I haven’t written a blog post for a few weeks and I can’t believe that it has taken me till the 10th to sit down and write the first post of the year but even though we are only 10 days in it has already been a busy one for us. It started with a family holiday in a beautiful log cabin with a hot tub and plenty of family walks and board games and was the exact start to the year that we needed. Then this week the children have returned to school, the husband to work and I was straight back into a new school running history workshops. So here I am on the 10th finally sitting down to write for the first time in a long time.
Usually my first post of the year is a resolution type post or a wish list of all the things we hope to achieve in the upcoming year but this year I have decided not to make any big resolutions, after all I rarely stick to them, and surprisingly I’m not writing a to-do list either. Instead I want to just see where the year takes us and plan as we go with no undue stress trying to achieve random things I dreamt up whilst bored at my desk.
Instead I thought it would be important for me to reflect on the last 12 months. I know lots of people believe you should never look back because we are moving forward but for me the last 12 months have been massive. This time last year I was not in a happy place and had made the decision not to return to my teaching post in January, which felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, however I didn’t have a plan. Not a real, tangible plan, with a guaranteed wage and any prospects. In short I was lost. I had no idea how I was going to make it work but I knew I wanted to find a work life balance, one that didn’t see me miss not only the school drop offs and pick ups but also most evenings and weekends too. I also knew I wanted to write but how does anyone earn a living from that, unless they are already famous or just happen to have all the right contacts in all the right places!
Regardless of my lack of a plan it was happening and I was petrified and excited, although admittedly I was more petrified than excited if I’m honest. I started giving more time to my blog, and after a lot of hard work and a huge amount of support from friends and family it started to take off more and more and opportunities started to come in, including paid ones which meant I could continue pursing this crazy dream for a little while longer.
Six months in I started to get my confidence back and realised that although I was so much happier working for myself I was also missing being in the classroom. I wasn’t missing OFSTED inspections, peer observations, planning, marking and working 40 additional unpaid hours every week, but I was missing the students, the teaching and the classroom environment and so I looked at other opportunities. It was then that I found, applied for, and subsequently got the job of a freelance educator with a charity where I now travel around different schools in the North West delivering history workshops and I absolutely love it. It gives me teaching and students without the undue stress and ridiculous hours.
The second 6 months of the year were spent training for my new role, working on my blog, and taking on some social media contracts too, again work I could fit around the children and other commitments. Although everything hasn’t been plain sailing and the road to self employment has certainly been one with a steep learning curve it is one that has changed my life and transported me to a happy place.
So I am starting 2019 with the view of just carrying on, with no desire to change who I am or a list of things I need to complete in order to feel content or to prove myself worthy to others. Instead I want to stay in my happy place and make time for those friends and family members that really showed me that they love me for me last year and to keep grabbing those opportunities as they come and hopefully be more open to a year of possibilities, fun and plenty of smiles.
I hope you all find your happy place in 2019 too.