Monthly Archives: September 2014

Being brave

To be honest, I’m not sure where this all really started. But I do know that turning 40 this year made me stop and think about what I really wanted to achieve in my life. At the risk of sounding like a soft old git, my children are and always will be my greatest achievements. But on reflection there are a number of things I can highlight: graduation, getting married, promotions, achieving professional recognition by those I respect and of course… winning The Weakest Link! That said, I have always loved to write. I can’t say I am always grammatically correct and I’m no literary snob. I read… mostly as a means to relax and never as much as I’d like to. As a career mum (I hate that term), time is precious, but time to read is equally precious and at night, when the Hub is inspecting the insides of his eye lids on the sofa, I love nothing more than searching for new books and authors online. One day soon I will build a list of the books I am reading this year, sharing these with you is a part of this marvellous journey!

Two pivotal things happened earlier this year, within 2 or 3 weeks of each other. One was a Facebook message from an old Uni friend and the other was an honest discussion about future proofing with a respected colleague, while we travelled along the M5 to a regional meeting in Exeter. Both made me stop and think about what I REALLY want for ME in the next few years. The first, was a personal message from an old Uni friend, letting me (and others in our circle) know that at age 40 he’d just been diagnosed with Lymphoma. A college principal in a tough area of London, he’d risen so fast and was reaping the rewards of hard work and dedication. So to be stopped in his tracks had more than taken the wind from his sails. His plan was to blog about his cancer journey… sometimes funny, often heartbreaking, always honest I am blown away by his ability to face this challenge full on and kick it in the b***ocks (his words!!) – do check it out, for a PE teacher, his writing is a compelling read!

The other event was no more than 3 weeks later. A pleasurable trip to Exeter on a beautiful sunny day resulted in a conversation which pretty much sealed the birth of this very blog. Someone I respected complimented the humour of my Facebook posts, understood totally my desire to write and pretty much told me to stop dithering and get the hell on with it. Well, not quite in those words, but I got the message! As she is now embarking on her own exciting journey into a new career, I figured I could dither no more. One event highlighted the fragility of life and the challenges we face, the other reinstated a sense of confidence I felt was ebbing away. Together both reminded me of the advice I have so often given my students (and in 17 years there have been many!)… ‘when life presents the opportunity grab it with both hands and RUN LIKE THE WIND’.

So, JH and KC… if you’re reading this, you rock!!

MJ xx

How challenging is your workplace?!

So, yesterday I received an email asking me to join the ‘Workplace Challenge’… I mean, come on, as if it wasn’t challenging enough, working in education – now they want you to join the challenge!! Actually, it’s an incentive being run by our County Sports Partnership, to get the county’s workforce up and active! To do this you need to log your physical activity, duration and intensity. So being the competitive animal I am, I have asked all my department to register and log their activity levels… just the push I need, to get up and do my ‘bit’! In fact, I surprised myself, as I logged my activity for the last 4 weeks…. bike rides, family walks, runs, aerobics, FitSteps, housework, gardening…. crikey I should be as thin as a rake! Still, time will tell, weigh-in day tomorrow! If you’re keen to get involved, check out the link:

Let me know how you get on………..

Sending best wishes,

MJ x

So…. you want to be a blogger…?!

And so it begins! After much to-ing & fro-ing, umm-ing & ah-ing here we are. Well, here I am… There is so much I had thought I had wanted to say in this very first post. You know, it’s a bit like a little girl planning her beautiful wedding when she’s only 7. She’s planned every small detail – dresses, church, guests, transport, right down down to the flowers and confetti colour (or was that just me?!) Only the one thing she’s missing is the groom…. ah (minor detail!) Only in this case – the thing missing for me, right now, is a firm direction… every other detail planned and replanned but just where is this blog going?! I guess that’s got to be part of the fun…

So… you want to be a blogger? Every time I write that I think of that song from Bugsy.. you know the one about being a boxer!? Anyway, I digress (not uncommon with me), yes – I want to be a blogger. Why? Because I found that 140 characters on Twitter just didn’t do it. I love to write. I always have. Facebook friends fall into two categories: those who love the posts I write (sometimes witty, sometimes lengthy, always honest) and those who complain I post too much. To them I say – use the un-follow button, no one asks you to read or follow!

This year I turned the magical 4-0! I have tried super hard to take the whole ‘life begins at 40…’ thing seriously. One of my aims was to get cracking on the writing, it’s been bubbling away under the radar for several years – pretty much since I started my most recent job: motherhood. Stories, locations and characters have been forming and now I feel that if I don’t find a way of getting them written down, I might lose them… or worst still, lose motivation to get them down. Fear not, putting stories on here is a long way off (if ever), however my writing journey starts now and that is what I wish to share.

Me: a mother, a wife, a friend, a teacher… enough material to keep us going for a while, I reckon, yes?! I blame my eclectic musical tastes on my dad – on whom I blame many other things (my love of cars, planes, daft jokes and great 80’s movies!). According to my husband (who henceforth shall be called the Hub) I spend too much time on social media… he’s so loving the idea of adding a blog to my list of duties! Then there are the children – my children – my babies *sighs*! At 13 and 10 years, they are so not babies now, but they are my motivation on a number of levels. The most recent of which is to spend hours trying to shed the pounds I gained during/post pregnancy (another post-40 target!) and this comes with added bonus – I get to spend a few hours pounding the pavements and dancing round school halls without being asked for food, drink, money, TV time or peacemaker duties!

I guess if you’re still here you deserve a medal. I do hope you join me as I try to go about my often chaotic life with a smile on my face. It’s been a big step, getting to this point, I don’t mind telling you. Sharing your thoughts and ramblings online, opening yourself to a cyber world equivalent of a village flogging! Hoping people might just like what you have to say (thanks dad!) and share your thoughts far and wide….

But for now I bid you good night. May your dreams be filled with light, love and laughter!

MJ xx