Has life changed? Yes in many ways it has, inevitably, as the world would be pretty dull if it was constantly the same. However, I am still in the same job, living with the same man, in the same house, with the same pets, the same children are at home and my parents are near.
Since a year ago, my son and DIL have gone to live overseas for a year, where they are well and happy. You can find them and their pictures on their site - Life in Bangladesh
This photo was at the airport as they left this year - but he now sports a red bushy beard...
Sorry no photos of that - we just see it on skype!
We also gained Phoebe, an adorable new and third grand daughter in our lives.
or find her on youtube - here she is getting jiggy with the push chair we got her...
I guess the other thing I am reflecting on is have I changed? I would like to say yes; certainly I have grown. Until very recently I would have said I felt more serene, happy in my relationship, not anxious. But, as happens, we hit some speed bumps this week which slowed us down for a while and I had to face some anxieties. Challenges often do that.. hit you from multiple directions at once. Guess that juggling it all will mean you drop the ball occasionally. On reflection, I did cope pretty well - I didn't cry, or curl up in a ball, or over react so this means I was able to keep it in perspective and focus on managing it!! Today I feel like I am back to that serene part - growth indeed.
I am still relieved the holidays are almost here as the time with no classes gives us all a moment to breathe, reconsider, prepare and recover. Like anyone involved in education, the frantic pace we have been working at, the high enrolment numbers, the expectation and demands from industry, procedures, technology, staff changes, audits, moderation, assessment and the relentless worry associated with ensuring the needs of the students are being met has left us all feeling battered. We badly need to recharge ourselves. I guess one high point I, and I hope my work colleagues, did get this month was the team spirit we gained from uniting to support each other against a raft of difficult situations. You know, the ones that knock you sideways when you least expect it. It always makes me think of The Suncreen Song:
Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.We also know the words of Abraham Lincoln:
"you can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time".I think this should be engraved on our office doors... the need to discuss the issues and recognising that it is a problem we really are all facing together made such a difference to how it made me feel. I know we will continue to do our best to meet the needs of as many as we can, and try not to hurl ourselves under a bus over the ones that we can never please. To each their own jouney. People are defined by their experiences and their actions will determine their path in life. What goes around, comes around. I have been lucky that nearly all my work brings me in contact with awesome people that I enjoy being with and teaching. Many others are not so lucky. Here are two pix ttaken in our class yesterday... one scenario from the groups, involving many hours work sorting out the right and wrong ways to handle issues they will face in practice.
Meanwhile, I am enjoying a peaceful and sunny morning, pottering around doing the washing and having some idle thoughts about what I need to pack this week for our holiday.
Life is good.