… And Relax!

imageWow. With three instrumental workshops, a tech rehearsal, a full evening music concert with 75 kids, two full ensemble rehearsals, two coursework folders, five awards assemblies and a set of reports on top of my normal teaching timetable in the last week, I’ve been more stressed out than I have ever been in my ten years of working in education. I’ve barely slept, my smoking habit has increased and I’ve come home and broken down in tears on several occasions while The Bloke has given me a hug and told me it will be okay.

Finally, it’s over. The reports and coursework are done, the concert and assemblies were a huge success after being supported by some of my colleagues, my lessons were good and I have received endless amounts of praise and positive feedback from colleagues and parents. I bloody did it, and I’m proud of myself for doing so. The best part of it is knowing that I will NEVER have to do that again. My line manager is back from maternity leave after a year off, my timetable has been reduced for next term and I have less that 50 working days left until I can start my new life.

It’s Friday, it’s pay day and it’s the start of the Easter holidays. It’s the first time in a while where I haven’t experienced anxiety or chest pains. It’s my friend’s birthday tomorrow, so I’m going to put on my glad rags and dance the night away (something I haven’t done for a long time), I’m going to spend a bit of time with my family as it is my sister’s 30th birthday and have some quality time with The Bloke, and the blog, of course. I’m going to read a book, go for walks, take lots of long, hot baths and I might even get my hair cut. My school laptop is going in the cupboard, along with my marking.

The next seven days are going to be good, because I’m taking the bloody week off.

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

Image: The Guardian

Serenity

It’s a dark and cold Friday night and after a long and busy week I’m feeling a little frazzled. The temperature outside has dropped and tomorrow’s weather forecast is predicting heavy snow.

At times like these, I like to revisit photographs that remind me of slightly warmer and more relaxed times. My favourites remind me of beautiful and serene places that I have been privileged to visit and some wonderful experiences with some of my favourite people…

The view of the Italian landscape from Pompeii, 2012

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The Seine and the Eiffel Tower, Paris 2010. The Bloke and I sat by the river and watched the sunset

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The sunset from the train home after spending the weekend with Mum

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A day spent at the spa with my friend, who had generously bought me a pampering session for my birthday

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Alexandria, near Washington D.C., 2010

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Hope you all have a relaxing Friday night!

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

 

What’s Wrong With Being Right?

“Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.”  Tolstoy

imageIt’s a long standing joke between my best friend and I that he likes to be right, to the point where on the very rare occasions where I have been able to prove him wrong I’ll make a big deal and laugh at him. This is all done in jest – I’ve known him since I was 19 years old and we have a good enough relationship to be able to say what we feel without fear of offending each other. We generally seem to share the same beliefs and moral code, so it’s rare that we totally disagree on a subject. However, does it mean that because we share these ideals we are ‘right’ in what we believe?

What I have discovered is that the issue of being ‘right’ in our opinions, however, can sometimes be a dangerous thing. Each person, and subsequently their minds, are unique, and this means that each individual has a different perception of the reality of a situation. Our minds are an interpretation of ourselves, our experiences and our surroundings.

I’ve always believed that I am quite open minded when listening to other’s opinions on lots of different subjects (often resulting in some interesting conversations) without judgement, but I stubbornly took a rather dogmatic approach to my own. To justify myself, I used the premise that I involuntarily felt the way I did about something or someone, and should be allowed the right to do so. Ultimately, regardless of others attempts to offer alternative perspectives on the situation, I thought I was right, and that was all that mattered.

Unfortunately, I frequently found that the beliefs that I continued to remain attached to were the negative ones that allowed me to approach certain situations in a state of anger and frustration. When I have been truly hurt, something inside me switches off emotionally and I’ve been a victim of my own mind (and consequently have played the victim) for a long time. I haven’t done it consciously, but upon reflection I think I may have almost been looking for justification and understanding from those around me about my feelings, and have been left with almost a sense of abandonment on occasion when I haven’t received it.

In general, I like my life. I have a good relationship with The Bloke and my mother, lots of good friends, a well paid job, nice colleagues, a cosy home and two cats. While money is a little tighter than it used to be, I don’t want for anything. I have been lucky to have experienced lots of wonderful things and visited places I used to only dream of as a child. I have nothing to complain about, yet, somehow, despite the many ways in which I attempted to adopt a different approach, my mindset was steadfast in the way I regarded certain situations to be. I was right, they were wrong.

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A little while ago, I decided that being right is not important. I don’t want to live like that anymore. I don’t want to say what I think other people want to hear to pacify them and avoid lectures. I don’t wish to put on a smile and go through the motions just to put a brave face on it. While I cannot change what has happened, I want to be able to let go and move on. I don’t want to be right, I want to be happy.

As with any change, it’s going to take a little bit of time, but I’m hoping that one small step at a time will lead me on the journey I wish to travel…

What about you? How have you moved on from things that have hurt you in the past?

You can find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog.