Should I stay, or should I go?

This post is full of staying and goings. But please stay until the end and please leave your thoughts too. I like reading others’ perspective.

To be honest though, you can’t beat Mumslovelife for advice. She always knows what to say and it always makes sense.

Take yesterday. After my somewhat melancholy post… Sleeping Beauty.

… I stayed in bed. I slept. My head was heavy and weary. It’s more that I had to rather than wanted to. I awoke just before one and only minutes to spare before Wildcard called me.

“No” wasn’t an acceptable answer. Neither was “nothing”, “I’m ok” or “I don’t feel like talking about it”.

I told him most of it was to do with work. Today was the day of initial settlement discussions. I’ve been at that school for 11 years and up until two months ago, have been successful and praised. I’m being forced out and I haven’t done anything wrong. His words of wisdom set me straight as always. He gave me my options, boosted my confident and made me feel more positive.

Which kind of makes me feel a little guilty for the next part. But only a little. I admitted I was a little upset with him too. I told him how happy I had been when the borders had opened and how excited I was to come. Yet he didn’t seem bothered and acted like nothing had happened.

He pointed out that it is not in his personality to get excited like that – which is true. He told me he wants me to come every day but he is just worried. His dad has told his brothers not to come yet. He is worried about curfews, variants and his Government’s often rapid and last minute changes. He reiterated that it is my home. I can come when I want but I need to do my research and be careful. “If you want to come, come.”

“But I want you to tell me you want me to come.”

“You know I want you to come, every time. But I want it to be easy for you, with no problems.”

We discussed maybe a quick trip sooner and then a longer one in August when he can have holidays and we can travel.

So do I…

Stay because he is still worried at the moment or Go because we both want to see each other?

Stay because I’m officially off sick or Go because this is the best medicine I could have?

Stay because my settlement isn’t sorted or Go because hey, they don’t want me anyway, my union is sorting it and I can still be at the end of the phone?

Stay because I’ve let myself go a little in my depressive state or Go because he should love me anyway?

Stay until I know this Delta variant isn’t going to cause problems or Go because I can get over there – 4 flights – for £75 and I am not going to miss work even if I am stranded a little.

Stay because my kids will miss me if I get stranded or Go because they are in school now anyway and I will have more time with them now than I ever have?

What are your thoughts??

Following our call, I finally was contacted by my union rep who told me that the academy CEO doesn’t want to give me my contractual pay and doesn’t want me back – there is no place for me at the school. So, even if my leadership wasn’t good enough (no complaints so far) my teaching isn’t. Thanks for that. I’m sure the countless kids and parents that have said otherwise are wrong and my good exam results are deceiving.

It was a slap in the face but a good one. There was a very small part of me that wondered if I had overreacted, maybe I just needed a little support to get me back on the ball etc etc. Nope. She wants me gone. I’m not part of her plan for whatever reason. And now, considering her treatment of me, I don’t want to work there anyway.

So, taking Mumslovelife’s excellent advice, I made myself go for a walk and had a little jog midway which killed my hip but was something. At 6 this morning I went out with the dog again for 40 minutes and had two small jogs. Still ouch, but this was after a 15 minute yoga session which had helped a little.

So that’s me. I’m showered, feeling OK, but still none the wiser about going or staying. Oh and I would also be there for his birthday too.

All comments below considered. And I am vaccinated twice by the way. And I will be responsible.

Sleeping Beauty

I’ve dreamed about school over the past two nights. Strangely, about my primary school, not where I work. Or worked.

The first night, I dreamed I was helping out tidying, and I sneaked a look into the attic. Inside were boxes and boxes of memorabilia, items from the last. O couldn’t set foot in the attic because the floor was made of split bamboo canes so it was precarious to walk on. (Even in my dream I wondered how all the stuff was up there). I saw children’s ballet shoes and reminded myself about my little ballet bag as a child.

Last night I was back at the school again. This time, the school was renovating a classrroom/kitchen. I was helping to peel wallpaper. There was much discussion on how it should be decorated with people changing their minds. I carried on with what I had initially been asked to do. Then it was open evening and parents and small children were there. I walked around with my school ID and explained I was there to support the children.

I kept wanting to leave though as my dog was locked in my car. I had stayed longer than intended. I kept walking round the maze of the school, trying to find my handbag and keys. At one point, I was asked to help as a first aider- a woman had a hole to size of a ping-pong ball in her arm. There was no blood.

I eventually found my things and spoke to the new Headmistress of the school who congratulated me on my work stripping wallpaper. I toured th school with her, pointing out how it had been altered since my time there. I then let my dog out of the car, and walked him towards the school field where a carnival was starting. He turned into a pony, as things do in dreams, and some students of my current school petted him.

🕥

So it is 10.30am now. I’m still in bed. I haven’t walked or jogged or even had my coffee.

Yesterday after a really positive start, I slid into exhaustion. I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I waited patiently for my union rep to get in contact as he was making the first move to me leaving. He contacted me at 2.30 to say a meeting was planned for today. I then went back to sleep.

This morning, I slept through my alarm. I woke at 7.45am and hurriedly got my youngest ready for school. Once his dad had picked him up I went back to bed and to sleep. I woke again at 9.45 when Wildcard called me.

He knew something was wrong – when doesn’t he – but I didn’t want to talk as I’m not sure what is wrong myself. Only when he mentioned the meeting did tears suddenly appear.

I still haven’t got up.

My head is woozy and all I want to do is shut my eyes again. I’m thirsty and hungry and I know if I take the dog out I will feel better but I just can’t. My sadness is like a weight in my head, dragging me towards sleep. I’m tired of everything and everyone. Even Wildcard.

Will I wake from a long sleep, the worst over, beautiful and with a full and happy life ahead of me? My body clearly thinks so.

Good morning world

I did it again!

Don’t worry, I won’t start every post with that phrase. But I got up, dressed and took my dog out for a walk.

I’m lucky enough to love near woodland and farmland. An early morning stroll is just glorious: the birds, the wildlife, the wildflowers….it is just beautiful and peaceful.

I didn’t over exert myself- my muscles were hurting too much for that – but a planned 10 minute walk turned in to 25 minutes.

Exercise, nature…it really does help. In fact, I’d go so far to say, that when you lie in bed you really do miss out.

Hope you have all had a productive morning!

Photo by Mike Krejci from Pexels

I did it!

This morning, I got up at 6.15am. I put on my exercise clothes which I had set out the night before. I got my dog on the lead, started the podcast and completed my very first session for the Couch to 5K NHS programme.

I’m proud of myself.

What I noticed:

  1. I love being put early morning in the sunshine.
  2. Having everything ready was a great motivator.
  3. My dog enjoyed it.
  4. I probably need to be out earlier to avoid other dog walkers and to feel less self-concious.
  5. 60 seconds of jogging isn’t as long as I thought it was.
  6. I couldn’t brisk walk by the end.
  7. My legs felt like jelly on the last run.
  8. Completing a 6 minute stretch routine at the end helped.

Tomorrow is a rest day but I’m going to go out again for a leisurely walk and do some yoga.

It is only 8.45am and I could go to sleep!! I found it really hard to get to sleep last night, maybe because I knew I was getting up early. I aim to be in bed by 10pm tonight.

Other developments which caused my insomnia are that work called me yesterday and requested a meeting on Thursday. I have a meeting with my union rep this morning to discuss and plan.

I know I can’t go back. There is a war in my brain as I keep thinking I could, this isn’t happening, I’m over-reacting. But then, I consider the truth. I had one day off for a migraine and I was sent a letter offering a settlement to leave. This was before I had phoned the doctors for a sick note. I need to face the truth that they just don’t want me.

I’m leaning more and more towards the tutor business but I’m scared. How will I make enough money? Where do I even begin?

I think, once the meetings are over and the settlement is signed sealed and delivered, I will feel better and resolute and ready to go.

For now I’m going to take a shower and hopefully wake up.

Pexels

Erm….no.

Have you read my last post? Please do. You will hear me tell you that my antidepressants have really helped me stay calm today, on the third anniversary of my dad’s death.

I’ve spent the afternoon crying and anxious. So, no it hasn’t numbed me.

Then just to top it off, work called me before. They have received the Occupational Health report – I haven’t- and the big academy boss wants a meeting on Thursday. Instantly, I felt sick.

I’ve called the union guy but no response as yet. I’ve been anxious and nervous ever since.

And no, Wildcard has still not discussed his borders opening and his desperation to see me as soon as possible.

Ok, then.

Underwhelmed

You never thought that I would write that, eh?

My state of being seems to be constantly overwhelmed although I do an amazing job of ploughing through it 90% of the time.

So why the title? Allow me to explain.

Today is the three year anniversary of my dad’s death. It’s a weird one, because I actually count yesterday too. On the 6th June 2018 we made the decision to end my dad’s suffering and take him off the respirator which was prolonging his life. He was tired, bruised and had suffered for two weeks in attempt to pull through. He was staying alive for us. Fighting, but ultimately losing.

That day we said our goodbyes. And then my sisters and I stayed with him all night, watching him fall unconscious, singing to him, talking to him, loving him the best we could at his bedside. So although he died at 1am on 7th June, we lost him on the 6th.

My eyes are stinging as I write this, but there are no real tears. Maxed out antidepressants will do that to a girl. If you remember, a month ago when all the crap with work started I was reluctant to up my dose – defiantly not wanting work to be the thing that put me on max dose. Honestly, I’m still not sure I should have agreed – I’m not the walking zombie I was four years ago. But I have taken them and today I am coping.

The fact is, for the first few years, every significant date seemed like a massive hurdle, a tsunami of emotion. Today, I realise it doesn’t matter what day it is. I miss him every single day. I wish he was here every single day. So the date is irrelevant.

Except of course it isn’t. And I probably will cry at some point. But, I’m not the mess I was last year, or the year before.

And I’m convinced dad sent me a little gift last night. Late at night I received a message from a friend telling my that Wildcard’s borders are finally opening and that at present, the UK are on the list for entry.

You know I believe in the power of coincidences. And for me, at this time, being told that is a gift, a message….

Life changes. It has its ups and its downs. It ebbs and it flows. And you just have to ride the waves, keep your head above water and keep swimming.

Being honest though, the underwhelmed title is less about me and more about Wildcard.

Last night, whilst morosely but stoically remembering the pain of my dad’s passing, I was also filled with an excitement and happiness about the news. (As someone with anxiety and depression, I am a pro at feeling conflicting emotions at once.) I went on to Ryanair to see the flights and allowed myself to reach in to the now no so distant future to when I can fly to Wildcard.

So this morning, I was even more looking forward to speaking to Wildcard. I sat, drinking coffee and attempted to complete a painting I had started of me and my dad. Up until this week, I haven’t had the strength to finish it (thank you antidepressants).

So when he called and we had got the daily ‘good mornings’ and ‘how are yous’ and ‘did you sleep well?’, I waited for the moment…

‘So, do you have any news?’ At this point he is in the car driving to work. He is a little late, as always, and 19 months in, I know the exact moments of his drive to speak and when to wait whilst he manoeuvres out of a junction etc.

He hasn’t mentioned the borders. Maybe he doesn’t know yet?

So I tell him.

“Ah yes, around the 15th I think.”

So he did know. And that was that. No hasty discussion about when I was coming, not even excitement that it won’t be long until we are together.

I was stunned. There was a few moments of silence.

“What baby?” He glanced at me as he drove.

Maybe this isn’t the time. He’s driving, he is late for work. It is my Dad’s anniversary. His friend died yesterday. We are still on amber.

“Nothing, I’m ok.”

And so, today, that is what I will settle for. An underwhelming ‘ok’.

Just like that

I awoke this morning to the sound of messenger: the sound of Wildcard calling me.

I answered with that nervous-excitment anticipation I always feel when he calls. To my surprise, he was up and heading towards his car – unusual for a Sunday where he gets his only lie-in.

“My friend had died.”

Someone had posted in a group chat of people he studied with. His friend was early thirties and I could see Wildcard struggling to comprehend the information. He was on his way to his friend’s house to see what was happening. In Islam, the dead are buried quickly and he didn’t want to miss it.

Half an hour, the sound of messenger roused me again.

“I can’t believe it, I just can’t believe it.”

His friend had been driving with his parents and sister as passengers. A drunk driver had hit the car. His friend had died instantly. His mother had died this morning and his father and daughter were in hospital. Just like that, two lives lost and another two in the balance.

The story has lingered in my mind all day. My family have arrived, I’ve cooked and entertained, and yet my conscious self, the one with this knowledge has sat apart. Like an outer body experience, my mind has churned and processed whilst the rest of my has carried on.

Wildcard is waiting to attend the burial but the body of his friend remains in the hospital morgue at present.

Isn’t it strange how life can change, just like that?

Yesterday I felt like things were aligning positively.

I had my interview. I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted the job but it was a good opportunity, paid well and I had done well to get this far.

I felt like I did ok. I wasn’t too nervous. My presentation went as planned. I answered the questions and tried to get my research in. At the end I was told that the start date could be September which was perfect. I could have my summer with my kids and Wildcard, recuperate and start a new career.

Even better, my sister sent me a screenshot of an industry specialist predicting that Wildcard’s country would be on the greenlist.

In the afternoon, I finally-finally spent some time considering my future and what I really want. I still don’t know exactly bit I have an idea. If I am brave enough.

I also spent some time scouring jobs and felt some relief that, actually, there are quite a few I am interested in and I may have a chance at. There is a big wide world outside of school.

So, all good then.

Until today.

Yes, I am tired. Yes, my son and his friends kept me up all night. Yes, there had been a minor concern with Wildcard (which was nothing as usual). But it gets worse.

I didn’t pass my assessment interview and I won’t be put forward for the last stage. I didn’t know how I felt when I read it. Now I realise more than anything it was fear that I am still without a job.

And of course, last night was the news that the UK Government has characteristically gone back on what they’ve promised and there are actually less countries on green now and more on red. And Wildcard’s country still isn’t open anyway, as of today. So, yes, bad day.

I’ve been ok though. A little quiet and pensive but no tears. I’ve just got to keep on. There are about four jobs I am interested in now. A couple are long shots and a couple sound wonderful but don’t pay well. Could I start my tutor business to top up my wage until it takes off properly?

My own business is what I want. What I’ve wanted for a long time. See, I told you I’d finally allowed myself to think about it. 😁😇

But. The thing I am most worried about is not having enough money to survive. I’ve looked at where I can make savings, and, there aren’t many to be honest. I don’t get any financial help from my ex – I help him! – and that is unlikely to change for some time.

A job is better than no job. Right?

Do I go for the jobs I really like the sound of, but don’t pay as much? Or do I force myself to apply for teaching jobs even though I don’t want to? Do I try to be brave and go for some of the other management jobs that I like the sound of but have no idea if I even have a slim chance?

And the conclusion is?

I’m going to apply for anything that takes my fancy and see what happens.

Making motivation

I’m a thinker, not a doer. That just about sums me up. Overthinker is probably more accurate.

I had a little read of a new blog today, https://damonashworthpsychology.com. One of his posts was about personality traits so this was a great way of procrastinating and not applying for jobs. 120 statements later and I am…

An assertive, pleasure seeking, emotional and sensitive person who likes novelty and variety as I am imaginative and creative.

I also have low self discipline and cooperation.

I am no Psychologist and I have completely done this an injustice. I would say it is fairly accurate though. I’ve average on most things apart from my emotions and creativity.

I will look into this further at some point. The reason for doing it, other than procrastinating, was to try get an insight. Into myself.

I still feel lost. I don’t know where I am going or heading. I’m working my way through Mel Robbins’ book and I am finding it hard to specify what my dreams actually are. I don’t know what jobs to go for. I don’t know where to start.

Being the over-emotional thinker that I am, I get overwhelmed easily. Overwhelm means overthink which results in…nothing. I sit and think, and wonder and then do little. Then feel bad about it. Mel says doing is so much better than thinking. I agree but I think a lot so I’m not sure how to stop that.

I have a weekly plan for cleaning my house. This is to encourage me not to be overwhelmed and just do something each day. Today’s job is bedrooms.

After a morning of sleeping, scrolling, vaccination-having and over thinking, I made myself get up. And I used Mel’s 5,4,3,2,1 to help. I like music. So I figured I would spend one song on my eldest room, two of my middle, three on my youngest, four on the spare and five ish on my room. And it worked!

Sure, I went over a little. But that was my choice. And so today I have achieved something.

You see, it is not that I lack motivation as such. I just lack the self discipline to get started. Once I get started, I often take it too far – tipping the whole toy box out to sort it in some OCD inspiring way. All or nothing.

Why don’t I know what I want? Why can I not let myself go there and think about it? I like thinking. I think a lot. Why can’t I just open the doors to my hidden desires?

I’m going to have to make myself do it. I suspect that I’m frightened to look at what I really want because of the disappointment if I don’t get it. I don’t like failing which is probably why I am procrastinating all the time, not knowing what to do. For someone who likes now experiences and variety, it is no wonder that I am unhappy at the moment. Sitting on the couch thinking will do that to you.

Mud

Ever had one of those dreams where you are desperate to get somewhere, or away from something, and even though your panting and sweating and giving your all, you are not getting anywhere? It is like your feet are in quick sand or mud and there is nothing you can do about it.

I’m living that at the moment. I know I need to keep busy. I know that there are lots of things that I could be doing – should be doing- in regards to a new job or career. Motivation is like the tide at the moment – sometimes it is there, sometimes it is not.

Today, I didn’t want to get up. I haven’t logged on to my online course. But I did finish my painting and I have worked through another few chapters of my self-help book. I also, finally, picked up my increased medication.

The book has made me consider all areas of my life and what I am not happy about. It has then asked me to write down all the excuses I have for not doing something about my unhappiness. Fear and confidence seem to play a big part. No surprises there then.

But, I am not going to get anywhere unless I do something. And that is what the book is about – motivating yourself through the fear, the lows and the mud-wading dreams.

It is also interesting to see where I can’t change things because they are out of my control. Most of my concerns around Wildcard are just that – things out of our control. I wish knowing that stopped me worrying. It doesn’t. And out of all the areas of my life, it is the one I worry about the most. Well, until all this bother with work.

Work. What a sticky yucky mud-fest that has turned out to be. An area of my life that I once had really pride in. Now? Here are my choices…

  • Go back to work and ‘fight’ for my job whilst watching my back and being very aware that they want me and my expensive salary gone
  • Quit. Find another teaching job. There are few teaching jobs at this time of year and none at my level. Unlikely they will want to pay me for a standard teacher post as I am too expensive.
  • Quit. Try tutoring. I’ve no idea if this is enough to keep me afloat financially.
  • Quit. Get out of teaching completely. How transferable are my skills?

It is a mess. And of course, I am getting differing advice from different people. I’ve wanted my own business for along time but, savings are few and I am alone in this.

I will never know unless I try. I’ve had two weeks of intermittent wallowing. I’ve another two weeks off. Time to put my all into trying. Wish me luck.