Escaping is not changing

Quote from Ross Welfords book ‘Time travelling with a hamster’

You may of noticed I didn’t publish anything on Sunday, I just couldn’t find my writing flow (which is very unusual for me), so instead I have 4a handful of half written posts that I’ll deal with another day. This afternoon I saw a quote in the teen fiction book listed below and my inner blog danced like the world was watching. I’m also a huge fan of Ross’s work.

2020 the year pretty much nobody is going on holiday, no escaping and yet so many changes. I think travel offers both a quick escape get away or a profound change. I remember my friends brother returning from Australia and as he walked in the door he didn’t look like the boy that left?

Escapism has its place, I personally find mine in books and creative outlets that allow my imagination to explore momentarily.

However, when things go wrong in life we often as adults find quick fixes to dull the sense, from drugs to alcohol or we pack and leave certain that the grass is greener. Of course lawns are complex organisms and need the right level of sun / water ratio…very quickly we learn that all grass has the ability to die and look dishevelled (ours is green thanks to the high ratio of moss) and our old patterns we attempted to escape from reincarnate with new relationships or jobs.

Change is usually beneficial but comes with sacrifice and hard work. Change requires bravery and a trust of instinct which can be hard to summon. So often we go for the easy option; in lawn maintenance this would be the artificial option.

However, the ebb and flow of life requires change. Nature changes seasons and it’s sometimes brutal, things die back and then grow again with a new depth. Natural disasters have a way of destroying but also rebuilding.

I think a combination of both is always is useful, sometimes we just need a brief chapter of escapism but sometimes we need to put the work in, be brave and make huge changes so that our lawns of life can thrive. There is often more reward in change than the temporary delay that escapism brings. How do you escape and what would you like to change?

Find your flow or drown.

Quote by Whatmyfridgesays.com

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

Anon

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.

Don’t make change too complex, just begin.

Quote Anon

When I was a child and had to revise for exams or complete homework of little interest, I would procrastinate like my life depended on it. I’d sit down, stand up, get a drink, go back for a snack, doodle…anything to delay the revision, until I was so tired or it was too late to bother.

Luckily along the way I grew a little more patience, a cup full of endurance and a scattering or resilience to help me power up as an adult me…but I still have my moments.

Currently across the nation / world the majority of children are still home schooling, well meant to be. In the last few weeks I’ve met with children and their parents and similar messages were echoed out “She started off well but…” or “Unfortunately we never found a routine” others have thrived, particularly without social pressures lifted from them or the demand of being up early and ready to learn in the classroom before 9am.

The great news, I promise from a teacher to you, is nobody is behind. We’re all in this together and come a time when our classes are back to bursting the magical skills of a teacher will prevail. Every child is unique, learns in different ways about a range of different things to a future carved out specifically for them.

However, as the quote above suggests some momentum is needed. For pupils that have lost their way and are overwhelmed with deadlines – I’ve emailed support by asking them to complete one piece of work and then to show me…a sense of completing something, recognition in making progress and a step (no matter how small) towards the never ending mountain is sometimes enough to take another step…a few more and change occurs. It’s a magical moment between and idea and a result. It can’t be pinpointed but it’s a sweet spot of success that occurs before the challenge or change is complete.

Better still, it can be applied to anything at any age; learning a new skill, stopping a bad habit, altering your life to align with your dreams, it all begins with a tiny thought and a small gesture – the rest is called living.

*Best of luck if you are a home schooler or are the adult with no idea what you should, shouldn’t be doing and perhaps even google can’t tell you how to do it…you care enough to worry and that’s all you need to do. Keep them safe, loved and healthy. Nothing else matters.

Labels are for jars not people.

Quote anon

A quote that says so much more. I could leave it here…but that wouldn’t be what this rambling blog is all about. I relearnt this lesson today after a person claiming to be enlightened told me in the same sentence that she didn’t judge ‘however’ it reminded me of when people say “I don’t mean this offensively but”…it can’t be done. I quickly realised that I had triggered her and although she believed the conversation directed at me was coming from a place of non judgement, her frustrated emotions were stirred in for extra joy. A quick conversation with a dear friend reminded me that her words weren’t aimed at me, they were a reflection of her and where she was at. It ended well, I killed her with love.

Then my thoughts begun to spiral and I realised that this was a life lesson. Don’t label people, it puts expectations on them that can’t consistently reflect – we’re all only human after all. Perhaps more importantly be cautious when labelling yourself. The business world loves a lanyard – we adore to give humans titles and when we meet people we often begin by introducing ourselves by our profession and round the conversation off with a bullet point twirl of our lives.

We assume that all doctors want to heal, all postmen like early mornings and walking, all runners are fast, that lifestyle instagrammers have it made, that celebrities love the fame…we also know, with a blink of refection that this isn’t true. Just because someone goes to university doesnt mean they are more intelligent than those who haven’t, but yet we often as a society judge those vey things. I can see why.

Labels bring a level of comfort, particularly towards someone we have just met. I can imagine the chaos of my larder if the tins were all label-less, in fact it would make evening meals like a game of Russian Roulette. Tonight we might have a chilli with kidney beans…or it might have peaches in it, tasty.

Food labels are really handy, they can inform you of sell by dates, ingredients, allergies, cooking directions but tinned food is consistent in its weight and ingredients …human are a little more complex, thank heavens. We can be skilled in one area, but not another. We can be vegan on Monday and choose to eat cheese on a Wednesday. We aren’t static. We weren’t manufactured on a production line. We can change and alter, we can make mistake’s and then realign.

If I were fully labelled like a jar of pasta source, my label would be huge! It would contradict itself, be as thick as a thesaurus and ultimately wouldn’t serve me or you the reader. So, lets all stop claiming to be a simplistic as the jar of pasta, open the lid of life and tip out the contents into a mixing bowl of love.

‘Written by Lucy; Teacher, quote lover, house plant addict and mother’…oh the irony.

The first wealth is health

Regular reader will know that I only usually post on a sunday evening, then last week I did a midweek rant and now…I thought I’d give posting when I wanted a go for a while. During uncertain times I alway write and need to increase my vibration, writing helps and so this is my therapy.

I might be one of the very few that isn’t anxious any longer. I’m not very good at prolonged time in a negative mind space and so I’m taking each day at a time. In this moment we have all we need and more. My family is safe and we all have our health, that’ a blessing that I will never take for granted.

Mother nature was kind to the UK and gave us a large helping of sun, another thing I never take for granted. Its helped to boost my mood and gave my family a little more space in isolated times. As I topped up on my vitamin D today walking my son (the dog came too) I realised that once you distance yourself from the hype and panic, detach from the mass media where possible and reflect.

Growing up I always remember adults asking what I wanted to be when I was older, the implication often being financial or integrated with my current interest, perhaps the purpose of that questions when we ask it as adults should be a focus on health and well-being. When we don’t have it, we have very little.

We can’t start over but we can create a new beginning

Quote by Zig Ziglar

When asked if I’d like to relive my teenage years again, I’m not sure I would? Would you?

I believe that everything happens as it’s meant to, with lessons of light and dark along the way…some opportunities we pass up or miss, others we seize which take us to the next opportunity, be that light or dark. However, I do think much like a book we all have chapters, some merge into each other like subtle subtitles, others have huge landmarks chapters where we shift our sense of self, perhaps overcome a personal battle, experience a wave of emotions or a new aspect of ourselves leads us to take on a new identity; as a parent, leader, carer.

What does worry me is some people dislike the chapters that they are writing daily and they do nothing about it, except perhaps feel sad, lonely or lost. The idea of starting again can see so overwhelming that they can’t conceive it’s possible. Fear nibbles at their ankles, doubt knocks at their door daily and they let it in.

If this resonates with you, you aren’t alone. Change can be terrifying, debilitating and contagious. Recently I’ve learnt the ‘one tribe theory’ and it can helps you to make the changes needed.

The Change doesn’t really matter, whether it be to lose weight, learn a new skill or hobby, start a new career path or perhaps retrain…you need one person who thinks it’s a good idea / supports you. You needn’t bother telling the members of your tribe that are submerged in fear, once you’ve got momentum you can pass the word around and include them.

To begin with you share your vision with one person, you then take one action towards your goal (enrolling on a course), you then that another action (attend the course)….with this kind of momentum you are now unstoppable.

Report back to your one tribe member the positives as you go, you may even need them to help you work out ways of getting around obstacles, but the getting going, the turning up is always the hardest part.

You can’t start over, you can’t change the past BUT you can create a new chapter of your life story…find your tribe member and plant the seed…best of luck!

Set the tone, love you first

Quote by me. Yes seriously I couldn’t find a quote that I liked and then BOOM I thought, why don’t I just write my own…ta-da!

Okay, today I’m rambling about self care because it’s so important. I schedule ‘me’ in to everyday. I work full time, I do pretty much all the house work, I’m a mum and I’m exhausted BUT everyday I plan time for me.

Why? Am I selfish, arrogant or living in lala land – probably. However, I’m of the opinion that if I don’t take care of my body, soul and mind then who’s going to do all the things I do everyday? Also, I do them better when I’m not stressed and ready to kill. ‘Me time’ gives me time to reflect, love, listen and realign.

How do I do it? Well I have a mini diary that lives in my clutch bag it has any little dude appointments (seriously seven year olds have the best social lives), family events, late night commitments from work anything that we as a family are doing. On a Sunday evening I look at the week ahead and schedule something in that’s time appropriate around the day we have planned. For example tonight I got home early so I committed to a 45min yoga session, writing this post and lighting an incense stick. Yesterday was crazy busy so I planned to paint my nails. The day before I had a cup of tea alone with a new book for company.

I plan ‘me time’ because otherwise I get caught up in the world of everybody else’s needs, plus if I’m having a horrendous day I know I can look forward to something that I enjoy.

On a Sunday evening before I launch in to the week ahead I usually take a long bath with some sort of luxury products, a face mask or hair treatment. I light candles, lock the door…take a glass of something with me for company and breath.

I first did this planned approach after I became a Mum. I’d lost my body, my soul was too tired to care and felt like me was disappearing. Only I like me, I’ve been with me for well…all my life, I wanted to be a Mum, evolve and seize new adventures but not at the cost of becoming someone I didn’t recognise or like very much. I also wanted my son to have the best I could offer. How can anyone fill other peoples cups of needs if their pouring jug is empty? So I fill my cup and keep it topped up daily. I plan events to look forward to that I enjoy, usually theatre trips or travelling and most of them happen either with friends or once little dude is in bed. Working full time I don’t like missing further time from him. But every now and then, he needs a break from me and it makes me a better Mummy for him when I return.

So, if you haven’t used nail polish since 2012, if you use to have a hobby that got lost along the route to that new job…seize it back, be a positive and balanced role model for your little people and those watching. Set the tone and always love you first, you’re worth it and so are those around you.