Last week the carpet fitter came to Letton Hall. Now that might not seem a big deal to you, but then you probably don’t have 22 bedrooms in your house! He came to measure up for the next phase of new carpets, for the top floor bedrooms and corridors of The Hall, as well as some stairs and hallways downstairs – and the flooring for a toilet.
The challenge we always face at Letton Hall is when to undertake projects like this; do we tackle them little by little, decorate or re-carpet a room here or there when we can, or do we seize the moment and take on a large task once in a while? The answer is, of course, a bit of both! Right now there are doors being repaired and painted and a few more windows finished and we have just installed a staff toilet! However, during the winter, we will be making the most of some ‘down time’, when there are few guests in, to move some of larger practical projects forward. Several rooms will be re-decorated; the upstairs rooms will all get their new carpets and there are some new curtains coming too. In January, we are hosting a lovely crowd of volunteers for a week, working alongside the resident team to redecorate the meeting room in The Stables (Dolphin Court).
We don’t like to have a lot of down time at Letton Hall, as we love to see people here enjoying God’s blessings and a chance for closer fellowship and a full diary is good for the sustainability of the Trust. Even so, every now and then, a break in the busy programme gives us the time and space we need to really make improvements. Down time for us is not a period of inactivity, but it is about a different kind of activity – a break from the norm, which releases a fresh productivity and energy in the team. It becomes a time of renewal and refreshing both for the premises and the team.
In our personal lives, down time can offer a similar opportunity; perhaps just to rest, which many of us will enjoy doing over the next few weeks, but also time to take stock and to reflect on areas of our life and being that get all too little attention, or have been neglected in the busyness of our day-to-day lives. It can be a time to invest in important relationships with family and friends, in our community, in our own health and well being. Whether we are spending quality time with friends or family, or in contemplation and reflection; reading or watching something new, walking or riding and enjoying the beauty of Creation; exercising body and mind or taking part in hobbies, sport or any number of other possibilities, these opportunities can be very beneficial for us. Many of us have to resist the temptation to simply pack our down time with more of the same, or the tendency to feel guilty if we aren’t doing anything, or that nagging anxiety about the tasks that will be waiting for us at some point! Down time doesn’t have to mean idleness, but it can and perhaps should mean doing something different!
For us, down time at Letton Hall during the coming weeks will involve carpets, curtains and a fair amount of paint and we hope our guests will see the difference! What will you do with your personal down time and what difference will it make?