clearing skies

country 1

The black mist is gradually leaving me after months of illness and exhaustion. It may have just been a series of winter viruses and work exhaustion, but it has left me depleted. Spring is trying to break through and I sense my mind and body are trying to lift as well.

Sunday morning, I was on the deck, trying to exercise on the bike for a few minutes, the first time for a few weeks, when Augie Dog came to sit in the sun nearby. A number of green lorikeets were feeding in the grevillea trees in our garden. The sound of their chirping and the energy of the community was just such a delightful form of much needed nourishment for me.

Thankful that we were guided to our tree change and we had the wisdom to follow our call to country.

Always pack the pearls

vinatge lady 1

I rose in the morning, wore the three strand pearl necklace, the red shoes and I faced the day. I made it a better day. We laughed Minerva and I.

A colleague walked into the Library and declared “You two are having fun again!” and she smiled too. I hadn’t realised how our gloom had dulled our laughter, for we laugh a lot in our library. It is the one thing that everyone comments on; the laughter.

The issues with the students are still unresolved and it looks as though they never will be, unless they confess their lies. The best that will be said is that we choose to disagree. Not satisfactory, not at all. Life is full of injustices that have to be borne. The best I can hope for is that they stay away from the Library unless accompanied by another teacher!

So, I wore the pearls and the red shoes; and it was a better day.

Except the red shoes rubbed and now I have a sore heel. Life is like that too, even on good days.

words can not say

flat

Not a good day. A number of our more challenging students came into the library, causing a variety of issues. Then we were graced in both breaks by the presence of the girls who have made the false allegations. Minerva instantly called for backup from a nearby male teacher and we presented as a pair, so no more lies could be told.

I didn’t want to think it, and really tried to deny the thought, but Minerva voiced my fear. “Do you think you are being targeted?”  I had to admit that I agreed. They haven’t recounted, they haven’t experienced any consequences and now they feel untouchable. Twelve and thirteen year old girls in full formation for open hunting season.

By the end of second break, I was close to just walking out the gate for my own survival, for it is so difficult second guessing everything I say and do.  Instead, I had to go and teach a class. Thankfully, they were seniors and into examination revision, so I was able to gather my frayed nerves and take a slow breath.

I have reported the incident, but without any expectation of a speedy solution. I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t go against me in some way! The male colleague said he will be back with me tomorrow in case they return, bless him. These girls have rarely been to the library this year and now they appear all too often.

There have been terrible bullying issues between students in that year level, but to see them acting this way against a teacher is unbelievable. It is not like I play a major role in their lives!

I am not a weak person, I don’t cave easily, but the helplessness I feel is just escalating the longer this issue is unresolved. I have to follow someone else’s agenda. I feel like I want to explode.

Jupiterimages

Mind, body and spirit are out of kilter this past week or two. The false student allegation, though not believed by administration has sent me reeling.

There is such a process of interviews and meetings when these types of conflicts happen that it takes on a life of its own, parallel and yet utterly intertwined with the usual day to day processes of living.

I have had a meeting with Principal and a Deputy, plus my legal support. All agree that there are so many holes in the girls allegations, and more than a slight whiff of collusion that any intelligent person can see that their allegations are false. However, procedures must be followed and hence the human cost.

At the same time I have applied for a job in another school. Not actually prompted by what has happened, except for the fact that if Admin don’t put a lid on this type of student behaviour then there will be open season on teachers at the school. No, the school where I applied for a position is just a nine minute drive from my garage, through The Village, to the school’s staff car park. 9 minutes versus 40 minutes. Time saver, car saver, tiredness saver – and less chance of a car accident, as no highway driving, especially when tired. Feeling very mixed emotions, but it is just an application, that does not mean a job offer.

Mr FD decided to take me out for a sightseeing trip yesterday, as we have been doing the last few weeks, but I found no joy in it. Often, and for no particular reason, I felt almost as if I wasn’t in my own body, and very close to tears. It was a short trip, no stop for coffee.

Sometimes, I wonder if I am causing myself to have these thoughts and emotions. Am I doing it to myself? Then again, and I can’t put this into accurate words, even if I am doing it to myself, is that not a symptom of something? I am worrying me.

Perhaps, the summer vacation, just four weeks away, will give me a break. A few weeks in Perth, welcoming our new Grandbaby, Peppercorn, hopefully will be just the tonic I need to get my Flamingo Dancer mojo back into service.  Peppercorn may arrive earlier than expected as Daughter2, now 33 weeks, was diagnosed with high blood pressure and has had to cease work immediately, after planning to work another three weeks. I wish I wasn’t so far from her, especially as her husband is a FIFO (fly in, fly out) mining engineer and not there for four nights a week, during which time she is without any real support. I just told her to phone the ambulance if anything concerns her and not to worry about feeling silly if it turns out to be something inconsequential. Lives matter more. Not making me feel any better though.

So sorry, if I have rained on any parades today. It’s Monday and I suspect few parades today anyway. Just letting you know that I wandering a little aimlessly right now. Hang with me, please.

 

Thank you.

 

 

Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.

window view

As so many people have over the last twenty four hours, I have felt sadness at the loss of Robin Williams. I thought, if only he had known how much the world loved him… but hopefully he did. I know that depression is not simply solved by love, that ugly black dog that nips and bites at so many people. Let’s stop and really listen to those around us… are they okay? Sometimes we have to listen very carefully to hear the things they aren’t or can’t say.

Another incident this week caused me to pause and ponder my luck in life. Sitting next to a colleague at an early morning staff meeting, I politely asked if her family were staying well; missing all the ills that are about us. I was referring to the influenza bug that has taken many of our staff and their families down in the past couple of weeks.

She replied, “Oh yes, they are well. My family is in Zimbabwe in the south and the virus is in the western countries.”

I realised that she thought I was asking about her family back in Zimbabwe and the ebola virus raging on the African continent, not her children here. I felt selfish and petty, for the all the small concerns in my life when so many other people face such momentous dangers, fears and emotions.

Grateful today not to be walking a mile in another’s shoes.

 

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”

― Thích Nhất Hạnh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

it is all very subjective, really

mememem

Saturday

Feeling a little bit not me, today. I am not sure who I am, perhaps you, which wold explain everything… or not.

The phone rang twice today – incredible need to rise to niceness.

First call was my sister to report on her preemie granddaughter who will be four weeks old on Tuesday. She now weighs 3 lbs. The baby, not my sister. Is still having a little air to support her breathing, and small doses of caffeine to help her remind her to breath (I think that was the explanation). I wonder if she is going to demand morning coffee in her bottle? All going well though for Mum and Bub, though sister is yet to meet her fourth grandchild as she has had a chest infection and therefore banned from the hospital. Good things are worth waiting for though.

Second call was from Daughter2 who arrived home from 6 weeks in Europe. It was the first time I had heard her voice in about 7 weeks so I was a wee bit excited. They had a grand vacation, and I am sure would have missed me if they had just remembered me, but such is the mother’s lot. I have been told that they won’t be with us for Christmas Day this year, as they will be with Boyfriend’s parents, which is fair enough, but, but – this is me! She is rejoicing in that she won’t have to assist with Christmas this year, just be a guest, and I thought, wow, that would be nice… ah well, be careful what we wish for, right?

Neighbour’s Daughter met Augie Dog and asked if she could take him for a walk, and Mr FD said YES! He didn’t warn her about how STRONG a 40kg golden retriever can be – and is, or that Augie Dog makes up his own mind on where he will or won’t walk. Then again, Augie, loves the girls so may just be a meek little puppy. Don’t lay money on that though.

So, how is your day? Any suggestions on who I might be channelling today and how do I send them back?

a pea souper with a silver lining

Fickle FInger of Fate

The weekend didn’t help. Saturday was a productive day, whizzed through the domestic chores including numerous loads of laundry. Sunday, I didn’t change out of my pjs all day. I even took, or tried to take an afternoon nap. I was deep in slumber until Mr FD burst through the bedroom door as though he was about to announce that we had won the lotto and the Queen was at the door, all in one breath, but it was merely to ask how to access my pay slip (again!). End of nap.

Monday. Well, walking to the kitchen Monday morning I caught sight of a large ibis wandering about our lawn. That was a treat, though I know ibis can become pests, but surely one is safe. Or do they move in pairs? Flocks?

After that it was the day that would never end. I covered my ICT class and then had to cover a double period of ICT for an absent colleague. As they were grade 8 and had only just been handed their laptops at the end of last week, there were NUMEROUS issues to sort out. Did I mention that there were NUMEROUS issues to sort out? Once again, if only they would listen. Parents if you can’t teach your children well, at least teach them to listen.

Minerva asked me what was wrong. “Are you sick, tired?” All I could say was “In a mood, a blue mood.” No rhyme or reason for it, I just am. Maybe it is anxiety, maybe it is depression. In the end, I answered that I thought the chemicals in my brain were wantonly mixing their own soup.

I think I will pack my stick tomorrow, maybe a few luckless victims will make me feel tolerably happy. The exercise thwacking them will be good for me, at least. Every dark cloud has a silver lining.

 

 

 

pea souper :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pea_soup_fog

I am from the planet of elegance.

 

Dorian Leigh 1Term starts tomorrow, the last in the run up to the end of the year. 10 weeks. I have chosen a theme for my term, and that is elegance. Everything I do and am will be centred on elegance this term. Why elegance you wonder?

Elegance is not just beautiful, or tasteful;  it is also means effective and simple. I shall bring elegance to my days by focussing on the essentials of those days. My methods may not always be obvious, but they will be efficacious.

So, when I am whining and whinging and feeling sorry for myself, soon, tomorrow,  remind me that my aim. above all things is to be elegant. When my depression tries to gain a grip remind me again, please. If I focus on that theme surely I will make it through?

 

I  am from the planet of elegance.
Ron Carter

 

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wobbly bits

curious chess

This morning I felt an overwhelming sense of panic and I really had to fight not to lose my plot. Breathe, I told myself. I had three tasks with looming deadlines and my anxiety went into overdrive.

Last night I had halved my sleep medication as I have been feeling more in control and I can’t use the medication for too long. I would rather be off it sooner rather than later, so I thought I was doing myself a favour and decreased the dosage. I slept well, but this morning it was a struggle to face the world.

So, I mentally listed my tasks, knowing that only one should be done today; though if it wasn’t it wouldn’t be the end of my world, despite my catastrophe thinking. I listed them and knew that I needed to stop procrastinating to be less anxious, so my best avenue of recovery was to tackle them. Smart, Flamingo Dancer! In turn, I admitted to myself that there was no way that all three could be completed today, if they were to be done well, so I set myself the goal of completing two, and to work on the third early next week.

When I left work in the afternoon, I had those two tasks completed and forwarded to the stakeholders. I felt a real sense of relief to say the leas!. The third is not due until the 20th so I really shouldn’t be panicking, but anxiety doesn’t allow a quiet mind.

I was going to write, best to get that task completed and off my worry list, but truthfully, I will probably just replace them with another set of worry tasks – such is the anxious mind. I have long ago accepted that and now all I can do is try to calm myself and instead of avoiding the task just set to and do it. Yes, I will be anxious, but I will be less anxious!

I never claimed to make sense!

TGIF

contracting and expanding

awesome 1

So it went something like this…

I made an appointment to meet with the school head and I kind of, sort of, poked my finger into his direction and kind of, sort of said, how dare you speak to me in this manner when this guy didn’t do his bit and that guy didn’t do that bit etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. We agreed on some things, we disagreed on others and he admitted that he can be quite aggressive at times, which is as close as he could ever come to an apology.

Not deluding myself that the issue is at an end and I know he has the bigger stick, but I handle my stick with elegance and accuracy, so at least I stood up for my beliefs and values.

I had girded my loins to the extent that I was hauling students who dared look in the wrong direction during assembly out of the hall and sending them off to detention, with wild goddess abandon, earlier in the day. I think I even scared Minerva, who can herself be very scary at times! (God, I love working with that woman!)

In the end, a woman just has to do what a woman has to do! I feel as though I reclaimed me in the process too.

On the other front, yesterday BIL was transferred to a larger hospital’s palliative care ward as he has developed pneumonia (two years to the day since his first bout with pneumonia that signalled the start of his journey) and required two bags of blood as his haemoglobin was very low. I have resigned myself to the worst, but this morning he had rallied a little, so we fight another day.

His journey has reminded me of what is really important in life, and that time is so short that we can’t allow others to control our agendas. Fight, I say, fight to the death if one must…but it is important to know when to pack up one’s yurt and go to the next field too. It really is all about balance, a matter of contracting and expanding, to survive and thrive.

Depression 1: Resilience 10.