And more work emails

So a few more hours of work. More work emails. More searching for the work stuff amongst the never ending personal reviews of restaurant meals, pub visits and nights out. Month after month of lockdown has sent a few too many at work into email padding frenzy.

Well this afternoon I was sitting with the computer on the lap and wading through the work crud. I was listening to the Ghostbusters movie blast out on the TV. I was good, I didn’t watch the movie but I did listen. But it was tempting, too tempting to look at the TV. It was a real struggle at times. Trying to force my eye focus to stay on the emails and not onto the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. Too hard. Too many potential distractions.

Movies without the picture is the way to go…..movies on cds…..

Why didn’t they ever do proper soundtrack cds for movies. Not just the music, but the dialogue, the sound effects – the whole movie. I’d happily listen to movies while working and trust my imagination to fill in the visual stuff. That would definitely ease the work pain.

Space

If only life was always this open and uncluttered…..

I was unfortunately wading my way through a mound of work emails when I could have been getting on with being a parent. Suddenly the world here looks like it’s caught up in a crazy stampede to open up again. I work in the events and sporting field. A pandemic is not conducive to full diary. For over a year our little companies order book has been as empty as a Yorkshire mans wallet after he sees a sale at the ‘Everything for a Pound’ store. But suddenly it’s gone mad. So much is now being planned, all without any formal regard for social distancing. All based on the assumption that the pandemic is over, everything is fine. I just think that we are still teetering on a knife edge. If we are not careful now then a lot of people are going to be at best disappointed, at worst, very ill. Will these events actually happen?

Anyway I was wading through the work emails. Wading is the right expression. If people just stick to the point then it would be so much quicker. But no. Let’s talk about what meal they had out last night. Let’s talk about the night at the pub. Squeezed somewhere in that social stuff will be the work bit.

Wow have I become The GRINCH ……

As I was wading through those emails a thought struck me. Wish I’d become something like an Astronaut rather than an Accountant…. I bet the Astronaut wouldn’t have to read about the stuff I’m suffering here. Having said that I bet you can probably get work emails in space now.

No one can hear you scream in space was the old horror movie line. Now it’s become ‘no one can hear you scream at your email inbox in space’.

Direction

A sudden change of direction.

School has just emailed all parents. They have been instructed to make some changes to its COVID school rules. As of next week the wearing of masks will not be enforced in classrooms even though many of them classrooms are small and have poor ventilation. The wearing of masks in other communal areas such as corridors and toilets will remain compulsory for staff but not for students. At present the school understands that all other COVID rules will be reviewed nationally and potentially removed in June.

In other news the Government’s own scientific advisory panel has said and I quote

Lateral flow test positivity increased in schools……this highlights the importance of maintaining current mitigation measures in schools, such as testing and mask wearing, in the current months….

Wake

How I start the day makes such a massive difference to me. My day seems to go better if I exercise early in the morning rather than after lunch. Get my breakfast right and my dieting becomes easier. Avoid caffeine first thing and I feel less on edge for the rest of the day.

But there is one morning thing above anything else that has the biggest impact on my day.

How I wake up.

Do I wake up under my own steam or am I suddenly woken by some external factor. The pesky alarm…..

If I wake up naturally, even if that’s after a night of little sleep then I’m usually good to go. The day seems in synch. Even nights without any sleep at all, I find work ok for me. I can do this single parenting gig.

But if the alarm brings me abruptly to life and it’s all so very much different. Today was like that. Not much sleep until after 5am and then I crash out. All too soon the noisy alarm ends the dreams. But it has not brought the real me to life, it’s the zombie version of me. I can barely function, certainly can’t think straight, parenting is seemingly beyond me. That feeling of being completely out of synch stays with me all day. These are the days I really struggle to overcome depression.

All because of how I wake.

Am I alone in this?

Rain

Britain is getting back to NORMAL. That’s what our so called Prime Minister tells us under his still to be combed hair. It was also confirmed by our postman. Apparently this week, three kind souls have either sneezed or coughed over the postie without bothering to cover their mouths – never mind them not wearing masks. With a shrug of the shoulders the postman sadly left with the comment ‘back to normal then’…..

Here’s the thing. Was the old normal that good…..

Surely we should be aiming for something better than just going back to the old normal.

It’s not as if the last year has just been a little blip in the world. We have gone through something which is of historic significance. It has changed so many things. So many have suffered. So much has been lost. Surely with something this significant there should be changes. Some enforced by life but surely some changes should be driven by us. Driven by us to make the world and our life’s BETTER. Not just being happy with the old normal.

Can’t ignore it

Somethings you can ignore and other things you simply can’t. You can can’t ignore how you are feeling but it’s very easy to ignore how someone else is feeling. You can ignore the ‘do not enter sign’ but you can’t ignore the large, foaming at the mouth guard dogs stood behind the sign. You can ignore a bit of rain but you can’t ignore a thunder storm. Well it’s not easy to anyway….

Last night was a massive, noisy storm which went on much of the night. No chance for sleep until the storm blew itself out, sadly well after dawn.

Hawklad received two emails from the same teacher this week. Both saying effectively the same thing. The teacher couldn’t open the work files Hawklad had submitted this week. In addition the teacher moaned about where he had saved the files.

Ok….

Well here’s the issues which kinda made me reply in a slightly tetchy manner to this teacher. First of all these are the first communications Hawklad has had with this teacher in over a year. Secondly he is saving the files in the same way he does for all the other subjects. Thirdly Hawklad has been diligently saving all the work and homework for this teacher for over a year in exactly the same way, in exactly the same format and in exactly the same location – all in line with school instructions. Fourthly Hawklad has never had any feedback, marks or comments about any piece of work submitted to this teacher since a certain pandemic appeared. The only thing approaching feedback was a couple of random assessment numbers appearing on the quarterly school report. Numbers which unlike other subjects have never changed.

Call me cynical but I don’t think the teacher has looked at any of Hawklads work until this week. Ok class work may not always be marked but surely homework should be marked. Marked and feedback provided.

But I guess you can ignore some things.

Thunder

The first thunderstorm of the season and wow it was a big one. They don’t often get this close, usually the follow the river out to see. This one headed straight over head.

As a child I loved thunderstorms. Would sit outside and watch the free show.

It’s different now. Hawklad hates them. They add a level of unwanted unpredictability into his world. Something he can do without. So now I wish they quickly pass by but a part of me still loves the excitement they bring. But got to adapt. Have to be mindful.

Sadly being mindful doesn’t seem to be a universal quality. Going back to my childhood I remember a kid in my class who was petrified of lightning. One day a storm passed over the school and he freaked out. The teacher simple dragged him out of class and made him stand in the playground. Tough medicine….. At the same school I was petrified of water. On my first swimming lesson I refused to get into the pool , so the instructor pushed me in. Tough medicine.

A different time but still no wrong.

Sadly it still goes on. I’ve seen it in some teachers and parents and how they ‘care’ for some pupils. How they have reacted to Hawklad. Maybe not as obvious but it still happens. Some children have problems with the texture, taste or look of certain foods. Hawklad just won’t try certain foods. But I still hear the old approach ‘well just let him starve, he will get hungry and he will eventually eat the food item’.

Hawklad struggles with meeting new people. He needs to sit with people he feels comfortable with. Change that and he can freeze up. When teachers become aware of it some work round it, are supportive. Yet other teachers insist on randomly switching who sits next to him as this will be good for him.

When he was struggling to get his head round Aspergers and what it meant to him, he went through a phase of trying to hide. Always have a hood pulled over his head. Hide in corners. School brought in an ‘expert’, a ‘school psychologist’ who recommended that he should do a presentation to the class about Aspergers. Tell his classmates why he was ‘different’. Anybody who spends anytime with Hawklad will know that is no different than just pushing someone petrified of water into a 4 ft deep pool.

As a society we kid ourselves about just how inclusive and developed we are. Some amongst definitely are sadly too many are simply not. Today I heard a Government Minister talk about some children needing TOUGH MEDICINE. The years might pass but certain countries are REGRESSING.

Catch up

Can you believe it. 14 months of school at home. Just over half of that time has happened with most of his classmates back at school. Trying to maintain a remote link with his class was always going to be difficult. It can never be perfect. Especially when the Government’s attitude has been to try and force all children back into classrooms as soon as possible. Schools instructed to make it more difficult for children to work remotely. Schools and parents threatened with legal action if pupils are not back in the class. Our school wanted to offer a remote learning option. Wanted to change the school week with most pupils spending part of the school week, remote learning. Wanted to tailor education and create a better school working environment. Unfortunately that was not allowed so the remote learning option had to be largely turned off. That makes things much harder…..

Revision is supposed to start for the upcoming school year exams this week. No idea how they will work for Hawklad. But the individual subjects are now issuing revision guides. Indicating which pieces of school work have to be revisited and revised. In a couple of subjects there are no surprises – we have covered those areas, undertaken the work required. But then there are other subjects. Areas that the class have undertaken that Hawklad was not aware of. In a couple of subjects clearly large tracts of class work, entire areas have not been shared. Is it ok to call it revision when he’s visiting an area for the very first time.

It’s such a mixed bag. Yes a couple of subjects have exceeded expectations, Hawklad has done the entire teaching requirements. A couple have been kind of as expected, covered most areas but with gaps. And some subjects have gone so much worse than expected, with Hawklad being so far behind his classmates.

Surely in the modern world, with everything that technology has to offer in terms of keeping connected, surely my country should be so much better at remote learning. So much better at EDUCATION.

Who you looking at

I so remember this beautiful falcon. Happily settled on Hawklad’s glove. Calm and a definite trusting look in her eyes as she stared into Hawklad’s eyes. What was striking was the difference in the look she gave me. Think much less calm and at ease. Think much more, ‘you do know I am a bird of prey’……. The look this wonderful falcon gave me clearly had an underlying message. But what was it. Maybe……

That’s one ugly chubby pigeon, how on earth is that thing going to fly.

Or maybe it was

That’s some kill. That will feed me and my family for about 100 years. But how on earth am I going to carry it. Might need to hire a troop carrying helicopter…..

Oh that look. Ok it’s telling me that I’m moving down the food chain league table but it’s utterly mesmerising. It’s exhilarating. It’s what life should be about. Memorable……

Loss

It’s inevitable that if you spend anytime on this planet then you will experience what LOSS feels like. Losing something precious to you. A person, a dream, a way of life, a friendship, a love, a companion….. It’s inevitable.

When I experienced LOSS I also LOST something else. MYSELF.

LOSS is about losing something permanently. Never getting it back. That’s why it hurts so much. All you can do is to try to learn to live with that LOSS. But with LOST it can be different. It doesn’t have to permanent. You can find it again. That’s what I did with MYSELF. It took several years but I have found MYSELF again. And here’s the thing, I actually may have found more than I LOST. I may have grown as a person. May have a better outlook in life. More appreciative of what is truly important to me. I definitely understand MYSELF better now.

That’s why there is always HOPE.

We can do this.