’re looking into the distance one way and God is shining from another direction.

    Thank you for your writing with the honesty that blossoms within your heart. I hope you settle into the new role and find a compromise between quiet to hear your thoughts and the joy of conversation and company of an open plan floor!


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