zaterdag 26 december 2015

Christmas Confession

Okay time for a confession.  Oh yes, I am a bit like all those programs and magazines that are diving into the last twelve months and give away their overview.  Well, Stallie took a close look at her last few months and all she can say that she had not her best time ever.  It has been tough and more than once I was about to give up.  That the darkness lingered around longer in the morning did not help either to chase away the turmoil but still... Nope, my last trimester as a teacher has been quite challenging and I am not sure that I wish to sign up for a continuation of such a time.

Yes, I knew that it was going to get tough and that some of my classes were not that easy to tackle.  But I had forgotten how gloomey and dark it can get when I am in such situations.   I knew half way through September that I needed more time to get my work done.   That was to foresee and even part of my job description.   The hours of a teachers are not set in stone and I always take my work home.  The moment that I leave the educational hotspot my mind is still spinning around.  Yes, I can be walking around in a supermarket and forget half of my mental grocery list due to the fact that I am thinking of colourful work sheets.  It is like I am walking in a dense fog and my brain just does not even disconnect when I am reading something that id educational related.

For the last three months I have basically invested so much time in my job that I kind of have forgotten about everything I consider worthwhile and need in order to function normal.  My life got to the point that I even was checking mails on Friday evening, the one moment when I used to have this golden rule that after Happy Hour I would not do anything work related till Sunday after my very lengthy brunch with freshly baked croissants and a few George Clooney coffees.   There used to be this golden routine that I managed to tackle most of my work in a record time and then I used to find some time to have some golden ME-time.  It were those precious hours that seem to produce the oxygen and energy that helped me to get through my long week and fueled my creativity.

Well, all that ME-time got exchanged for time to plan and trying to stay ahead of everything.  So that this came with some serious consequences.  Oh yes, I have been neglecting my friends and even my family.  Nope, it is actualy not okay to come to terms with the fact that the people you care about and love seem to be forgotten because you are not that good at time management.  The thing is that I felt that I had no choice.  It is me who is most of time in the way of sacrificing some time that I normally spend on my job and ironing blue shirts.  Nobody else.  That I love my job is quite natural and I also need my job to stay on top of many things and to feel connected with the world in general but there are limits.

This week I did admit to a former colleague and close friend (I hope that she is stil one of my close friends because I bet that she is one of the many people who has been affected by my behaviour) that I was not happy how my social life was coming along.  While sitting there in Marks&Spencer in my capital surrounded by lovely dressed up Christmas trees  and many carols ( sung by pop stars who suddenly feel the urge to express their festive mood) in the background I did for the first time said outloud what I did feel like.   It even felt like relief that I was able to tell this her because I am 100% sure that she is one of the people who I have been 'neglecting'.

I am not good at letting go and also finding a balance between work-friends-family I don't seem to get the hang of.   Secretely I had hoped that my age would have helped me out on that frontier. But sadly enough it does not.    It was during reading 'Big Magic' of Elizabeth Gilbert and a very deep going heart to heart with someone who recognized the signs that I so desperatedly have tried to hide for many that I did knew that I am the only one who has got the power to change this situation.

Yes, I love my job including all the s*** it comes along with.   The thing is that now I need to get out of the Ferrari and get back into the Alfa Romeo and get used to just cruising over the high ways.  But then at least noticing the view and now and then take a break for a needed overhaul.  That many might overtake me and will be driving a faster car is something that I will need to come to terms with.   It is not easy to admit that I have the last few months not being totally honest with myself.  Yes, I did think that I had tamed the beast and had it under control. No, I don't and that is the honest truth.

While picking out my christmas present last Monday (one that I had been longing for since a very loooooong time) I made a new promise that will be very challenging to keep but is actually essential to keep me sane and to make sure that I can keep breathing.   It still involves in believing in what Enzo Ferrari preached so strongly:'You can not describe passion, you can only live it.'   But hey, you are not telling me that Enzo not once in while got out of his car and enjoyed the scenery while filling up a glass with prosecco while eating a piece of pizza in the company of family and friends.

So my dear friends and readers (where ever you are from and whoever you are) I wish you a very nice Holiday season and also the best wishes for 2016.  And I hope that you can forgive me for not having been around that much in the last 12 months.  All I can promise that I am very willingly to exchange my Ferrari for an Alfa Spider!  We all know the reputation of that type of car but I am pretty sure that this is the type of car that matches my personality so much better than the race car I crashed a few times.   In the end we are all equal when it comes down to time.

And now please excuse me for the remaining days of 2016 I am going to hang out with my family and friends and hope that they can forgive me for not having kept my eye on the road that realy matters.   Looking very much forward to meeting up with many I might have speeding by in 2015!  In 2016,while I am racing, I am planning to keep the words by Henry Ford close to my heart:'When I see an Alfa Romeo go by, I tip my head.'

 PS: No swooning or cheesy Christmas songs to go along with this entry. Instead two songs that ended up in my personal Top 5 of the last 12 months. One is so much linked to my job and one particular person and the other is a great song made in Belgium by someone with lots of girl power.

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