Stupid

It’s 11.30pm and I am wide awake.

It may have something to do with the delicious coffee I made myself at 4pm. The one I knew I shouldn’t have, but as I’d only had one terrible decaf instant that morning- and now had a packet of fresh ground – it was allowed.

I’ve been ill all week. All week. I was also ill last week. By the weekend, I felt better. By Tuesday, I was not. I’ve been exhausted all week and just wanted a rest. Me time.

But no. That doesn’t happen much when you’re a mum. And even more so when each one of your children are also ill. Yep, all three.

I started my week with a three day trial at a special school. I was excited about this as ots something I’ve never done and I’m passionate about, having been around my SEN family members.

Nothing about the place shocked me, really. It was how I expected on the whole. I thought, being so excited, that I would either be massively disappointed and hate it or fall in love with the place.

Instead, for the first two days, I felt…meh. Not a lot. By the end of Tuesday, keeping in mind I was feeling ill, I was actually quite frustrated with myself. If this wasn’t intriguing me, what would? Maybe it genuinely is time to leave teaching.

The problem is…problems are… I like teaching. I just don’t like schools. I like helping children. I enjoy being creative. I just don’t like schools. I’ve looked for other jobs and whilst I often have many of the skills they look for, but because they’re not specifically from that industry, I think I don’t have a chance.

My last day was Wednesday. I had a good day. Maybe because I was more settled there – maybe because the children recognised me a bit more, either way I enjoyed it. One little boy came up and hugged me. Another did work when he doesn’t usually. I liked it. But at the end of the day, I walked out no clearer to what was happening. No one spoke to me.

Thursday I was back in my tutoring. The children had missed me. I felt appreciated. I like this job. I love it, in fact. I attended an important meeting for one of the children ans received some really lovely feedback about my work with him. I was also called by the agency to be told I was the favourite for the job at the special school. They had interviews the next day, Friday, and in the interest of fairness had invited me in on Monday for an interview too. OK, I thought. Gives me the weekend to think.

Except, I got a call Friday afternoon offering me the job without the interview. There was someone in 2nd if I rejected it, but they wanted me. There was talk about future responsibilities and permanent positions. There was also talk of a three month trial on daily supply rates – normal in this country- but actually higher than normal for me. Just less than I would be on in a permanent position. I froze, unsure, and asked for time to think. I think I shocked the agency

There was no one to call to discuss. (Woah, that’s just really hit home). I thought, hard.

I’d liked the school overall. It was fantastic experience and would look good on my already good CV. They have a forest school which I’m interested in. It’s local, better pay and provided all is well, it’s a year’s contract with promise of a permanent position. And the three month trial? Well, they’ve given me an escape hatch if I need one.

But…it’s a school. And they’re all the same. And I love my tutoring. And I don’t want to let my tutees down. And I could make good money there.

Except…there is no security, at all. I’ve made it clear how I feel to the recruitment manager and whilst he’s thrown compliments my way, has done nothing to keep me. At any point I could be out of contract. The travel isn’t subsidised, neither are all the resources I have to provide.

And so, in the end, I’ve accepted the job.

Maybe I’m stupid. Maybe I really have had it with schools. But I have to try, again. I need this stability for so many reasons.

I’d like to be able to go food shopping without feeling terrified. I’d like to fix things in my house…

I’d like to financially be ready if Wildcard ever decides to take the next steps. I need to make myself financially independent from my ex.

The experience is fantastic for my CV and for my business idea.

Maybe I will regret this. Maybe it will be the best thing for me. But I’ve made a decision and now need to stick to it.

8

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The ups and downs

Hello there everyone. I’m on my lunch break.

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks. I’m sat with a knot in my stomach.

After weeks of contemplation, stress and feeling lost I finally made some decisions about my life.

I decided that I would continue with my application outside of education. I also decided that I would apply for the school leadership role which I had been approached about. Finally, I decided I would have to tell my current employer about it, thus risking his childish wrath again and losing any opportunity for the enhanced role if I’m not successful on the other two.

So how’s that worked out for me?

The interview was Thursday evening. I walked out feeling I had done all I can (within reason) and a renewed confidence in all I’ve achieved. It would be down to what they were truly looking for. I was told me would find out Monday.

This meant, as I may not get the job, I had to fill in the application for the school as that deadline was also Monday.

As Monday dragged on with no communication from the charity, I realised that I needed to let my boss know now. No more hiding behind possibilities. I wrote the email and sent it off.

It’s now Tuesday afternoon. I still haven’t heard from the charity.

I had no strong feeling either way about my chances but knew I had done the best I could. Regardless, I still had a miniscule thread of hope that I would be successful. Today, I’ve emailed them to say thanks for the opportunity and that I assume it wasn’t successful. I’ve asked for feedback. So far, nothing.

A little but of me is angry. They seemed so nice! So apologetic when they kept moving the interview date! But to not communicate at all now? I’m disappointed. Don’t keep me hanging. Rip the plaster off in one go and let the air get to the wound.

Last night I started looking a few more possibilities. My boss emailed me back and was rather magnanimous. And then I realised that it is unlikely I will find what I want in the next few weeks and he knows it. He’s probably quite smug. There a few jobs out there and I will apply for them.

Overall, I’m kicking myself for not pursuing the business. That’s what I really want. I wouldn’t treat people as I have been treated.

And so, life goes up and down.

Out with the old

Hello WordPress friends! 😊

Since my last post, I’ve been a hive of activity and positivity.

I completed two online, ‘free’ 5 day courses. These courses were run by life coaches: the first by two amazing women, Cheryl and Donna and the other by the enigmatic Tony Robbins.

Donna and Cheryl’s course definitely gave me the ‘aha’ moments they promised. They covered imposter syndrome, limiting beliefs and how to counteract them. Knowing that I wasn’t alone in the feelings and thoughts that have plagued me, discovering what may have triggered these thoughts from childhood, finding that confidence in myself that I thought was long gone…nothing short of transformational.

For over a week after this, my mind was a flurry of passionate planning. The muggy fog that was my head began to clear, and ideas and passions poured out of me, no longer suppressed by my self doubt.

At this point, Tony Robbins course began. Bigger, brasher, with thousands of participants,  Tony gave well over what was promised with sessions lasting 2.5 hours plus each night. As fate would have it, Tony’s course built on what I had already learned and shored up my confidence and determination, and gave me some key techniques to move forward on my dreams and my relationships.

I have filled a journal with notes and ideas, exploring who I want to be and the life I want to live. I’ve said before, this blog was supposed to document this. I’ve long felt that this blog was a failure because it didn’t document any positive changes. It became a vehicle to explore my thoughts and feelings, an online journal I guess. I feel differently now. This blog does chart positive changes. We are all on a journey, we take many paths and routes. My route has meandered. It’s sank to dark depths and slowly crawled upwards again. But it has done what it has supposed to do. Giving me Time. Time to work through the black hole, the quagmire, the sinking pit which was my inner self: full of self doubt and frustration. A purpose unfulfilled, a potential life not followed.

I don’t know where I am on my journey. It has been a long time already, and I’m ok with that now. A break down, a divorce; counselling and journaling; self help books and online courses…all have played a part in moving me steadily up that path.  

I have a vision for my future now. I have realised what I’m good at, what my passions are and what I believe is my purpose. I now need to work for it; climb up the next incline and shrug off the ever-gnawing self doubt.

It’s going to take hard work. But hard work is easier when it is leading towards your passion.

I have an analogy to end with, to exemplify my journey so far…

When I abruptly ended my career as an Assistant Headteacher, I had to step foot in to that building after-hours to collect my things: 18 years worth of paper resources and books. A huge collection. There was no time to sort and organise. They were put in huge cardboard boxes and taken home. For weeks and weeks, probably months, the boxes sat piled up in my living room and even in the boot of my car.

When I started tutoring in November, I started searching through those boxes for resources I needed. In December, as I tidied before Christmas, I sorted through those boxes and stored resources in newly bought filing cabinets. Piles of unwanted paper filled a huge cardboard box. I’ve used this paper to start my fire each morning.

It was hard at first. Seeing notes and ideas and planning from years ago, seeing the eagerness and positivity and dedication which was thrown back in my face when the academy took over, burning into nothing.

Now, in February, I feel nothing as I burn the last few pages. I see a life well-led, a life where I gave my all and helped many. That life is over and instead I feel some pride as I twist the pages into mock- sticks for my fire. Out with the old.

I have a similar feeling as I start to build resources in my new onedrive account. Circumstances have meant that the majority of my electronic resources are lost. I could pursue them, but I won’t. Starting again, building something new and fresh is invigorating: I’ve enough of my old paper resources to inspire me.

Out with the old and in with the new. It’s never too late and it doesn’t matter how long it takes. Just keep moving forward, pausing along the way when needed, sprinting when you can, but always heading towards the new, leaving the old behind.

If this post gives even one of you some hope, I will be happy. Reach out if you need to. I’m here.

Decisions and positivity

31st August 2021

Today is weird day. As in, I’ve felt weird all day. It is the last day of my employment. The last day of my current career, a career I’ve been in for 18 years.

I don’t know how to feel. I’ve loved being a teacher but have been unhappy for some time.

I’m tired of initiatives, jumping on bandwagons, the career obsessed, the paranoid, the power hungry, the government interference, the lack of team work, new apps and websites, assessment without levels, new exam specs, ever shifting grade boundaries and goal posts, revolving policies, academies, endless paperwork, watching my back…I could go on. I will miss the kids. Their innocence, their hopes, their fears, their characters, their laughter, their honesty, their gratitude, their potential. So I guess that is how I feel.

People have said that once this is all over, I will feel better and will want to go back to teaching. It hasn’t happened yet. I’ve considered tutoring but I don’t want to. I’ve considered supply but I don’t want to. Yes, I’m scared of failing. But there’s more. I’ve lost my passion for the job. I am disheartened, burnt out and can’t trust any more.

However, I’m a single mother whose ex borrows money from me rather than contributes. I have a mortgage to pay. Three children to look after. 

When I get my settlement money, I need to be careful. There isn’t any more after that.


As today is September 3rd, you can see that I didn’t finish that post. I didn’t know what else to say.

I’m still unsure what to do. I’m stood at a crossroads. The way behind me has the Great Wall of China, a landmine field  Sleeping Beauty’s thorn wall and goodness knows what else blocking me. I can’t go back.

But in front of me are many paths. I know which one I want to take but that one is the scariest. There are much easier paths that I just don’t want. Decisions, decisions.

I go to see Wildcard in two weeks. I’m excited. I know that I could work a little before then (if I take the easy, less desirable path) but it is not difficult to choose to wait until I get back. More decisions.

On a positive note, I’m on day six of a detox diet. It’s basically vegan with reduced sugar and caffeine too – I’m only having honey occasionally and one coffee a day. There’s lots of healthy grains, pulses, fruit and veg and nuts. Today I am eating chia pudding for the first time and trying to convince myself it doesn’t look like frogspawn. Quinoa looks like bird seed. But, I’m doing well.

Hope you’re well too. After all, positivity is a state of mind.

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.