Find your flow or drown.

Quote by

An original quote that came out of a chat with a dear friend. Some people plan every inch of their lives, others float through life like a piece of drift wood…I believe that the sweet spot is somewhere in the middle.

As always, balance is the key to surfing the waves of life. I personally find that when I make plans God likes to turn up with a tsunami and my life becomes a wipe out. However, its good to have some idea of where you are going, what you would like to achieve and perhaps watch the waves as they come in and select which you’d like to ride.

Another friend of mine recently spoke to me about how’s she is making a conscious effort to listen to her intuition, that inner voice that the world often tries to drown out. It doesn’t always lead you to the best wave, but often I’ve found it takes you to much smaller rewarding moments that build up for a more meaningful existence. I found this when job hunting, whilst I thought i’d found the ideal job and completed the application, that led me to an advert for a dream job that I wouldn’t have found where I was previously looking, its a little like a coast line – sometimes you walk a little further than you thought, find a cave, its leads to another opening and bam! Life gives you a private lagoon that wasn’t on the map and you couldn’t of planned to have seen.

The sadder side of the quote is drowning. In this instance I’m not talking about death, that’s at least has a conclusion. It’s seeing people walk around drowning it bad decisions, scared to move so the waves keep rolling in. Perhaps they ‘make do’ with a relationship they are in, stay in the same job because ‘its easy’ …. easy is arm bands.

Arm bands are cool, in the 80’s I had the standard luminous orange duo with a slight pink tinge due to the sun. They kept me afloat and were a lot of fun for splashing. My Dad even taught me to swim down to the deep end with them. I attempted a few dives but the arm bands got in the way, the edges scratched me and when I jumped in they did a fine job of repelling me across the swimming pool above the water, which isn’t the desired affect of a dive.

Dad made the bold decision to remove the arm bands…I was ever sceptical and had a logical fear of drowning. He then taught me to swim under the water. I loved it.

Don’t drown in life. I also highly recommend arm bands, but at some point you also need to move beyond them. If my Dad hadn’t of made that decision I would never have swam with Turtles in the Caribbean Ocean. I’d never of snorkelled in the Maldives or body surfed, Id never of felt the thrill of a jet ski and perhaps never tried parasailing. In the future I’d like to try paddle boarding, beyond my arm bands is a ‘sea’ of opportunity.

Where am I going with all these aqua metaphors? Well, to sum up we all need to take life or in this case the sea seriously. Its hazardous and the phrase ‘worse things happen at sea’ is true. BUT to thrive we need need to take risks, try new things and find our flow. Sure, every now and then we will need someone to throw us an inflatable ring, a life jacket or even alert the coast guard, but if we find our flow and take things as they come…we may just find joy in seeing how beautiful the ocean really is. If you are drowning, ask a friend or loved one to help you. Fish swim in shoals for a reason.

It’s the little memories that will last a life time.

Quote Anon

Today is the last day before the summer vacation, but also I’m hanging my hat up in my current school. A classroom that I’ve called home for over eleven years. How do you sum up all of those memories in a small speech to a crowd of people that you hold dear?
If you’re me, you open your Mac book and use your blog. So this is my farewell and my thank you speech, it also means that using this platform allows those still shielding to be part of our end of term celebrations.

At the start of this week a yr 7 saw me in the corridor and said how sad she was that I was leaving, she winked and then said “Miss are you leaving to fulfill your dreams of being a full time mermaid?” I can now confirm that at least one child has listened to me in the last eleven years.

When I got the position as Nurture teacher *such an awesome title, back at the end of 2008 I went home and celebrated with perhaps a little too much zest. Several weeks later I had to make a call to explain to my new headteacher that I was pregnant. She took the news better than expected and simply said ‘you’ll fit right in’ this turned out to be a literal interpretation as I was the 8th member of staff to be pregnant at that point in time. So walking into the staff room on my first day was like a scene from a David Attenborough Sea Lion breading documentary.

At 38 weeks pregnant I was ordered to leave site (one of the other Mums to be had previously come close to giving birth in the school car park) as regular readers will know the birthing plan didn’t go to plan at all and three days after giving birth Gracie passed away in my arms, too precious for this earth.
However in my darkest hour the school shone a light of love, a cocoon of comfort around me, for that I’ll always be hugely grateful. While the Mr received an obligatory card and bouquet of flowers, I was treated as a member of the family having only been there for a few months.

I was treated to the same love in 2019 after our silent miscarriage. I’d discussed with my manager that I’d like staff to know but that I was in a good headspace and just needed to be treated the same, no need for contact. Two minutes after she made the announcement in briefing my phone rang like it was caught in the Matrix, personal messages of love and support were just a text away. Thank you. 

In our darkest moments we often learn to appreciate what truly matters. I’m not sure I’ve ever fully recovered from summer camp 2012? The year it rained every day and we lived in a muddy puddle of coldness and excessive amounts of sugar. Needless to say that was my last camping experience. Ever. One joy was that I didn’t bring any muddy clothing home, at under 5ft most of the eleven years old wore my clothes and for the next few weeks in school they approached me in corridors with Mum washed carriers bags of thanks. Another school value I hold dear. 

Having a specialism in behaviour means I’ve come across my fair share of naughty monkeys and sometimes that means calling parents and explaining why they’ve been excluded…again. My top exclusions phone calls have involved sentences such as “ yes that’s right, she filled her lunch box up with Daddy-long leg spiders and tormented the new year sevens”
“No you heard right, she purchased some jelly and ketchup from the school diner applied it to sanitary towels and stuck it to the girls backs” and the classic line “ yes she really did tell the headmasters to go do that”

Laughter is key when dealing with child protection and also handy when teaching politics in the last few years, my biggest thanks goes to the staff I’ve worked with. When the world seems so dark and our case loads are over flowing, when our battle with external agencies seems like a blood bath…sometime you need to laugh.
Sometimes you need to climb into a cupboard because you think you can fit just to make the people around you chuckle.
Sometimes you come in to work and a member of staff stayed late to turn the desk upside down but arrange the items on the desk as if it were untouched.
Sometimes despite the ICT teams frustrations moving the keys on a keyboard to spell rude words is the chuckle you need and sometimes only hiding peoples shoes in the ceiling tiles and watching them look for them is your fix of Monday motivation

Saying goodbye is often difficult but laughing at the ridiculous, feeling proud of the achievement and having awesome people around you is a gift I’m proud to have been given. 

It’s true that in the classroom is where the real magic happens, however if you are thinking about teaching as a profession I would strongly recommend disregarding the adverts of TV. Whilst it’s true sometimes kids ask inspirational questions, you will mainly listen to inspirational lies of why they haven’t produced their homework. Be aware that just when your internal light of ‘yes they’ve got this’ is turned on and you’re rewarding yourself with the Nobel peace prize for teaching – a little hand at the back will say sometime like “Miss is the word Monarchy a pasta dish?” and suddenly your ego is in check for another day. 

To the parents who have trusted their most precious gift to us – thank you.
To the team of staff (both current and in previous years) who have stood together – thank you.
For the tears of joy and seeing children thrive – thank you.
For the tears of frustration – we learnt from you. 
For the summer holidays – we need you.

When you focus on the good, the good gets better


This quote makes me smile and then makes in practise is frustrating, like all things – it’s much harder to apply.

To master this it’s best to break it down into two parts, let’s begin with focusing on the good.

Focusing on the good: as mentioned previously I keep a gratitude diary and begin my day by scribbling down three things that I’m grateful for, for me personally it’s an instant energy boost to what I have, before I roll out of bed and any potential dread from the day ahead can creep in.

There are other ways you can focus on the good, during early lockdown I sent many handwritten letters to friends thanking them for the part they play in my life. Saying thank you is underrated energy booster for everyone (you and the recipient) but again instantly makes you feel a sense of positive connection.

Meditation can also help to refocus on the good when you feel imbalanced, or simply planning an indulgent meal to look forward to can help you to focus on the good and raise your vibration.

The good gets better: now we have established some appreciation with a dash of gratitude and a dollop of good will, you’ll notice that the next bits effortless. Much like riding a bike or any new skill the learning bit at the start is hard work, often feels like hard work and takes hard work BUT once you’ve acquired the skill, you’re off! The enjoyment increases and you can sit back and feel fabulous.

Forgive me for sounding like Pollyanna (the Disney film is in my top 5 Disney films of joy and my favourite childhood film) but once you give out good will, good vibes and general positive energy – you attract even more with little effort. Just keep noticing it and you’ll see even more to be grateful for.

A warning: before you send me a list of reasons why your life is horrendous and you’ve nothing to be grateful for. You found this post, which means you have internet access and you can read. Many don’t have these * I did warn you the Pollyanna affect can be irritating.

Extra warning: just because you chose to see good, focus on good and in doing so align with seeing more good, DOESN’T mean life won’t be bad. Sadly, good things happen to bad people and vice versa. However as good and bad events are going to enter our life anyway, I’d rather see them with my Pollyanna spectacles than sink in doom and gloom.

Is your glass half full or half empty?

Whatever makes you find the sun from the inside out chase that

Quote from Gemma Troy

Multitasking Mummy is currently in my sons piano lesson. Whilst I wait for him to find the middle C and test the patience of his teacher I had a thought. As someone with no musical talent – I feel super inspired to see a teacher pour out passion. He is a classical pianist and as a teacher I’m enjoying watching the sun in him shine.

When my son was first born, we as parents were his entire sun, moon and everything in between. As he learnt to talk, walk and move away he looked for his own light. As parents I see one of my priorities (beyond keeping him healthy and safe) to give him as many opportunities as possible. What he decides to do with these is entirely up to him.

I think allowing him to be himself and not projecting my sun light on him is hard. Motherhood gave me permission to be his spokes person, to voice what was best when he couldn’t speak. As he grows I need to learn when to speak and when to step back, allowing him to grow in his own truth.

However, despite its difficulties seeing him light up and finding his own sunlight is the largest reward. For myself I know where my inner light shines; good food, cuddles, yoga, beach walks and house plants are just a few. Writing also activates my internal light.

Make some time this week to shut out the world – the bright lights from everybody else’s joys and the chaos of sirens can often lead us down false pathways, to step inside yourself (although not literally as that would be really messy) and ponder the sunbeams that you hold inside, sometimes they are long forgotten activities – like sitting on a swing or colouring, you may be surprised in what you relearn about yourself, but I promise if you make time to chase the sun inside yourself, the outside world will glow with joy.