This week has been slightly unhinged. I gave my notice in. It does not sound like a huge deal, but you would have to understand how risk adverse I am, to comprehend the gravity of this decision. I have no job to go to. If I did not give my notice by a Friday, I could not leave till Christmas. It is a strange anomaly of teaching contracts.
This game I started with myself has left me with an entire mind shift. I no longer prioritise my work. I have always been a little hedonistic, but now it has almost got to kamikaze level. I have come to realise that if I give everything, no one thanks me. Sadly, I have no off switch and I know each student well, so I cannot just say “It’s just another year.” The only point to my job is to get to know these kids. If I can just switch off and not care, things have really wrong.
Tomorrow I will be a student for the first time in 16 years. It is a strange feeling. I started the year with a random New Years resolution, and here I am having a whole mid life crisis attached to it. It has taken me 38 years, but I now understand that I am only happy outdoors. It is a bit like a childhood friend who comes out. I have said these words to a number of close friends who have each given me the same look….we all knew. How did it take you so long to work it out.
“You go camping every bloody holiday.” Said one friend. “I thought it was just a way to escape my husband.” I replied. Also, as a teacher, what the hell else are you going to do with six weeks in the summer and not much money. With two boys, they just spend the first two days trying to kill each other. I then drag them up into the mountains, tool them up and say “let’s get on with it.” At that point they form a team and decide I am the enemy. It’s a little dance we have to do.
“You love building fires.” Said another mate. Is that not the human condition? The fact I try and cook the contents of the fridge on it is well beside the point. It is primeval and it calls me. It speaks to me. The cracking and popping only add to the conversation.
This evening we have suppered on crab and shell on prawns. I drank Prosecco and look forward to my new forest school leadership course. I’d like to say I feel empowered and Beyoncé-ish (as though that is a verb). In reality I have been made to feel guilty, (the children will be in care from 8:15 till 6!) they will be exhausted by the “time” they go back to school. Then I remembered that my darling took 4 years doing a masters. This course will only take a week.
In the morning I shall make 3 breakfasts and three packed lunches. I shall get in the car and drive to the Forest of Dean and I feel blissfully happy. I cannot describe how blooming liberating it feels.