Wow January has all sort of blurred into one hasn’t it? I think it’s lockdown fever and being stuck in the house all the time has me all antsy. I mean it’s absolutely necessary and these are scary as hell times but I do sort of wish there was an end in sight for all this madness. ANYWAY I won’t dwell on things I can’t control. Which leads me to this little gem I came across again in a school leadership team meeting.

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I mean how right is that? And yet so often I spend loads of my time and effort and worry looking at the things that are outside of that circle. I think we all do. It’s natural to care what others think and what they are going to do isn’t it? And we can’t control any of that. The circumstances one hits really hard for me at the moment too because we are living in totally wild times where things are so outside of what used to be normal and I’m not sure we’re ever going to get properly back to that. Things have definitely changed and that’s scary as hell!

I decided to try and focus in on my own circle of control and the big one for me there is definitely how I react to things. I’m a natural worrier who spends most of my time overthinking the little things. (Staying up to remember and worry about something you said in reply to someone a week ago that felt slightly awkward anyone?) And I tend to assume the worst also.

So for example, last week I was really struggling with my own mental health and coping with the kids trapped at home whilst I’m live streaming my full teaching timetable from my daughter’s bedroom (best internet signal!). I mean anyone who is working from home with primary aged kids, hats off to you! It’s hard. I teach them for a living and it’s hard. But that’s an aside. So I’m having to teach via zoom from home because I’m one of those CEV shielding people who is at extreme risk of death-by-covid if I should catch it. Which means that there is another person in my classroom with the kids who are in school (15/30 of the little darlings) and I live stream in to them and all the kids at home join in the lesson via zoom. I have basically the full class on for every lesson which is amazing and hats off to them – they’re all 8 and 9 so it’s damn hard!

Me every night I log off after a full day teaching on zoom.

ANYWAY. I was struggling because I don’t have time to help my own kids with their work. Then the woman in my class had obviously been struggling with her own issues and broke down on the deputy head one lunch. Which resulted in the deputy phoning me and having what I perceived as a go at me unfairly. (I still think it was unfair as anything but that’s not the point). Now I get off from this after work unexpected facetime session really pissed off and upset and almost at the point of quitting my job because I can’t do any more than I am.

Then I stopped and remembered my circle of control and took a few deep breaths (okay I did some ugly tears also but we’ll ignore that okay?)

I mean Gerard Way always makes me feel a little bit better even at the crappiest of times. And I remembered that I can’t control the things others do and say – and that however hard you work there’s always going to be someone chatting shit about you. And I cannot control what someone is thinking about me based on that. But I CAN control how I react and what I choose to do after it.

So instead of wondering what other people were thinking about me, I pulled on my big girl pants and emailed a proper response and then also let my Head know I was struggling at the moment and why I was struggling and that I felt it was unfair and gave reasons. My head then dropped me off a little gift bag to cheer me up which was super sweet. So yes, the person I am teaching with is being totally off with me but you know what? I can’t control that either. All I can control is me and so I’m making sure I’m being super professional and friendly so she has nothing valid to complain about, and whilst it may not stop her doing it again, at least I know that my own integrity is solid.

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