Sharing joy and knowledge from an ordinary life


‘Time flies when you’re having fun’.

I’m absolutely certain that it flies whatever is happening as somehow we’ve arrived at another new year and another moment to reflect on the past year as well as to set hopes for the one to come.

I’ve reached one of those rare junctions in life where so much has passed and come to an end, whilst so much is about to come but has not yet started that it’s difficult to grab hold of any of it at all, let alone pin it down into a succinct blog post. Reading the #nurture1516 pots of others inspired me to at least have a go at it.

Reflecting on 2015- last year’s #nurture hopes

This time last year, I had some hopes:

1. That we find a solution to the commuting problem. ACHIEVED!

2. That I start making the most of my new position and overcome my confidence and fear issues. THIS WILL NEVER BE ACHIEVED!

3. Make better use of time in order to meditate, read and write. ACHIEVED!

4. Socialise more. ACHIEVED!

5. See my family more. PARTLY ACHIEVED!

When I wrote last year’s #nurture post, there was no way, even for a single second, that I was entertaining the possibility that my commute would last for almost one more year. Another year of travelling added on means totals of roughly (not including flooding and then landslide disruption):

  • 66,716 miles
  • 1522 hours
  • 126.8 days

A solution to the commute has finally been found and it wasn’t the one I expected, although it was certainly the most inevitable conclusion: a new job in a new city.

This new city had to be in Yorkshire- I miss the rolling hills, the culture, the accents, the people, the honesty, the swearing, the water, the air (no, I’m not overly-romanticising the situation).

As I stepped through the doors of The Sheffield College, I had no idea I would feel the way I would about the job as I did by the end of the day. CPD at my last college had been my baby- a great deal of work (and travel) had been put into getting it off the ground and I wasn’t entirely sure I was ready to leave it behind but part way through the day I texted my mum- ‘I REALLY want this job!!!!’ I had surprised myself but it seemed that a new environment, fresh challenges and different faces was just the change I felt in need of (as so many people close to me had already tried to tell me).

I have had just two weeks in the new job and it is 2016 when the real challenges, opportunities and excitement will begin: you can expect blogging throughout as I make mistakes, fail hard, learn a great deal and hopefully succeed at some things too!

My confidence has, as per usual, been a sea of ups and downs but I’m certainly more at ease with this than I used to be. I know that I’ll have moments when what lies before me seems insurmountable and however hard I try, I’ll be unable to draw upon what I know I’ve already learned… yet I know there will also be days when I bounce back, grow in confidence and tackle challenges with certainty. I’m not sure I’ll ever get the balance right but feeling more at ease with the situation and not berating myself too much has been a great improvement.

Things I’m proud of having achieved in 2015:

  • I did more reading in 2015: both CPD related and fiction also.
  • I did more writing too.
  • I sort of got into a routine for a brief amount of time with swimming(!)
  • Using mindfulness techniques to focus on the moment and #notice

Other highlights of 2015:

  • We won an award for our CPD model (work)
  • We finally made a trip to Australia (family)
  • We made an impromptu visit to Bruges one weekend- the craziest, most unplanned thing I’ve ever done- thanks girls! (friends)
  • I finally got my partner in a tent (miracle!)


Image available from here

Hopes for 2016

Last year, my purpose was very much driven by what I could do/give to others- I feel that this year is the time for the balance to be shifted a little and I’ll be moving to ensure that more of the exchanges I have are mutually beneficial and each of us has something to offer the other.

I read a wonderful book over the holidays (lent to me by my mum) where an old man makes a journey up the length of the country (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry). As I make steps into a new beginning for myself, I am well aware that over the last few years, I have developed a number of bad habits that the new job gives me a chance to break:

‘Beginnings…happen more than once, or in different ways. You could think you were starting something afresh, when actually what you were doing was carrying on as before.’

In order to make sure that this is a brand new beginning:

  • I won’t be working all weekend (it’s rare that I’ll do any work on a weekend)
  • I won’t start work early (8.15) and stay late (7pm or later) on a regular basis- as I have become so accustomed to doing
  • I’ll blog when I feel the need to and won’t force a deadline on myself by staying up into the early hours to complete a piece of writing
  • I’ll attempt to set more realistic expectations for myself so that I don’t feel overwhelmed by work so easily
  • What I can, I will do…I am not the solver of every single problem

These actions will be vitally important for my own wellbeing and although my new role is a more challenging one, I’m determined not to lose sight of the fact that my life needs to have a greater balance in it so here are some

other hopes for the year to come:

  • Learn to sew
  • Grow vegetables
  • Learn to drive
  • Spend more time at the beach because it’s my happy place
  • More theatre and/or cinema
  • Get back into a routine with swimming and/or yoga
  • Attend TeachMeets and other similar events
  • Return to presenting at TeachMeets and other similar events
  • Continue reading- recommendations wanted please!

This was the #nurture1516 post that inspired me to give it a go this year:

and there are many others posted at this hashtag.

My writing commitment: I’m learning to honour my thoughts. I’m learning that my words can be shared before I’ve connected all the dots or learned everything there is to know. My writing can be a snapshot of a single moment in continually-evolving time.

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