Home / Blog Posts / Fatigue and the Black Dog / Diary of a Chronically Exhausted Vicar. Episode 8

In which I travel to the Northern Hemisphere.

Diary of a chronically exhausted vicar image

All the things had me exhausted last week, so that Friday all I could do was rest, checking emails because I had handed over some projects to others in our church leadership teams to work on in my absence.

I was so tired, and nervous about how much more tired all the travel would make me, that I felt quite strongly that I did not want to go. Although I was venturing north in order to attend my graduation ceremony, in order to see friends, in order to participate in the gathering of biblical storytellers that so deeply nourishes me.

Steely, gritty, determination, or perhaps resignation, got me through the final preparations on Saturday morning, and to the airport and onto the plane. I slipped into the familiar ‘traveller zone’ that is a mark of my privileged experience of much international travel. At Hong Kong airport, I walked the length of one wing of gates, stretching my legs and back, and opening my lungs. At Zurich airport, I was so tired I felt ill and dizzy, so I booked myself a room with a bed, had a shower, and slept for hours. That is one of the better decisions I have made this year. I felt much restored.

As the plane turned up over the Firth of Forth, and across the two passengers beside me I saw the water, then the volcano that had been my constant companion for three years, there it was at last: the joy of being back.

I was met by my dear friend Lou at the airport, and it felt at once as though I had been away for eight months, and never left at all.

Today I walked into town, to Old College to check in for graduation tomorrow, over to my old digs on the Pleasance, and through the Old Town in which I lived and walked and delighted for three years. I sit now in one of the cafes I frequented most, next to my college, looking out over the New Town towards the water, and the kingdom of Fife, and I feel as though I am home.

The walking has tested my feet, they’re a bit raw. My legs are feeling their muscles working more than they have in a while. But so far, I don’t feel exhausted, or as thought the walking is stretching my energy levels. Quite the contrary. Being careful to rest – I stopped for a bit in the gardens, and at Spoon to book for a dinner on Friday, and now here – is no doubt wise. The sun is out, and the joy of being here is providing enough energy to carry me for now.

I still have some concerns about the natural exhaustion that follows with travel, and whether this will set back my recovery from glandular fever. But I think I am managing to put the concerns aside and trust that I have a helpful approach with the resting and gentleness – so I can enjoy being here, and spending time with friends without the worry getting in the way.

So, to finish lunch, then go find one of said friends for a long overdue catch up.