I read today that when something unexpected happens in your life you should shout “plot twist!” and move on.
In the opening scenes of our movie we see our heroine preparing for the school summer break. She has worked hard to settle into a new work role and is enjoying the variety and joy of working in a primary school. We see her speaking with colleagues about plans for the new school year, enjoying the end of term play, celebrating with students moving on to new schools. Leaving work on a Friday afternoon she is smiling, happy to be here, driving home through ripening, golden wheat fields she is counting her blessings.
Changes in mum’s health mean that this weekend I resigned from my job.
I still have to take a deep breath as I type that.
I had grown to love this work; my colleagues, the countryside I drove through to get there, the space to focus on one thing, to be a part of something, to build community, support learning. I’m still getting choked when I see feathers, because I had created a game with the youngest pupils where we would release a down feather and see how far it would fly…little moments of magic and joy.
On some level I knew this day was coming. It is now over three and a half years since my mum’s diagnosis, closely followed by a stroke, which knocked her even further down the rabbit hole into dementia.
The knowing, though, doesn’t make it easier to accept, and doesn’t stop the sadness at what I am releasing.
This was the last hurdle. I’ve been holding on to various things over these years, things which on some level I see as “me”. The thing that is “mine”, scraps of identity to cling to. I have given up my home, but I still have my business. I have given up chunks of my business but at least I still have some strands. I have given up self-employment altogether but at least I still have a part-time job…
I know this is a first-world attitude. I am very fortunate. I have a roof over my head, a reasonable level of health, caring friends and family with whom to laugh.
I guess I like working. I like going to work, the morning rituals. I like having colleagues. I like being able to offer someone a helping hand, or work with others to find a solution. I like earning something, to contribute in some way to the household. I like to feel like I have a place.
This is going to be very different. It is over seventeen years since I have been a full-time homemaker.
The funny thing is that in some ways I have been seeking this opportunity. I wanted space to write and create. What if this is that space? What if the time to grow my writing and magical work is here, now, suddenly jumping out of the cake with an explosion of glitter and sequins?
The shock of the new…
What if we see our heroine dry her eyes, get up off the couch, tie back her hair and look, full of determination, out into the dawning day.
To be continued…