Getting there!

I was thinking about those resolutions the other day, you know, the ones I might have written about had I thought for one second I would be able to keep them for more than a few weeks. All those good intentions about decluttering for one, there goes that thought again and in the next second I am revaluating all the ‘things’ that bind me to a commitment. Funny, there’s a change this year that’s got me thinking, some might call it procrastination but I firmly believe that even procrastination has it’s purpose. I mean where did all the great thinkers get their ideas from? I’m willing to bet that they started out with procrasting somewhere along the line.

So why do I have this butterfly mind when I really want to be focussed on something. I know I am capable of concentrating, I have books and stories I have written, paintings hanging on walls, a brood of amazing offspring, all telling me I can do this. Perhaps it’s an age thing? I wonder. That has always been my problem ..wondering… until now that is. I can’t put my finger on it but something this year has changed, my thoughts are focussed, I am even achieving things. very gradually but never the less, they are being crossed off my list. Still that question, why now? what has made me accept that these things are no longer so important that they control the way I think about them?  It was only a few months ago that, had you told me to get rid of all the stuff ( don’t you just love that word – stuff!) my heart would have sunk and I would have wallowed in the memories that held them dear to me resulting in a total panic and loss of the ability to reason with myself. Yet suddenly everything really has changed.

Not wishing to be morbid but, as I am getting older and struggling to cope with a disability that frustrates me, I got to thinking what would happen if I died. All my stuff would mean nothing to anyone else but me and worse than that, they, my kids, would have to go through it all. I have recently been looking through papers and documents that belonged to my mother who passed away just over a year ago. I discarded a good two thirds of writing, early drafts from one folder of college work that she undertook in her seventies but the  other third contained writing that was irrreplaceable. She wrote about her childhood, her parents, what it was like to be a child of seven when war broke out, her school, her father, her grandfather and different characters in her childhood memories. As I read them I realised that  these few papers were really worth keeping. They contained information that can never be recovered, a connection to three older generations!  My ancestors and their history. How many papers and written stuff ( that word again) is there of mine? I can tell you vast amounts and a lot, like my mother’s work, are rough drafts but if my kids are like me they will be interested in my autobiography and the little blog type diary entries I wrote from when they were growing up. I think I need to condense the whole lot into a readable book that they will be as delighted to read as I was my mother’s writing.a A big challenge for me.

Last week I went through all my teaching resources, university notes, books and papers that I’d loved writing and reading through and I am proud to say I kept only one folder of a course that I want to read again. Resource books, curriculum guidelines, dyslexia training too, all the trappings of teaching in fact… I threw them all away without even thinking twice and I felt better.

Have I finally let go of ‘things’? That stuff that was important to me, so important that I couldn’t let it go before now no longer had that hold on me. It felt good! But what had made me hang on to it for so long? What was I afraid of? Have I just accepted finally that I am not going back to teaching? I think inside me I was always hoping for a miracle that would enable me to go back to work and maybe I still needed everything – just in case. Maybe I have finally come to the realisation that my life has taken a different turning that doesn’t include stuff of the past, I don’t know, but one thing is for sure, I suddenly feel freer than I have ever felt before. It’s not that I have lost hope, more that I can let go and not hang onto the past and that I am finally accepting the change that made me retire early. I can say ‘I am retired’ at last.

Now I feel that finally I am owning my life. I am beginning to feel the freedom I should have had years ago. I have books of resources still to go through but these are going to be harder. In my head I will go through them and put together a couple of good packs of resources and take them to the college, after all it took me a lot of hours sourcing them and organising them into subjects, ability, etc. They would save another lecturer a lot of time and effort. Then the other half says let them go.. I’m still torn on that one but am working on it.

Meanwhile, as this is only my second blog entry for the new year, I still need to write two more before February, an entry a week is a more realistic target for me. There is still a loft full of my past to be cleared out too. Hmmm, time to organise my procrastinating for once and for all. I can do this!

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