Category Archives: Family
My wife (DW) sent this blog to me a few months ago and ever since I read it, I was determined to write my own. As it happens, I’ve just been too busy to do so!
August: Every teacher’s favourite month of the year. If I couldn’t find time to do it then, I’d never do it. So, here we go…
Pastor Steve Wiens started his post like this, and it gives mine some point of reference:
Mary told me this week that I tend to have a “dramatic sense of time.” Apparently, when I’m stressed, I act as though things have been going on for far longer than they actually have. So I probably have only been way too busy for approximately 48 hours. Whatever.
So I sat down and went back through my calendar over the last thirty days or so, looking for anything awesome that I did which might counteract my grouchiness.
Here is my top 10 list (in no particular order):
1: DW went off on an all-day hen do. She had had it booked for ages, I was nervous about it as I needed to ‘dad’ up and be in charge of all 3 of our children all day! It was the first Saturday after I’d broken up from the summer; I knew I was going to be tired and all I really wanted was a rest. With Sarah being away all day, I knew I had to put anything I wanted to do on hold (including any form of screen time). It was fantastic! No worrying about work or emails, no stressing about anything other than what game we were playing next. A lovely day. Hero Dad.
2: The Storm is the Story. Our year 6 (eleven year olds) performed a Shakespeare For Kids (S4K) version of The Tempest – one of the Bard’s harder plays – and they were tremendous. So many people wouldn’t and couldn’t imagine children of that age tackling Shakespeare, yet they did. They sang, danced and acted with a professionalism and enthusiasm that many adults couldn’t achieve. Fabulous, and yes, a particular scene got to this tough old daddy everytime.
3: I finished work. In two ways: firstly, we broke up for the summer which is a blessed relief enough but I ended my time at SJS – I have a new deputy head post, starting this September. The staff asked me what I wanted to do: buffet was my answer. Buffet in our science garden with my friends. That’s what I got and it was lovely. Good food, fun games and a very generous selection of presents.
4: The British & Irish Lions won in Australia. I know this is nothing I’ve done but it was a reason for joy anyway. I love sport and after last summer’s mammoth successes, I was hungry for more. Rugby is the sport in which my passion soars the highest. I scream. I shout. I get grumpy/ecstatic. The boys won down under; it was a great end to the tour and a fantastic start to the weekend.
5: The Lions weekend was when two of our good friends came down: Graham & Laura – old university pals that we don’t see as much of as we’d like. We relaxed in the sun, played daft games and ate BBQ food. It was another opportunity to forget about the busyness of work and focus on what was important.
6: DW and I celebrated our 8th anniversary. We didn’t go out as we had only just returned from our holiday (no. 9) but we relaxed together. Ate food, chatted and cuddled. How she has managed to survive 8 years of my grumpiness, I’ll never know…
7: Retirement. Not mine, (although if I could…) a good friend, who I regularly meet for termly curries retired from his teaching post after several decades. It was great to meet old friends and colleagues.
8: The Derby boys. My good friends of many years, it is a rarity indeed for us all to meet and we just got together, had a drink and a chat. We passed the time like grumpy old men in a grotty bar – it was a real stress reliever.
9: Whitby. DW brilliantly found us a last-minute deal on a caravan on the north-east coast. The five of us packed tightly into our car and headed up the A1. We ate, we chilled, we made sandcastles, we jumped waves, we laughed and we enjoyed being a family. Our week in Whitby was the first time I’ve properly relaxed in months. I could feel the weeks and weeks of stress and worry ebb away. Our first holiday as a family of five and one that I will always remember.
10: Ice cream. I love ice cream, and one of my fondest memories of our week in Whitby was sitting on the top of one of the cliffs looking out over the sea, the famous whalebones were metres away and the sun was shining. We all sat there, peacefully, gazing out over the water, spotting boats and eating ice creams. I felt totally at peace and very blessed.
So, here are my 10 things. In a month that was one of the busiest of the year, I still found time to do all of these things (and more). Think you’re busy? Think you don’t do anything fun or worthwhile? Do what I did and make your list.
Pastor Steve’s full post is HERE.
I didn’t actually know that busyness was a real word – in fact, I’m still not overly convinced. I have little time to blog anymore (see my POST here), I have little time to do anything anymore. I am a working, church-going, human-climbing frame with too many fat fingers in too many fat pies.
I love being involved in different things, the more time-consuming projects I see being tweeted about or in the education circular on the staff room table, the more I want in. Ironically, the more chores that need completing at home, the less I want in. This is much to DW’s dismay.
It’s not strictly true that I get nothing done, I am just a person who is interested in many things. Always have been. I want to do it all and can’t. It’s quite simple – I am a husband and father (of three) and have a stressful and very busy job. I am hugely fortunate/blessed however, as I love my job (my family too, of course!) there are times when it is exhausting: physically and mentally, occasionally emotionally but I love it. See HERE. But, I get things done. DW is very patient with me and gives me the time I need and want to achieve my mammoth lists – she’s a good ‘un.
Amongst the trials and tribulations of being a distressed dad: bathtimes, sleeptimes and occasional days out, I am an assistant head at a school which is now in Special Measures – it’s no secret, the Ofsted report is out. Despite all this, I am still, perhaps foolishly taking on another monster project to end the year with. Last summer, we performed Shakespeare 4 Kidz version of Macbeth. It almost killed me. I was seeing daggers in my sleep, smoke machines at every turn and constantly had make-up or scripts littering my beloved tidy desk for several weeks. So, upon the sage advice from DW I thought about directing something smaller this summer. Something easier.
I thought again.
We are performing The Tempest, also by Shakespeare 4 Kidz.
It is going to be a stormy and hectic ride; alongside Y6/7 transition, reports, me leaving (I have a new job), countless data profiles to prepare for SLT, staff and governors and HMI popping in. All in 35 days!
I am extremely excited about it. True.
The sensible thing would be to take a relaxing week off, calm and chilled before the storm. So I decided to mark SATs reading papers too.
I don’t know is the answer to your questions. I just don’t know. Soz.
Tim Chester’s helpful book on ‘busyness‘ and how we should approach it.