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.

Let’s start at the very beginning.

Do you ever have those moments when you realise that you want to change things so badly that it’s almost hard to know where to begin? That was me a couple of weeks ago. New year new me right? Except I’d been telling myself that crap for years and I wasn’t really a new me was I.

I mean I’d managed to kick my ex to the kerb which is something, but that aside the things I wanted for myself and wanted to change were pretty much the same as they had been for years, despite all my promises to myself. Somehow it’s just never happened. I say somehow, but what I really mean is that I haven’t made it happen. For whatever reason.

Then I came across a quote by one of my favourite people in the world.

“It’s hard to live a life with no regrets; It’s more difficult to live happily when you regret your life. Live for today.”- Andy Biersack.

I mean I felt incredibly called out and read there. But it’s true isn’t it? And life is too damn short for regrets.

So I decided. First of all, I forgive myself. For not managing to do all the things I wanted to do in the past and for not having made those changes until now. For all the times I have been my own worst enemy and haven’t done what I wanted. For all the false starts. For all the times I have accepted less than I should have done. Like one of my favourite quotes says:

Ouch. So if I don’t love myself and think I deserve love…well…exactly right? I need to be my own best friend and advocate and challenge myself!

I started by making a list of what I actually want (okay this first list was super long) but then I went over and circled the BIG ones. The ones that I really, really want at the core of all the other things I want. And I’ve got it down to 5.

  1. INDEPENDENCE – I don’t want to be tied down to anyone else or reliant on anyone else for happiness. I want to be able to depend on myself! No one else is ever going to save you.
  2. STRENGTH – I want to be strong enough mentally and physically to do whatever the hell I need to do and not just to give in to whatever seems easy.
  3. SECURITY – I want to be financially and emotionally secure and not have to worry about the sort of things that have hung over my head for years with my ex and since I’ve been going at it alone as a single Mum.
  4. HEALTH – This is a big one for me given I have a few not so great health issues. However, I want to feel better in myself. I want to feel more confident. I want to feel happier in myself and I am absolutely, totally FED UP with feeling ill! Even if I can never get rid of the illnesses, I can manage them and be as healthy as I can to tackle them.
  5. HAPPINESS – It all leads to this really. This is my number 1 (maybe I should have put it first?) because absolutely everything feeds in to this. Life is too short not to be happy. If it doesn’t make my happy, is it even worth it?

So this is where I am. Ready to make changes.

What are these changes? It all sounds so simple when I write it down. Easier said than done. But here goes. I have 8 BIG changes I want to work on over the next 365 days to get to where I want in life.

  • I will be 6 stone lighter.
  • I will be a more positive person and challenge my own negative view and perception.
  • I will meditate and practise daily visualisation.
  • I will write outside of MM (hey look at me here writing!)
  • I will appreciate and enjoy my family time more and switch off from technology every day at some point.
  • I will keep on top of things at work and not get drawn into negativity there.
  • I will budget and begin to pay off debts and make savings.
  • I will say YES to things I want to do more often than I say NO, even if it makes me uncomfortable.

And that’s it. 8 simple things I am going to do. Not so hard right? Right?

Aaaaaargh! Wish me luck.