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nettles 750pb
Grasping the nettles of change

Robert Ashton has decided that this will be the year for pushing ahead with changes in his life.

It strikes me that one thing people do really well, is put off making difficult decisions. A good example is the Broadland Northway, better known as the Northern Distributor Road. Why, when plans were made to build what is effectively a Norwich northern by-pass, was the final 3.8 miles not factored in? By putting off until later the controversial final stretch of road, and building the rest, the options for completing the road were dramatically reduced. No wonder people are angry and protesting.

Similarly many places of worship soldier on, despite falling attendances and rising costs. We read in the EDP about long interregnums and churches where people have worshipped for centuries, facing closure. But populations shift, attitudes change and right now, many people are more focused on meeting the cost of keeping warm than they are on developing their spiritual lives.
I’ve decided to make 2022 a year of action, letting go of things I know deep down are no longer for me and taking positive steps to create the future I want to see. For example my wife and I have each had a car for almost all of the last 40 years. We both worked and so needed the flexibility, but now we are no longer travelling to work, but both working from home, me writing books and my wife making jewellery.
Last week we sold one of our cars and now manage perfectly well with one. We’ve also started disposing of the clutter we’ve accumulated over the years, ahead of downsizing to a smaller home next year. Our children have long left, and both have homes of their own. It’s tough letting go of familiar ways and things, but it’s also liberating as we prepare for the next chapter of our lives.
As we slowly emerge from almost two years of pandemic restrictions, it would be a mistake to try to return to familiar ways. We all need to take the once in a lifetime opportunity to create a better future and that means grasping nettles and letting go of what we have in reality outgrown. Change is inevitable, at home, at work and yes, at church too. Are we going to embrace the future, or get left behind?

The nettles image is courtesy of klimkin on pixabay.com

Robert Ashton 640CF

Robert Ashton is an author, social entrepreneur and Quaker.

Visit www.robertashton.co.uk

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