The Ineluctable Weight of Living


It is the final day of the 2016 academic year today. This marks the conclusion of my son’s transition year back into mainstream schooling (and also his first year at high school).

It’s been a hell bumpy ride before I add into the equation a less than smooth year for us all as a family. But you know what, we made it through. We didn’t just survive, at times we have thrived and going into the 2017 academic year we are poised for less survive and more thrive. 

This morning it was the hurried creation of thank you cards for those members of staff who have helped make this year a little easier for us. 

The above is the front of the card which I made for the acting Guidance Counsellor, who will have a few more days next year as the GC for the junior school. I am so grateful for her support and acknowledgement. The first person who said to us: you are doing a great job. The first to say: you have to be congratulated for how far you’ve come this year. 

It is impossible to articulate what this means after years of having blame and shame shunted onto us by successive educational professionals who didn’t want to engage, meet us where we were at, much less offer practical support and understanding. 

We have been so blessed this year. There has not been a single teacher, deputy, or any other member of staff that has not done their upmost to assist us. Right down to the fabulous ladies in the office.

I’m glad that I was able to hand make a few cards to accompany the obligatory chocolate and bubbly, as my act of appreciation and gratitude. 

On Saying No

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I’ve never been good at saying ‘no’. I am always afraid that no comes with it an inherent loss of the ‘big break’ or the ‘big exposure’. But with my change in circumstances in the last two years, I’ve had to really stop and assess things and how they fit, what I can contribute, what I can get out of something and how much time, energy and focus I have. It’s the kind of budgeting I never had to do.

This year I have decided there is time and space for homeschooling and writing. It’s meant having to say no to two projects already – one a potential, another an ongoing one. I’ve spent the better part of the day crying because I am not the uber organised, highly motivated, high-achieving person I used to be who could juggle multiple publishing projects with multiple authors and keep it all straight and on track. Now I’m hard pressed to just be able to write a to do and I hate myself for being unreliable and unable to function.

And while all this was going on, I had in front of me a brand new writing project, which fits all the parameters for what this year is about. Sparkling, shiny, with an in built cheer squad and loads of padding in case I fall while doing it. It’s what I really wanted. And it was just waiting there for me to get over myself.

Sometimes it’s easy to get sidetracked by everything you think you’re missing out on and in doing so, miss out on all the important stuff right in front of you.

I know I’m not the only one here who struggles with saying no. But sometimes in saying no, we create pathways to wonderful opportunities to say yes! Even if it’s just saying yes to loving yourself as the best person you can be on the day.

No Fear by VincePal via Flickr used under a Creative Commons License