Wednesday, 1 January 2014

at the end of the first day in 2014

As this first day of 2014 comes to an end, I am sitting down in my favourite chair to think about the year ahead. The latter part of 2013 did bring much upset and worry to my life and I do hope I'll be able to put some of this behind me. Don't get me wrong, I have not been utterly miserable and my family brought me much joy, as has been the beginning of this blogging journey of mine.

I am not famous for making New Year's resolutions and I have an even worse track record for actually trying to achieve what I meant to do. Nevertheless, it is worth my while to think about the year ahead and have a vague idea what should guide me through it.

First and most importantly for my own sanity, I need to come to terms with my involuntary redundancy and the resulting appeal proceedings that are still ongoing. It has been a messy business this redundancy of mine and has affected me quite badly. It has also affected my family added guilt to the misery of losing a job.
I had a perfect job really, I was able to work school hours, giving me the opportunity to be present for my children and have a bit of a career, too. I loved being a university teacher, I loved my students and I loved teaching. At the same time, I have thought for a while now that I would not want to be a teacher for the rest of my professional life and I have been thinking about alternative ways to keep me busy when the kids are at school (not including cleaning the house and iron my husbands shirts). Perfect opportunity you might think but I was not ready to move on. I just might "float" for a few months and see what happens. I really want to build up my confidence and learn to enjoy what I have with more joy and less worry. Having time to reflect and time to do things I love may well be the path towards achieving this.

This out of the way, I have a list of ten more or less random"goals" that are relatively achievable (and mostly selfish):
  1. Be more fun and crack a joke every now and then (believe me, joking in a foreign language is no easy task!)
  2. Shout less (this house of mine is a noisy place and shouting seems to be the normal way of communicating)
  3. Finish a knitted hexagon blanket that has been sitting in my basket for two years.
  4. Dust my cello and play for fun, badly but with gusto
  5. Go to a rock concert, maybe the Foo Fighters or Motörhead? I have seen the latter before and it was really great fun, old men (undoubtedly plagued by arthritis) playing Ace of Spades... In case you are wondering, I am not a leather and chain rock chick, never was but I do like a bit of "guitar scraping" (quoting my late grandfather) and drum bashing from time to time.
  6. Start ballet classes (funds permitting)
  7. Take the train to London and have a wee wander, visiting art galleries and museums
  8. Join the Children's panel
  9. Keep blogging and make more blogging friends
  10. Go to bed with a smile on my face

The pictures in this post were taken today whilst walking a small (tiny) part of the West Highland Way with friends and family.  Maybe one day I'll add the West Highland Way to my list of things I want to do. Let me know if you fancy joining me!

And now I need to prepare myself mentally for the remainder of this week with yet more socialising (one dinner, one lunch) and family fun, the Irn Bru Carnival, a fun fair with dozens of rides, a joy for all children and adults with a strong stomach. One day I'll tell you all about Irn Bru, the bright orange Scottish Beverage. But for now, I wish you a peaceful evening. Cx


  1. Happy New Year Christina!!! Hope 2014 is full of good health and happiness for you and the family....sorry to hear about the redundancy and the appeal process though - that is certainly a very stressful situation. I hope it all resolves itself your list - there are a few things I could directly transplant into my own list (between you and me I'm pretty sure shouting is part and parcel with a big family :-) ). Is the West Highland Way a hike? I'm well overdue for a good hike! Sounds fab....Mel x

    1. Thank you Mel for stopping by. The West Highland Way is a 154 km hike from Glasgow to Fort William in the North West of Scotland. It takes you through moors, rolling hills and the Scottish Highlands. I would love to walk part of it at some point in my life. I very nearly did a the Overland Track in your parts of the world in 1997 but didn't have the right hiking equipment (nor the money to buy it) or the courage to do so poorly prepared... Cx

  2. Are you saying you have trouble joking in English? Your written English is excellent, I think. I'm sorry you've been struggling with your work situation. I can imagine how you feel. Before I had my children and decided to stay home full-time, I had a teaching job go away because they didn't need the position anymore. I was teaching high school. It was a frustrating time because there weren't many jobs available where I was living. I think "floating" for awhile will be healthy for you; you might decide to do something totally different instead. Best of luck to you, with the job and your other plans for the year.

    1. I never seem to be able to get jokes right in English. It may be the British sense of humour that is my problem, rather than the language, I find that each culture jokes in different ways. Thank you for your good luck wishes, I appreciate this very much. Cx

  3. Happy new year and thank you for visiting my blog. I'd love to join you on a long hike, I've been saying for ages I need to walk more for exercise, my aerobic class days are long gone! I hope 2014 brings lots of smiles into your life.

  4. Thank you for stopping by, Jay. It would be great having someone to walk with! I have no concrete plans of course (I am a procrastinator) but I might get practicing by going on shorter hikes. Cx

  5. Hello Christina, I think I understand when you say that the choice of when to move your job to pastures new was snatched away from you. Take your few months time out and recharge and I wish you every good luck with your future career wise.
    I like your list, it is full of achievable goals and some them though selfish as you put it, are good for your soul and well being. Playing your Cello for example, I would think you have felt in the past that to allow precious time to sit and indulge in something purely for yourself a big no no. Well now you have time so indulge yourself.
    Thank you for dropping by my blog and leaving me a comment x

    1. Hi Linda, thank you for stopping by and thank you for your kind comment. I might just get that cello out tomorrow, when the kids are at school. x

  6. Hello there. I, too am so sorry about your job. Perhaps there is a chance here to just renew yourself before new adventures start. I hope so.
    I really enjoyed your post and if English is your second language you write beautifully.
    I hope your list becomes embed in your life gently and sweetly.
    And, I to think I was behind the door when humour was given out. I would love to laugh more,at myself or anything really. Not that I am a very serious person.
    Happy days to you in 2014.
    Love Linda

    1. Hi Linda. Thanks for the visit, and thank you for the compliment. English is indeed my second language although it starts to feel like an alternative language rather than a second one. Happy days to you, too! Lets practice laughing more, shall we? Cx

  7. Hey Christina,

    I need to sort out why I'm not being notified of your posts!

    I just want to thank you for your lovely words of solidarity and support, especially on my last post. I have read your list, and I am v intrigued by your wish to learn ballet. Did you take dance lessons as a child? I always wanted to, but never had the chance. I always imagined myself with my daughter decked out in her tutu, but then had three boys so....
    My house is a very shouty house too. We all shout. I was brought up in a shouty house. There were always lots of people and it ws the only way to be heard. Bizarrely I crave quiet, but I think I am the loudest of us all!
    Im sorry about your job, but I think you are dead right. You need to put the process in it's place, acknowledge it and then start to move on. I think the idea of floating for a little while, and having some time to reflect is a very good idea. All losses are difficult, but I think it's how we deal with them that makes the difference between getting stuck, or moving on.

    Oh and for the record, your blog is great!

    Leanne xx