Today has been one of those reflective days when I really do feel truly thankful for who I am and what I have. Feeling so content has been a very rare occurance in my life but still, this is just about the norm for me now.
Just recently, I had the difficult task of telling my team that I would be retiring from the Sandbag Times in 12 months time. I felt it necessary to do this to give them all the chance to consider the future of the magazine and to pick a new successor as I fully intend for the work to continue… Just not with me. My decision to do this has not come from a negative angle but from the fact that I have achieved what I set out to do and I am now content. Time for a welcome change of pace to life.
One of the team sent me a very kind but thought provoking email saying simply “It won’t be the same without you”. I was touched at the sentiment but it made me think about what would happen once I put my pen away. But looking back on the team that has developed the mag with me, my reaction was “No it won’t be the same. It’ll be better”. It will continue because of those still there dedicated to supporting our veterans. I was just the stone on which the church was built, I certainly felt like the stone that the builders had rejected, yet from that a whole community was born.
When I started the mag, I was in a very bad place. I was angry, confused, felt alone and betrayed but despite how I felt I never really was alone because, without knowing it, I was being watched over because there was a purpose to all of this. The reason has become very clear to me now, I was being prepared and shaped to become the cornerstone of the veterans support services that we all constructed. I cannot or wont take credit for these things because it is a team result, I was just one small part of that team.
But the true message is no matter how broken you are or how inferior you feel to the rest of society, you are the one that can be the capstone. It has been written so many times, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick’. ‘He who is first shall be last…’ and ‘The meek shall inherit the earth’ the list goes on. The fact is if you are humble and selfless, you will find a path but the rich and greedy have already had their reward. Ok, I’m getting a bit philisophical and spiritual but I keep seeing it.
Going back to the stone, if you are perfect, you cannot be shaped to fit. If you are rich and have everything, what more is there for you to gain? If you know everything, what more is there to learn? I still have so much to learn and so much to do and I now want to continue my path in the direction which I feel I need to walk. This is where my contentment comes from.
It’s funny, so many people have asked why I don’t make money at what I do. Money could never have given me the satisfaction I have in the knowledge that so many have been helped and so many good achievements have been made. I know I can now leave knowing I got it right. The Sandbag Times and TAC are wonderful places and will go on to achieve many more great things but I was never the boss or the be all and end all of the Sandbag Times or the Tommy Atkins Centre. I was merely the mis-shapen rock on which you all built this church.