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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Saturday, October 19, 2002
    Anne and Anxiety
    On a midnight drive home from Robert & Joan's 25th Anniversary meal I put on one of the new Greenbelt 2002 seminar tapes which arrived this week - Anxious about many things? in which Ann Morisy and Phil Stone chatted through how we deal with anxiety, particularly in the church context.

    Ann said she reckoned we spend much of our lives organising ourselves against anxiety. I'm not convinced by that because I think anxiety can creep up on you unnoticed and only get dealt with after the explosion or breakdown, whatever. Or once you realise you're listening to psychobabble tapes in the car after an evening's pleasant wining and dining.

    But I agree with much of what she says - we spend much of our lives with anxiety. Clergy certainly do, but thankfully in our Toxteth and Wavertree get-togethers it's sometimes acknowledged; which cuts down on competitive talk ("my church is bigger than your church" kinda stuff) and allows for a bit of light relief along the way. Ann (being a Bootle lass, she would) also said that laughter is the proven antidote to anxiety, which justifies my intention to take time over the next 24 hours to catch up on this week's tv comedies.

    I can see how it may work - Coupling: deconstructs the intensity in relationships; The Office: enables a sideways look at working life, rather like the equally excellent Dilbert and all those other nine-to-five strips; and Peter Kay and The League of Gentlemen: they offer brilliant snapshots of the glorious silliness and incongruities in everyday people. Self included. So it's rewind ... relief.