Day zero

I am not in work today – more on this later.

For the first time in weeks, I went back to bed yesterday (after the children had gone to school with their dad). I don’t know whether it was a reaction to knowing that I was in work the next day, or simply that I was tired after being ill the previous week and that it was still lingering.

I woke at 10.30 and felt pretty good. I did my chores, got ready and went out. Another small victory – this is the first time since my breakdown that I have gone out on my own without the need to go food shopping.

I had set myself the task to look into getting my completed cross stitch framed.

As an English teacher, you will not be surprised to hear that Jane Austen is my favourite author. Years ago, in a (very) rare moment of romantic consideration, my husband organised a road trip which included Stratford upon Avon (Shakespeare), Oxford (Phillip Pullman’s Northern Lights trilogy) and Chawton (Jane Austen). Despite husband not being a fan of these authors, we had a lovely time. And I got to see Jane Austen’s House and museum ☺. The cross-stitch was bought in the gift shop and is a representation of one of the only images we have of Austen – a watercolour painted by her sister Cassandra.

The cross-stitch is the biggest and most complex pattern I have ever completed. It has literally taken me years, partly because there was a long period of time when I simply didn’t do it. I find stitching very relaxing and so naturally, in an attempt to combat the stress and anxiety of my breakdown, I picked it back up again.

And so, the completed picture is very important. It is a memory of happier times. It is a beautiful image of my favourite writer and signifies a love of literature that lead to my English degree and career in teaching. It is a symbol of perseverance and my recovery.

So off I went. Turns out getting something framed is not as simple as I thought but I got a quote from one place and will be revisiting another framers at the weekend. I did do some shopping and had lunch on my own, book in hand, in a busy restaurant. Small victory number 2.

Last night I was a little nervous but no more than I am after the summer holiday.

I didn’t sleep particularly well but I expected that. I woke at 6am but knowing that I was only taking two of my children to school, I stayed in bed until 6.30am. It was then that I saw this:

This snow was completely unexpected. Typical I thought. First day back and I have to contend with snow. As you can imagine, a snowy school full of children is not an easy place to be in.

I showered, woke the children and started to get ready. It was still snowing quite heavily so kept an eye on the two school websites. Low and behold, at 7.30am, the message came through that my school was closed.

You’d think that this would be a welcome message. It wasn’t really. I had built myself up for being in school. I had been repeating my mantra all morning whilst drying my hair and putting on a full face of makeup (Confident, calm and controlled). When the message came I was ready for work and the children were ready for school. My daughter elwas ecstatic of course as this meant that she had a snow day too. Unfortunately for my son, his school has remained open. This through me in to a full scale panic. What do I do? Am I still expected to go into school (has happened previously)? Should I take my son in? What about my youngest’s nursery?

All of this was further compounded by my ex calling on his way home from work to say that the roads were treacherous and that it had tripled his journey home. I was in a headspin.

Ridiculous hey? It seems quite simple now that I have calmed, but for about 15 minutes I couldn’t think straight. I made him come round anyway.

He said that our middle son should not go to school despite it being open. We live some miles away from the school as we chose this one as it was near my work not near our home. Unlike other families who were in walking distance, we would need to drive. And if my own school had considered the roads to be too dangerous to drive on, it seemed silly to risk going that way for him.

So, I changed out of my work suit and here I am!

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