Priorities

image

I had a nice day today. I wasn’t needed for any supply, just a small amount of freelance in the afternoon where I get the opportunity to work with some of my favourite students.

Consequently, today has been predominantly a day of doing very little. While I have always been more of a night owl sort, I am beginning to love the very early morning time that I get to myself on these days after The Bloke has gone to work. It’s quiet and peaceful and while I can hear my neighbours taking their children to school or heading for work, I can often be found wrapped in fluffy blankets and reading in my jammies, or watching make-up tutorials on YouTube. Bliss. Sometimes, it’s just nice to do nothing.

After I had finished my ensemble work (which always gives me a huge buzz), I spent some time talking to one of the older students. I’ve known her for a number of years now, and watched her grow from a squeaky teenager into an intelligent, articulate and talented young woman, and we have developed quite a rapport. She told me about a fantastic opportunity that she has been offered to spend time studying in another country, but she was torn about what she should do as she has spent the last two years preparing for university. Of course, putting off university for a year is no big deal – I took a year out myself before I started my first year – but I can see why she is a little daunted by it all… It’s certainly not something I would have had the nerve to do at her age.

However, it did get me thinking about her life in direct contrast to mine. She’s working hard and setting the foundations for her future. She has plans, goals and ambitions.

I remember when I was the same. I had a set of ideals as to what I wanted my life to be, and planned a series of medium and long term goals to reach by the time I was 30. And do you know what? I bloody well achieved them, only to realise that when I had reached the place I thought I should be, it wasn’t what I wanted at all.

I think the conversation this afternoon made me realise that I don’t really have any goals or ambitions anymore, for the first time in as long as I can remember. Instead, I’m happy to sit back, relax and do nothing. I like the idea of not having to go anywhere or plan for constant activities. I don’t mind living from day to day without a secure and permanent job. I’d rather live with less money and sleep soundly at night instead.

Odd how priorities change, isn’t it?

46 Ideas To Beat Blogger’s Block

Ideas to be Blogger's block

I’m almost half-way through #NaBloPoMo and, admittedly, I’m struggling. Blog Her have provided some fantastic prompts, but I’m one of those awkward people who only likes to write about something when I’m in the mood to do so, so I haven’t been following them as diligently as others.

Once a blog has been established and a number of posts written, it’s inevitable that most bloggers will suffer from the dreaded ‘Bloggers Block’ at some point. Indeed, it has plagued me at various points in the year, and it’s incredibly frustrating, particularly when the urge to write is there. Continue reading

10 Lessons Learned in 2015

Lessons learned in 2015

While 2015 is not yet over, one of the NaBloPoMo prompts from last week was all about lessons learned as a child. I, however, feel I have learned more in the last year than any other…

1. Life goals don’t mean anything if you aren’t prepared to work for them. Nothing usually just happens – a dream can only be fulfilled with hard-work, dedication, and often some level of sacrifice.

2. Taking the time to appreciate the little things is often more beneficial than looking at the big picture. While I’m lucky in that I have lots of things to look forward to in the future, I have learned this year to be more aware of a moment as I am living it. Hot bubble baths, cuddles with The Bloke and the cats, a great film, a well-written book or blog post, a beautiful meal, a funny conversation with a friend, a lovely view – they all add up to making an otherwise mediocre day far more special.

3. It is never usually possible to truly know and totally rely on anybody. In most instances, this is not a negative thing – everyone has their own lives and different priorities, and it is important to maintain one’s independence without putting expectations onto others. However, this year in particular I have learned not to rely on others being there, and not assume that I categorically know what someone else is really thinking and feeling. Continue reading

Some Bad News…

imageI had a completely different post prepared for today’s NaBloPoMo. However, The Bloke has had some bad news today and as the main purpose of this little blog is to be able to work through various issues in the process of writing, I decided to change my initial idea and just get back to free writing – something I haven’t done in some time.

I’m not going to go into too much detail, but The Bloke’s job security has been in a precarious position for a while. His place of work has been going through a ‘restructure,’ a word that has never been positive in my experience, and despite several opportunities to potentially stabilise this in the last month, he has placed his faith and loyalty in the words offered to him by the people that he should be able to trust. Continue reading

Lego and a Sexy Nightgown

image

The Bloke gets acquainted with the TMNT

It was The Bloke’s birthday last week. As he is in his late 40’s, the concept of birthdays completely passes him by, and he gets grumpy when he has to acknowledge that he is another year older. I, on the other hand, like to make a fuss of him. It’s taken a while, but we’ve managed to work it out over the years – I make a fuss, he pretends to enjoy it. It’s a win/win, for me at least. It’s easy to buy stuff and make plans for him – he’s a total geek – and this year I outdid myself in ramping up the geek factor. I bought tickets to ‘Brick,’ the UK’s biggest Lego convention (I’m surrounded by Lego at home) and after six months of searching I managed to find a rare figurine to complete his Doctor Who collection (only to discover that the same company had brought out new figurines recently, but never mind). Brick was ok – it was smaller than I expected, with the price of Lego pieces and sets being far more expensive that in high street stores, but for avid collectors who were missing perhaps one or two mini figures it would have been absolutely perfect.

I have been back at work on supply (substitute teaching) and freelance, and I’m still very much enjoying the interaction with the staff and students and the lack of responsibility that goes with it. I must admit, I have noticed a slight change of attitude towards me from some of the younger students and new staff who don’t know my previous history at the school – nothing major, just the occasional dismissive attitude, but it’s isn’t anything I can’t handle. Some days, like today, are lots of fun – the students get on with their work and do so with a sense of humour. Others, like yesterday, are difficult and filled with attitude problems and behaviour management techniques. No two days are the same, and that’s the way I like it.

I’ve also discovered that I may have a potential career path that I had never considered before – being a personal shopper. A friend of mine is currently planning for her wedding and asked me to go shopping with her, where she mentioned that she might like to look for a nightgown for her wedding night. I chose this in Marks & Spencer’s – I think her fiancĂ© is going to be absolutely delighted!

Gorgeous...

Gorgeous…

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks.

He-Man and Fairy Wings

Childhood toys that I miss

This month’s NaBloPoMo is all about examining the past, present and future, and I like the idea. I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflection over the last six months and I find it useful to reminisce occasionally – it often serves as a reminder as to how far I have come.

Yesterday’s post about my stuffed toy elephant, while it wasn’t planned, seems to tie in with today’s theme of childhood toys.

As an adult I’m a sucker for all things cute and fluffy – cuddly toys being no exception. However, as a child of the 80’s I was obsessed with cartoons and the action figures that came with it. It was predominantly a female household – my father being completely outnumbered by mum, my two sisters and I, but toys were never gender specific for us. He-Man, She-Ra and Thundercat figures adorned my bedroom, along with the She-Ra ‘Princess of Power’ Palace and Lion’O’s large plastic ‘Sword of Omens,’ complete with a central circle that lit up when you pressed a button on the handle. Combined with my epic fairy wings and an Inspector Gadget watch that I got as part of a McDonalds Happy Meal (I always wanted to be Penny and was regularly disappointed that our Beagle, Patch, didn’t possess the skills that Brains had), I was an unstoppable force of awesomeness that saved the world regularly. Indeed, my mother still reminds me of the times she walked past my room to find me saying ‘And then Skeletor had an idea…’ I’m not entirely sure what his idea was – I have no recollection of it – but he was certainly a crafty so-and-so.

However, despite being thoroughly spoilt throughout my childhood, there was one toy that I always wanted: a porcelain doll. I had plenty of dolls already – ones that talked, wet themselves, others that came with makeup so I could paint their face – but porcelain dolls were in a different league. I thought they were pretty, with beautiful delicate faces and curly hair. I loved their little dresses and matching hats. My friend has several, and I always remember the jealousy that ensued whenever I went to her house, particularly as I wasn’t allowed to touch them.

In preparation for this post, I googled ‘porcelain doll’ to remind myself of what it was that appealed to me. I now know why my mother never bought me one..

They’re bloody terrifying.

Dont believe me?

A porcelain doll

 

See! Terrifying!

With their soulless eyes, deathly pale skin and blank expressions, I can imagine that deep in their little petticoats they are hiding weapons of mass destruction to use when they take over the world. I can only imagine the nightmares that would have followed should I have had little Pollyanna staring at me from the top of my bookcase.

I think I’ll stick with He-man and my fairy wings…

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks.

#NaBloPoMo: It Begins!

It’s November, which means that #NaBloPoMo is officially underway, and for once I’ve decided to throw myself into it instead of hopping in and out.

The idea of posting every day for a month initially seemed quite daunting, particularly as I know that I’m going to be busy at work, so it’s a good thing that this last week has been filled with tales of family and friends, an epic blog party, a break up (not mine), wedding plans (not mine), How I Got Away With Murder and a large hall full of Lego.

However, it’s late and I’m up early for work tomorrow, so I thought I’d introduce you to the newest addition to the household. I bought him this afternoon, and can’t decide a name for him… Any suggestions?

image

Things to Be Thankful For

image

I refrained from writing these thoughts down on my blog and instead made a list in my notebook to be saved for a later date as I felt that perhaps this post was a little early and these reflections should be saved for New Year (and the realisation that all my American and Canadian friends would be doing the same in a few weeks during Thanksgiving, which we don’t celebrate here in the UK), but yesterday I read an absolutely gorgeous post by Dara from The Clearout about the birth of his baby girl and it tipped me over the edge (in a literary sense – please check out ‘Want To Change the World?’ – I reblogged it.) Suddenly the small list had turned into a five-page epic and I was desperate to collate them all on here to share with you.

My initial opening sentence was going to be ‘This year has been a difficult one‘ and when reflecting on the events of the last ten months as a proverbial ‘big picture’ I suppose it has. I have been so focussed (focused? I’m still confused) on the negative aspects of life that I often forget to pause and give thanks for the continuously good things. These are the things that I think most of us forget to be grateful for. Continue reading

On Being a Snob

The last few days have been rather busy. I ‘hit the ground running’ at work – I was ill the week before half term and so I have been attempting to catch up on a monumental amount of individual tasks that need completing by the end of the week.

I’ve also tried to read through all the comments I have received on my blog recently. I normally do my best to reply to every single one, but the sheer volume of them has made it virtually impossible.

It has proven to be an interesting read. Some have agreed, others haven’t. One was so furious that he decided to write his own post in response, which I actually enjoyed and gave me an opportunity to discuss the topic with him in a more detailed manner. In general, most of the feedback that I gained has been useful, respectful and I have appreciated the points that everyone had to offer.

There was one, however, that immediately irritated me. Instead of offering her opinion about the subject, which she is perfectly entitled to do, she began her comment by saying: Continue reading

Three Months Holiday a Year: The Common Misconceptions of Teaching

Yesterday I had a conversation with a friend-of-a-friend. This is how it went:

Them: So, what do you do?

Me: I’m a music teacher.

Them: Oh, so you’re on half-term at the minute?

Me: Yes, I’ve been on half-term over the last week.

Them: It must be great having three months off a year…

Suffice to say, the conversation didn’t last very long.

I’ve been a qualified music teacher since July 2007 and have been employed in secondary schools on a permanent basis ever since. This is not the first time I have had the ‘three months a year’ comment directed towards me, usually by people (friends included) that have no experience or understanding of the profession. I used to be furious at this, now I usually just roll my eyes and change the subject of the conversation, but for some reason the comment really irritated me yesterday. Continue reading