Time to reflect

Published: 18th April 2019

Irrespective of one’s religious views or credo, each faith has its seasons. Easter is one of those signposts for reflection.

In western society, the days of sack cloth and ashes or self-flagellation are thankfully well behind us. But pauses in the working year, even if it’s only four days, can be valuable for not just recharging the batteries, but for useful introspection. Whether it’s our personal, family, business or sporting life, or our role in councils as an elected member or officer of a Queensland council, quiet reflection is no bad thing. Especially given we are now less than 12 months from the March 2020 council elections.

The pace of local government in 2019 has been extraordinary, and that is no exaggeration. In the space of five months starting in December 2018 we have had epic bushfires, cyclones and floods, ongoing drought, the commencement of the Office of Independent Assessor plus the upheaval of major changes in the local government electoral arrangements and the second tranche of Belcarra reforms. That’s quite apart from local challenges across the state. It’s battle stations and all action 24/7 in our council patch.

At the end of the day we are all flesh and blood, not always perfect and certainly not robots. That said,  you all do your personal best for your communities day in and day out, our motivations are overwhelmingly good.

None of us are immune from fatigue and moments of doubt, frustration and even sometimes despair. This Easter, find some peace by invoking the first line of Max Ehrman’s beautiful 1924 poem the Desiderata “go placidly among the noise and haste”. Unhook yourself from the technology even if it’s for half a day. Go for a walk in the park, the long paddock or on the beach. Find that quiet time to reflect on what you have already achieved and what’s left to be done over the balance of this term of local government, and the sacrifices you have made in other parts of your life to achieve those things. Have a chat with yourself on what and how you might do differently going forward and, most importantly, be kind to yourself. Take pride in your good works.

Have a relaxing and safe Easter and come back refreshed and raring to go for the run to the finish line. For my part I will be enjoying time with my second grandchild and first grandson Charlie, who was born Wednesday. Welcome to the world.