news: Closure

IN THERAPY terms, closure means the process of drawing a line under a situation or an event. It is the opposite of unfinished business, where the wound remains open, where issues remain unresolved. Closure could be allowing oneself to go through the process of grieving when a loved one dies, when a relationship ends, or when an intense work project is completed. Only by acknowledging that one chapter is over can you start a new one.

I have found myself doing a lot of ‘clearing out’ and ‘closing’ recently. Other people I know who share a commitment to that other dimension of spirituality are going through the same thing. It is as though space has to be created for something fresh and new to come into our world. At home, I have cleared out old papers and information I was keeping because I thought it was interesting – if it was that interesting, how come I haven’t done anything with it for at least two years?

I have been blitzing the office too, sorting through project files from work I did anything up to six or seven years ago. Have I really been doing this for that long? Do we all go around the same loop, year in, year out? It seems so. Some of the files brought back lovely memories of places I have been, people I have met and all the adventures along the way. Empty shelves and a number of large bags full of shredded paper now await the arrival of something bigger and better!

What it made me realise was that times change and people change. A number of the people I dealt with back in 1998 and 1999 have moved on to pastures new. Developments and projects have either gone on to maturity and success or were quietly shelved. My involvement with the British Portuguese Chamber of Commerce (BPCC) is one example of that.

I was proud to be invited to head the committee to establish a BPCC presence in the Algarve, back at the start of 2004 and, as many of you will know, there were a number of events held during the year to start building the foundations of a practical business support base for local companies. However, it became clear at the start of this year, that the hopes and aspirations of the local committee were not in line with the policies of the BPCC board and I, therefore, stood down. The considerable time and space that this has created has been filled with other rewarding things – including a bit of time for me! No hard feelings, no accusations or recriminations, just closure and moving on.

And that is the point that has also been reached with The Resident. I have been writing the ‘Is it just me?’ page for three or four years now, since Brian Adams and I first shared a bottle of decent red wine and thought it would be a good idea. From Brian through Sarah’s editorship, and from Sarah through to the capable hands of Inês, The Resident has been changing and developing.

The point has come when ‘Is it just me?’ needs to make way for more topical news items and more serious information, as the latest reader survey has clearly shown. So this will be my last page, my last ‘view on the world as I see it’. It has been an interesting journey. I would like to thank all of you who have supported the various stands I have taken, and all those of who have told me, in no uncertain terms, how wrong and misguided I have been. As I have said before, if we all had the same views on everything, it would be a boring old world.

Finally – as you would expect – a couple of suitable quotations as a way of signing off.

‘People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within’

(Ramona L Anderson)

‘I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity’

(Gilda Radner)

Thank you for sharing the journey with me, and I wish you all wonderful doses of “Delicious Ambiguity”!

by Judy Sharp