No sleep. Technology problems. Word Press in more scheming than Skynet from Terminator. Part of my life seems like a real bind at present. Hard work. Uninspiring. So unlike other elements of my world.
I could really do with walking along that path right now. A time to relax and gather my thoughts again. Problem is that it’s been at least 16 months since I walked here. It’s certainly not being walked today.
And that path. Where does it lead. Well keep walking straight. Straight over the small hill. Dead straight across two more fields. You get to my garden fence.
A path I have trod so many times. A path I love. But heres the thing. I never once walked it with another person. I’m sure there is a message in that thought somewhere.
When I first moved into the village all those years ago I remember going for a walk. No map, no real idea where I was heading. Just went to explore the new locality. Near the farm track in the photo is a path. On that first walk I followed that path. It looked like it was going to take me in roughly the right direction. But with no map I couldn’t check. Guess what. It went in the wrong direction. I got lost and it took me hours to get back home.
Hawklad has been submitting homework studiously all school year. He’s hardly had any marks or feedback returned. He’s been asking me to check his work as he just wasn’t sure how he was doing.
This morning out of the blue he received a very brief teacher comment about a piece of work submitted last week. The first feedback from this teacher in over a year. The comment simply said ‘Spot on’….
Here’s the problem. I had checked that work and it was good but it had mistakes. Some big mistakes. I had sat down with Hawklad to show him where he was right and where he was not so right. We talked through ways to answer those areas better. That’s feedback. I’m sorry but ‘Spot on’ doesn’t help Hawklad. He could end up going into exams doing some things the wrong way. Yes provide praise and reassurance but please also give tips to improve…..
Today has felt like one of those days that you need to keep pushing. Don’t push and you grind to a halt. Nothing comes easy. Always seems like it’s pushing up a hill. Nothing comes for free. No easy downhill sections.
So feeling a little worn out.
So on today’s late walk with Hawklad and the mad one, I tried to stand still for a second or two and watch the sun set. Look West. Then it’s time to keep walking. Well actually it was time to get pulled in a different direction by the hyper dog. That’s what you clearly get when there’s an accidental romantic encounter in a park between a small fluffy German Spitz girl dog and a slightly mad Cocker Spaniel boy. You get this….
So I was pulled along in a direction. Didn’t seem like I was completely in control of the direction. Just going with the flow. Life feels like that often. Not really in control. Being pulled. My preferred direction is always against the flow. That’s why life seems so hard most days. Constantly walking through treacle. So do I fight it or just go with it.
Been far too grey and misty over the last few days. Too much winter. So let’s have a little bit of summer. Yes Yorkshire does get some of that. Sometimes.
This is one of those great footpaths. A footpath across the crop field that the local farmer dutifully maintains. Not easy to get lost of this one. I always think it would be funny if the farmer built in a maze to this path. He could get hordes of walkers lost here for hours. Could be a nice little money earner for him. Send his sheepdogs in to rescue the walkers for a small fee.
In that photo if you keep going straight. Climb the hill. Keep going straight and in about 10 minutes you will crash into our overgrown garden. You could get seriously lost in there.
I feel a little lost today. I think many of us are. A little tired of Groundhog Day. Bored with 2020. Hours , days, weeks and months seemingly merging into each other. Having to constantly look at the date on my mobile and then check the calendar to work out where I am. Is it a Sunday? Not sure.
But there is always hope.
This time will pass. Directions will be rediscovered again. The farmer will work on his lovely straight path again.
In England we like winding country roads. But occasionally we get a straight one. Like here, almost a French feel to this.
A week ago I was driving along this road and suddenly had a thought. Always dangerous with me. So I parked up and stood by the side of the road. I wonder what the passing drivers thought I was up to. Given the brakes going on the cars, maybe they thought I was a speed camera operative. About 20 years ago I was a civilian manager in a Police Force. It was decided that the handheld speed cameras needed replacing. To cut a long story short the traffic police were asked to test 6 different cameras under similar conditions. Six police cars went to a known speeding zone. Can you imagine the panic on the unsuspecting drivers who screamed over the brow of the hill to be confronted immediately by 6 police officer stood next to each other, pointing 6 cameras at the speeding car. Ones bad enough BUT SIX.
Anyway enough of speeding cars having the worst 5 seconds of their week.
I’d stopped to look at the lane because I had suddenly realised that I had been up and down this road thousands of times over the years and I had never really stopped to look at the beautiful trees. So that’s what I did. But then another random thought struck me. All about which direction to head in. Not easy to choose here as there are so obvious signposts. So left or right – no idea. Bit like life somedays. No obvious direction. Then a smile. My first bit of philosophical thought in years. Why not just head off in the opposite direction to which way your bottom is currently pointing. Yes that works for me.
The farm cows are good at making paths. They are pretty straight as well. Wonder if they fancy making me a path as well….
What type of path do I want. I could set my sights really low. Ask the cows to do a path in another direction across that field. Ideally on the usual dog walking route across the overgrown and perpetually damp grass. Maybe I could set my sights a bit higher. A nice short paved path across our lawn to the Apple tree. But I could go really high and ask the clever cows to chart me a life path for the next few years. It would be nice to have a sense of direction for a change.
A nice thought but actually the signposts are already there. Signposts showing the way forward. Just have to keep reminding myself to open my eyes and look for them.
Over the last few weeks I have been looking at what jobs are available for me. Need a job that fits round Hawklad and his needs. So ideally one which is largely home based with minimal travel requirements. With the current and likely homeschooling requirements I need one which is part time with quite a lot of flexibility. Actually a zero hours based contract makes sense. A job which I can do already as I don’t have the time or probably the energy to retrain. One which pays enough to at least cover the bills.
So I’m not asking for much.
As hard as I’ve looked no suitable job popped onto my laptop screen. Actually nothing even remotely suitable appeared. Then I opened my eyes and the penny dropped. I ditched my professional career as it didn’t fit around my new life. Then I was lucky in that I found one which did. The new job just about ticked all the boxes. That’s my current job. Even one of the owners kids are friends with Hawklad. They went to his school. That makes things so much easier.
YES I have an ideal job already. Ok – It’s not ideal in 2020 as its public event based. Public Events and a Pandemic are not particularly that compatible. So the work has had to be largely mothballed until life starts to return to normal. Probably a new normal. So that’s no work for me until that new normal emerges. Hopefully that will start to happen after we get through the winter. Yes that’s no money for a few months but we can batten down the hatches and get through on savings. The worry is that too many in a similar position but are not that fortunate with savings. We are even more fortunate as the lack of work means I can focus a bit more on the homeschooling needs.
So I’ve seen the signpost to a path. Get through the next few months and then hopefully restart the ideal job. My job. I did that all by myself and didn’t need the cows to show me the way. But I still wouldn’t mind that paved path to the Apple tree though. That grass does get a bit muddy.
Sometimes it’s good for me to know my place in life. To get a sense of where I stand. I guess like most people I can be guilty of over playing things. Sometimes under playing them. Misinterpreting or even missing clear signposts. Going down a path which is either wrong or just ultimately a dead end. The path could be a project, a relationship, a friendship, work, a dream, life in general. But every so often something happens that finally helps ground me. Get a better bearing of where I am. Shining a light on the direction I am heading. It could be a conversation, some written words, an action, an event or even an outcome. Doesn’t really matter what the source is, it’s just good to have that moment of clarity.
I think I’ve had one of those moments of clarity over the last few days. Still trying to process it. But it feels like I’ve been potentially heading down a wrong path. Definitely time to think and assess.
I remember climbing in Scotland when I was in my early thirties. I was climbing alone and trying a route which was just about within my capabilities. I was sticking to what I thought was a promising route to the top. I missed (or chose to miss) so many signs clearly indicating I was heading the wrong way. After hours of hard work I came to a dead end. Light was starting to fade and I had no choice but to abandon and go down. Never did go back to re-climb that rock face. Such a waste of beautiful climbing conditions. Still kick myself for ignoring the clear signals that day. Less stubborn, more aware and I would have easily made it to the top. That was probably my one and only shot at that climb. But what was ironic was that at the same time I was in a job that seemed promising. But again I missed the signposts. A few months later I suddenly realised that I was at a dead end. The dream job was a bit of a disaster. It felt like months of effort had been wasted.
One day I might start to open my eyes to the signposts. They are there if I just take the time to look.
It might look like War of the Worlds has come to Yorkshire. But it’s only an illusion. A few hours later the Martians had clearly had enough of the weather and gone back home. Definitely taking the red weed with them.
That’s an important thing to remember for me. Sometimes I get caught up in the moment. Don’t think things through properly. Misread people. See a situation one way. But after a while, when I take the time to revisit again – I clearly misinterpreted things. It’s always good to have those moments of clarity. It helps me chart the right course. Avoid the rocks. Avoid the Martian heat rays…..