Over the past year I’ve been learning how to be a family mediator. Today is my first day back at my training placement since the move; so a new journey to work.
At 8 a.m. I was at Heckington station with the sun rising over the fens as I watched for the little train to arrive from Skegness, an hour away on the east coast. Now I’m writing this over a coffee at Grantham, waiting for a much posher train (East Coast Line, fast and pricey) to Doncaster.
I woke this morning feeling anxious. It’s an age since I did any mediating, or anything like work at all. But I opened my book on the train, looked down the index for something interesting to read (feelings, communication, questions, conflict…) and felt excited and pleased about sitting down to work with some real people again. It can be hard seeing how tough life and relationships are for so many of us, especially as times get harder; but still I get a buzz from encounters with people, seeing if, with a little help, they can work out something better for themselves and their children.
I love being on my own, out on my bike or walking, with empty fields stretching all around me and not a soul in sight. And since the move, this uplifting solitude is so near at hand, so everyday, so easy; not a struggle as it was in crowded Manchester. But other people are the stuff of life and I wouldn’t be without them all the time.
What’s the difference between solitude and isolation? Musing about this on the train; much more to explore another day.