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!!