Back at it…with feeling

I don’t know if there are many people who really love going back to work after half term – especially if it has been a great half term holiday. I guess I am not alone in my desire to eeek out every minute of yesterday in the hope that today wouldn’t come so soon.
From the facebook statuses of others who work in schools or with children and young people, I know I am not alone!

For some I know that the Sunday-night-pit-of-the-stomach-feeling is because you feel like a prisoner going back into your cell…until you get let out again at Easter – no social life, little sleep, no lightness or sense of being able to breathe for the next few weeks or months (depending on the length of the term).

For me it is not that. I do a job I love. It is incredibly challenging, but it is an expression of my gifts and purpose and passion; and now I have reduced it to 3 days a week, there is balance too.
I had a brilliant unplug this half-term. Real rest and relaxation. And I love knowing that I am making a difference with the children and professionals I work with. And yet I still found myself wanting to make Sunday last about another week! It didn’t add up. So I started asking myself what was really going on. What my silent resistance to re-engaging was really all about.

I woke up this morning still pondering it at the back of my mind…

And after my first meeting of the day I know.

The fact is that it sometimes feels like my heart and vision is too big for me.heart-too-big (11)

The amount of children who are suffering from what I believe is a hidden epidemic, is huge. I don’t work in inner city schools at the moment, and yet still in the poorer areas on the outskirts, and even the well-healed leafy suburbs, the amount of children who have had their brains and body systems affected from experiencing trauma, and who are trying their best to survive in today’s classrooms… with sticker charts and traffic light systems, and the cultural behaviour-based approach in so many schools, is breaking my heart. I so desperately want to help them. I long that each of these children might have someone around them who knows how to spot the signs of trauma without jumping to label them as ASD or ADHD, or that ‘they are just weird’ ‘bad’ or ‘horrible”. (All of which I hear on a regular basis.)

So that’s it; my reluctance to fully engage with this term again, was to try and protect myself a bit… The fog has lifted and I know I can’t leave my heart behind. SO today again, I choose to allow it to hurt. To carry the frustration of knowing how to help things be easier for these children, but not having enough hours in the day to even help all the children in one school, let alone a cluster…or wider! I choose again, to carry the frustration of interacting with teachers who are so burdened with their own stress that they don’t have time or inclination or emotional capacity to really learn to understand these children. I will again deal with my own anger at the system we have created that misses the point completely when it is all about ‘teaching’ and not about children.

My rest time is over for now and it’s time to get back at it –

  • to do my part with the children who cross my professional path, and also to press on with a bigger dream.
  • to not allow the extent of the situation to overwhelm me into inaction, but to recognise it IS TOO BIG for me… and yet I choose to do something.
  • to choose to believe I have this heart for a reason, and maybe something good and bigger than me will one day come from the seeds of my passion.
  • to believe that in time I will find others who share my heart and want to commit themselves to learning more about supporting these children in school.
  • to know that being fully me, means advocating for these children…whether my voice is heard or not.

I read recently that passion is a combination of something you love and something you hate. I get that. I guess today is about me recognizing again the reality of being passionate. It costs. And still I commit myself to making a difference.

I know this is a bit raw – no apologies, that’s where I am at today. Anyone out there get where I’m coming from?