We’re Okay. Honestly.

According to some US media pundits, Australia has descended into a dystopian totalitarian hellscape.

That’s news to me. To most of us. Okay, to pretty much all of us except the twilight people who live in the far dark reaches of the internet and don’t get out much.

Have we been under a long and strict lockdown? Yes.

Have our state governments been introducing vaccine mandates for many sectors under a “No Jab, No Job” policy? Yes.

Are we upset about it? Nope.

Okay, yes, there have been protests but they have mostly been attended by those aforementioned drongos. I mean, to protest against a lockdown by doing the very thing that will extend that lockdown (by spreading the virus) takes a special kind of stupid. If you want to understand the kind of people who participated in these events (that, it might be pointed out, fizzled out after a few days), check out this Twitter thread:

At a press conference soon after the announcement of a vaccine mandate for all education staff, one reporter (undoubtedly a Murdoch subordinate by her obsession with ‘gotcha’ questions) asked the Deputy Premier and Minister for Education James Merlino what the government planned to do to replace all the teachers who would resign because they didn’t want to be vaccinated. Minister Merlino replied that in a recent voluntary survey responded to by 40,000 teachers, 98% of them were already fully vaccinated so he didn’t think it would be much of a problem. For some reason, she didn’t have a follow up question.

Our state has vaccinated at a record pace (since we finally received sufficient supply) and we are on track to be more than 90% fully vaccinated by the end of the year.

Living in a land that infamously tries to kill you every day (floods, fires and hurricanes, spiders, snakes and sharks, not to mention the drop bears and hoop snakes) tends to bring you together with your fellow survivors. There’s a very strong community ethos that flows through the Australian psyche. Given the choice between staying in our homes or watching thousands of our fellow Australians die, to us it’s a no brainer.

It appears that the global nature of social media has tempted some to import the more individualistic, personal rights and freedoms ethos of Americans into our country. You only have to look at some of the protest signs to see slogans more often seen at rallies of the former President. Even the red cap of such followers have been spotted amongst the protestors.(Seriously!) And in the absence of a Confederate flag (Australia never having had the need for a civil war), they chose the closest thing they could find – the Australian Red Ensign. I don’t think the Merchant Navy is very happy about it.

Does this flag make me look American to you?

What these nufties don’t understand is that the political ideologies of another nation won’t just slot into our own. (Ironic, really, when most of these people are part of the ‘if you come to our country you must act like us’ brigade.)

Some have tried to compare our pandemic safety measures to living under the Taliban in Afghanistan. But we have universal healthcare, our elections are run by independent commissions, abortion is a right given to all women and we don’t have to stare at the AR-15 hanging off the back of the person in front of us in the checkout line. (I don’t even know anyone who owns a gun of any kind. Unless Nerf guns or water pistols count.) And to date we’ve had 151,943 cases of COVID19 and 1590 deaths in total across the country (pop 25.7 million).

Does that sound dystopian to you?

Please don’t worry about us. We are fine.

(And in a final point of irony, the call to invade to save us all came on the day my state celebrated “Freedom Friday”. Having reached 70% fully vaccinated adult population, restrictions have eased and we are well on our way to COVID-normal life.)

It is a mystery

Have you ever been a medical mystery? Ever left medical professionals scratching their heads as to what’s wrong with you?

Two years ago, it was only the efforts of a very thorough GP that forced other sceptical medicos to discover the pain I’d been feeling for weeks was due to a pulmonary embolism (blood clot on the lung). To be fair, I didn’t have any of the key symptoms. I was a fit, healthy, normal weight, non-smoker who had not incurred an injury or been overseas within the required window of time. And yet, to the bafflement of many, there it was on the CT scan. It still remains a mystery as to how I got it.

Back in January, I noticed a lump under my left eye. I bet you can guess where this story is going to go…

First best guess was a type of stye called a chalazion. Heat treatment and massage did nothing so off I went to an ophthalmologist to drain this stubborn cyst. He was doubtful of the diagnosis but figured it worth a try. He sent me off to work the next day looking like this (peeling back your eyelid and poking around in it with something sharp will do that):

The Husband was concerned people would think he’d been hitting me but I pointed out that working in Special Ed meant that colleagues were more likely to assume an incident with a student.

Next came blood tests, an ultrasound and an MRI with the revelation that we were dealing with one large mass that spread into my eye socket.

So I was passed on to a second ophthalmologist with the requisite skills for a hospital procedure under general anaesthetic to extract tissue for a biopsy which fortunately ruled out lymphoma after an agonising 6 day wait for results.

Next best guess? Sarcoidosis – an inflammation disease rare in the eyelid and more likely found in the heart and lungs.

More blood tests and a trifecta of scans with the addition of a CT scan of my chest came next.

The contrast dye missed my vein and pumped straight into my arm tissue. It’s one way to gain a large bicep but I don’t recommend it.

There was an on again – off again prescription of high dose steroids until it landed on the off side when the tests came back clear and a respiratory specialist threw cold water on the sarcoidosis diagnosis.

Having exhausted the expertise of my second ophthalmologist, I was referred to another with eyelid specialism at the Eye and Ear Hospital in the state capital.

The answer from that appointment?

So after more than three months of appointments, tests, scans and procedures and consultation with three GPs and three ophthalmologists, I’m left with “Let’s just leave it and see what happens.” To be fair, it’s benign, not painful and since the tissue sample was taken from the most protuberant part of the lump, it no longer impedes my vision so I guess I can live with…

All this is to explain why I’ve hunkered down this year and not been around much {both in the blogosphere and in my real life). All those appointments and procedures without answers take a mental toll and life has become about getting through each day by going to work (my happy place) and then escaping into binge tv on the couch at home. I’m still running but long distance endurance running is a mental game so the latest marathon training has not gone well. I’m ready for a break after this next race in two weeks.

It’s not all bad. I’ve been lucky. Each stage could have revealed a terrible answer but I’ve escaped with a basically harmless if annoying condition. Not everyone is so fortunate.

So what’s your mystery illness story? Feel free to share in the comments.

2020 A Year of Endings

“Everything has to come to an end, sometime.”

– L. Frank Baum,The Marvelous Land of Oz

It was a year of endings. We knew that going in.

The Eldest Son would finish his Masters of Software Engineering.
The Middle Son would finish his Bachelor of Arts degree.
The Youngest Son would finish his final year of school.
The Husband would finish his employment at a company for whom he had worked for 32 years.

Me? Mostly I was rolling along as before. But there were endings for me too. Changes. A new way of being.

“At such times the universe gets a little closer to us. They are strange times, times of beginnings and endings. Dangerous and powerful. And we feel it even if we don’t know what it is. These times are not necessarily good, and not necessarily bad. In fact, what they are depends on what *we* are.”

– Terry Pratchett

Of course, like all of us, we weren’t expecting the added extremity of a global pandemic.

Finishing in midyear, would the Eldest Son be able to find work?
What would living on a university campus that was mostly shut down be like for the Middle Son?
How would an unmotivated Youngest Son cope with remote learning?
Would the Husband be able to find another job?

And how would I manage my mothering role of carrying the mental and emotional load for us all?

“Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.”

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

So what happened in the end? We survived.

The Eldest Son had a successful ending and a new beginning. He found a job within weeks of finishing his course. It was initiated by one of those ‘right person at the right time’ scenarios but given the company hadn’t intended to employ someone for another year but after interviewing our son, put him on right away, he totally got this on his own merits.

The Middle Son managed a not-quite-ending. He moved home temporarily in the first lockdown and when restrictions eased made a brief return but when the second more severe lockdown came into force, we moved him out permanently. After he contemplated pulling out of his course midyear, not being a fan of remote learning and struggling to achieve at the level to which he was accustomed, he pushed through and succeeded in all but one subject. He’ll catch that up this year.

The Youngest Son seemed destined for a rocky ending to match an unprecedented final year of school. He was lucky to be able to experience graduation, even if his family had to watch it on the tv at home, like it was the Oscars or something. Practice exams did not bode well for final results but somehow he pulled it off, passing all his subjects and gaining an entry score that would gain him admittance to his first choice of university study.

A graduation photo to show the children and grandchildren.

After remaining unemployed all year and just as I was beginning to wonder if I would need to find a temporary job as a barista over the non-teaching summer holidays, the Husband landed a job that ticked a lot of boxes. Managing a small staff for a not-for-profit organisation, four days a week and with flexible hours, it will hopefully make us all a little happier. It’s only funded to June but we’ll trust in the continuation.

My ending is happy. I find myself, weirdly, in a better place than I was a year ago. And I’m excited to discover what new beginnings await in this coming year.

“Celebrate endings – for they precede new beginnings.”

– Jonathan Lockwood Huie


What endings and beginnings did you experience in 2020?

Double Donut Days

I love a donut.

Hot jam donuts, iced donuts (chocolate or strawberry for preference), cinnamon donuts from the supermarket or fancy donuts from an artisan bakery, I love them all.

A friend and I still wistfully reminisce about the enormous chocolate donuts from the cafeteria under the science library at university. On a visit many years later to an Open Day with one of my children, I was devastated to discover not only no donuts but no cafeteria. I’m not sure I ever got over the loss.

I was thrilled to discover that an abandoned Hungry Jack’s site near my home had been turned into a Daniel’s Donuts. Heaven around the corner…

Recently, a new phrase has entered the local lexicon – Double Donut Day.

It’s not when you buy a six-pack from Daniel’s and because there’s only five people in your family, you get to eat two but it’s almost as exciting.

Facebook: Daniel’s Donuts

Double Donut Day here means zero=0=🍩 COVID-19 deaths and zero=0=🍩 COVID-19 new cases. We love our double donut days.

Today we recorded our 11th Double Donut Day in a row.

Now, that’s worth a donut! Or two.

Pandemic Survival Answers

Question

There are some mysteries, wonderings or questions to be answered so here’s an update:

RE: Pandemic Survival 7: Reality Bites

I am pleased and relieved to advise that the Youngest Son has tested negative for COVID-19. He still has to see out his quarantine for a few more days but the spectre of illness has left the building. And I can go back to work. Although not in quarantine myself, because of the vulnerabilities of the kids I teach, it was deemed best I stay away until we knew if the Youngest Son was infected. Unfortunately as a casual, no work = no pay, so I’m doubly relieved for a negative outcome. Or a positive outcome in a negative way…. Or a negative outcome in a positive way…. Or something….

 

RE: Pandemic Survival 6: Pubbing on the Couch

Thank you to those who attempted to locate this blogger in a sea of 1500 faces in Pub Choir’s latest video. Unfortunately (but predictably) nobody won the TimTams. However, for those of you who are still wondering, this is me:

Me in Pub Choir

 

Now, don’t you all feel better? Because I sure do!

Pandemic Survival 7: Reality Bites

We are back in lockdown.

It started with flare ups in a handful of suburbs linked to errors made in the process of hotel quarantine of returned travellers. While the government has accepted responsibility, in reality it stems from the same place as most problems in the world – human beings not doing the right thing.

Unfortunately, as anyone who lives in a bushfire-prone country knows and that we tragically learned last summer, spot fires can turn into blazes and blazes produce flying embers that start more fires and thus a handful of people not doing the right thing leads to a whole state back in lockdown.

Lockdown 2a

It’s generally agreed that the second lockdown is harder than the first. Like a prisoner being granted parole, tasting freedom and then being told “oops, we made a mistake, back into jail you go”. The first time around we were “all in this together” but now we watch our fellow Aussies in the West attending footy matches with 30,000 people and the ones up North enjoying local attractions while just over the border theatres are reopening. Borders are now closed to anyone from this pariah state.

Eb20Yo6UcAEMizV

I’m fortunate to live outside the state capital which has just been moved to Stage 4 restrictions including a 8pm to 5am curfew. The rest of the state has returned to the Stage 3 restrictions we were under in the first wave. In addition, the government has issued a statewide mask mandate.

Fun With Fabric

The rescheduled Great Ocean Road Running Festival has gone virtual again and they have extended the time to complete the runs from two days to a week to allow for participants under Stage 4 restrictions to complete the distances as they can only exercise outside for one hour a day. Is it churlish of me to be jealous that they can score an Ultra Marathon medal by running 10km a day for 6 days while I have to do the whole 60km in one hit?

Probably. And no, I don’t want to swap places.

We were fortunate as a country to flatten our curve quickly with a rapid shutdown when the first wave started. We didn’t see the horrifying numbers reported out of other places. So it never seemed all that bad for most of us.

I got three reality checks in this past week.

1. A Dystopian Movie

Mortal Engines

The mask rule came in last Sunday night. As I drove the Youngest Son to school on Monday for his last day of on-campus learning for this term (with a return to remote learning as of Thursday), the sight of all those kids in masks walking into school was unsettling and I’ll confess I got teary.

2. Bad Neighbours

Bad Neighbours

The news report that a cluster had emerged, including at least one death, at a nursing home only three kilometres from my home brought the virus right into my suburb. The dangers seem more real.

3. Close Encounters of the Virus Kind

Close Encounters

Two days ago we were informed there had been a diagnosed case of COVID-19 at our son’s school. Yesterday we were informed by DHHS that the Youngest Son has been identified as a close contact of the infected student. He is now in quarantine, limited to his bedroom, his desk in the living room and the bathroom (which he shares with his brothers so has to sanitise each time he goes in or out). He cannot sit at the dinner table with us for meals. He cannot enter the kitchen and must ask for assistance if he needs to eat. Treating your own child like a leper is not something I remember from the parenting books. So far he has not shown any symptoms for which we are thankful and we hope and pray that it stays that way.

I’ve always been grateful that we have not been as hard hit by this virus as so many other places in the world and I know I am fortunate to have a safe place to shelter.

I still feel that way but I’ll admit that reality has given us a kick in the shins this week and that is not a comfortable feeling.

Kid kicking

Stay safe out there wherever you may be.

Pandemic Survival 6: Pubbing on the Couch

Specifically, this couch:

20200702_171134

The pandemic and its lockdown necessities has certainly set many people on some steep technological learning curves.

Teachers, students and parents alike have had to learn about new apps and software and how to recreate lessons in purely online and electronic settings including, in this household at least, how to conduct an English exam through remote learning.

Those who have never had to work from home have had to see how that can work and to make it work. Admittedly, this now has possible positives in giving employees ammunition to argue for more family-friendly flexible working arrangements. (“See, I can do the work from home, so how about I do that two days a week from now on?”)

Restaurants have turned themselves into gourmet takeaways or suppliers of meals to essential workers.

And in the world of Arts and Entertainment, creatives have courageously embraced the technology available to make it Happen. From filmed stage productions being shared on various platforms to casts of musicals getting together to record songs via isolation to books and plays being read by all manner of celebrities all the way to small community outfits doing whatever they can to share their creativity.

As someone for whom singing forms a key part of my wellbeing, I have survived this pandemic and the inherited income adjustment in a number of ways.

Firstly, let me just say how grateful I am for streaming services and YouTube that provide a plethora of musicals to watch and join in. As a lover of and previous performer in many musicals, this has been an easy and inexpensive way to have a sing when I feel like it. (And yes, even if I wasn’t such a big Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar fangirl, joining Disney+ would have been worth it just for Hamilton.)

Secondly, I was lucky to be offered work in my role as a casual special education teacher despite schools being closed to all but the necessary. Singing is a big part of my teaching so getting to sing every week with some very special students kept me upbeat day after day.

Thirdly, my bar choir of which I wrote not long before the shutdown, scored some funding from a local government to offer Back Bar Choir Iso-style. This was conducted over Zoom every Thursday night for 6 weeks for free. Because of the time delay in the program, we all had to be muted other than the lovely Anna and Kate but even though you couldn’t hear the others, just seeing their happy faces on the screen made you feel like you were singing with a group of people. And, when restrictions eased a bit, I was able to turn my little she-shed into a bar for two. Singing Aussie classics like Horses and You’re The Voice in full throttle with a special friend in person and a collection of yet unknown ones on the screen in front of me whilst enjoying a glass of wine was enough to fill up my week with joy.

20200702_171017

One of those cupboards may or may not contain the ‘bar’. 😉

And then, just recently, fourthly, I joined Pub-turned-Couch Choir because you can never have enough of pub singing. Pub Choir was started in Brisbane by the lovely Astrid Jorgensen and just before the pandemic hit, had become an international sensation with a tour of the USA underway. (My local Back Bar Choir is obviously based on the same model, something of which Astrid is supportive as long as it isn’t called “Pub Choir”.)  Rapidly closing borders caused Astrid, Waveney and the Pub Choir team to cancel the rest of the tour and hightail it home. Not to be squashed (Astrid seems a very upbeat type), Pub Choir launched Couch Choir as shown in this short documentary:

The procedure follows the usual pattern – learn one song in parts and sing it. Only, this time, Astrid teaches the parts via video and participants firstly learn their chosen part and then record themselves singing it. This recording is then sent to Couch Choir and through the monumental magic of video editing (thank you, Paris), all of it is put together to form one sensational performance. You can check them out here. I’d recommend the David Bowie song Heroes. Six thousand people from around the world submitted a video including many of our health workers. It’s quite moving.

But at the very least, check out the one below – the most recent one – because you may spot a familiar blogger. Mind you, with more than 1500 singers from 30 different countries, you’ll be hard pressed to find me (you’ll need a magnifying glass and a quick eye) so if you do manage it, I will send you a packet of Tim Tams.

 

It’s an incredible feeling to be part of this stunning community collaboration in a love of singing. I’ve wanted to participate in Couch Choir since I first found out about it through the documentary but it always takes me a while to convince myself I can do something and the usual three day turnaround just wasn’t enough time. For this song, we had a week to prepare and submit a video so I was able to spend a few days telling myself I could do it, then spend a day learning my part and then another recording and uploading it. What a fabulous reason to spend an afternoon in my shed and sing!

This pandemic has certainly stretched us all in a myriad of ways and I’m so happy people have discovered new means of sharing their skills and art for us all to enjoy.

Have you managed to find ways to pursue your joy?

A Claytons Resolution

June

It’s June. We’re almost at the middle of the year 2020.

So, how’s it going for you so far?

Yeah. I know.

I doubt any of us is experiencing the year we thought we would on January 1. Nothing quite like a global economic downturn on the back of a global pandemic to put a kink in your plans.

Although, as the world protests and campaigns against racial injustice on a scale not seen in decades, I can’t help thinking that this forced global awareness and time to reflect has some up sides.

I’m wondering if you made any New Year Resolutions for this year and how they’re faring in this “new normal”? Are you still on track as planned, on track but in a modified form or have you abandoned them altogether?

Did you give up on “going to the gym every week” or just adjust it to online classes? Did the lockdown actually make it easier to “learn a new skill”? Did it become just too challenging to “spend more time with friends”? Did you lose your job making it impossible to “save more money”?

2020 new year resolution

At the end of last year, I announced that I wasn’t making any resolutions for 2020 because the family was already facing enough challenges with an ending of long term employment and high stakes final years of education. Just surviving the year intact was enough of a goal to achieve.

But now, at the midpoint of a year that threw in even more challenges to exacerbate the ones we were already facing, I’ve realised I actually did make a resolution of sorts. A Claytons resolution. The resolution you have when you don’t have a resolution.*

At the end of last year, on the back of some work I had begun on improving my mental health, I made a commitment that in 2020 I would put my wellbeing first, closely followed by the needs of my own family. I would no longer be “on call” to others and if something wasn’t right for me and my wellbeing, then I would politely refuse/withdraw.

I also took on a mantra from a card I read early in the year: “I did not cause it. It is not my job to cure it.”

This wasn’t easy. I’ve been known to answer the call when unwell, when it inconvenienced my own family and when it probably wasn’t appropriate and it’s in my nature to want to step in and make things better in any way I can. But I knew I couldn’t go on the way I had the last few years and for my own health I had to change.

Of course, when the pandemic and subsequent restrictions hit, it became even more important to try and maintain this promise to myself as anyone who has followed me through the last three months will be aware.

But with support, I stuck to my plan. And, as it turned out, reaped the rewards.

Lessons Learned:

  1. It is not selfish to take care of yourself. In fact you owe it to the people around you to do so.
  2. You can look after your own wellbeing and good things will still come your way.

Even in the midst of all the challenges this year has wrought, I have been blessed. I’ve reached out and discovered the true friends in my life, been acknowledged and respected in my work, found joy in running for fun and explored new places to be fed spiritually and creatively.

Looking at stars

 

My wish for you at this midpoint of A Year For The Ages is that you are finding the kindnesses in life and that the route you are travelling while occasionally bumpy has stretches of smooth straight road in the company of people you love and who love you just as equally.

Blessings from my heart to yours.

 

*This phrase comes from a drinks commercial in the 1970s whose catchphrase entered the Australian vernacular to mean anything that you have without it really being that thing. More info here. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a video of the original ad with Jack Thompson but here’s a blooper:

 

 

Pandemic Survival 5: Running Crazy

I was supposed to run a marathon the other weekend.

I’d signed up for the full marathon in the Great Ocean Road Running Festival in mid-May but when the pandemic hit, it was postponed to August. In order not to lose the effect of the training I’d already completed but not peak too soon, I switched to the half-marathon plan.

Then, three weeks before the original weekend, the organisers announced a Virtual GOR Running Festival. Pick your distance, run it when and where you want over the weekend of 16-17 May, upload your results and they’ll send you a medal.

Sweet. After all, I was already planning to run a half marathon that weekend anyway to culminate the training plan. So the rational and sane move would be to register for the half marathon.

Two problems.

  1. I am not rational.
  2. I am insane.

I signed up to run the full marathon instead. Here was my thinking:

  1. I already have two GORRF half marathon medals and no full marathon medal. It’s all about the bling.
  2. There was no cut off time so I could take as long as I liked including having to stop and walk if necessary.
  3. I’d be running on my own so I wouldn’t need to get depressed as 3,000 runners ran past my lumbering self.

Now, normally when I train for a marathon I do things like

  1. Stick to the training plan as closely as possible, especially making sure I’ve completed the 30+km long runs.
  2. See a massage therapist every week to keep things loose and in line (my hips are a particular problem).

I’d done neither.

I threw in a 25km run the next weekend and then went into tapering mode. Even that was the furthest I’ve run in over a year. And I haven’t seen a massage therapist since November.

I wasn’t exactly in peak marathon condition.

I decided to run it on the Saturday rather than Sunday so I had a day to recover before going back to work on the Monday.

My location pick was the river trail near my home, a regular running location for my training. It wasn’t the most interesting place to run 42.2km and I had to run two and a quarter laps of the loop but it had multiple advantages:

  1. No road crossings. Particularly important near the end when you become a bit incoherent and can’t be trusted near traffic.
  2. Regular public toilets and drink fountains. Not really supposed to use either due to COVID-19 but I carried hand sanitiser.
  3. A convenient car park beside the track at which to meet The Husband with a restock of fluids and fuel halfway.

I was blessed with ideal weather conditions. It made it a shame the real event wasn’t going ahead but it made the challenge easier.

I was relaxed, none of the usual negative voices even appeared and I just ran for fun knowing that my time didn’t mean a thing.

GORVRF1

This was at the end. I look pretty good, I reckon.

I knocked 15 minutes off my previous best marathon time.

Huh?

A finishing time of 4:12:47 put me 55/122 overall and 15/54 of Females in the marathon event.

Double huh?

Screenshot_20200516-130117_Strava

My usual marathon average pace is around 6:30m/km. I kept expecting to slow down a lot at the end and never did.

I named this marathon the Owain’s Birthday Marathon because it coincided with my great-nephew’s 3rd birthday. I told him he must have brought me luck on his birthday.

Now, if you scroll down, you may find an “I told you so” from my friend M-R who, when I started training for the marathon originally, pointed out that maybe I shouldn’t train that much because my last two half marathons were good runs with sporadic training. My answer was that a full marathon is a whole other ballgame but I’ll admit I think she may be on to something.

By the time the medal arrived in the mail, I’d kind of forgotten about it and couldn’t work out who was sending me something heavy. It’s a lovely medal. Obviously the marathon medal for the original festival but they’ve kindly put a little tag on the back to mark it as the virtual event.

And now there’s a fourth full marathon medal hanging on my wall. Who’da thunk it? (The wall may need some reinforcing at this rate…)

GORVRF4

It breaks up the block of red quite nicely. They’re sorted in distance order (mostly) but my eyes twitch a bit about the colour mix.

I’ve still got the GOR full marathon to complete in August. I’m wondering if I should just do the half marathon training plan.

Anyway, there’s nothing quite like taking on some insane task because you’re a bit bored at home and then pulling off one of your best efforts.

Have you taken on something new or slightly mad in these coronavirus lockdown days?

 

Pandemic Survival 4: Good Karma

Do you believe in karma?

I like to do things for other people. It’s not because I’m saving up brownie points to get into heaven. It’s not because I think it will allow me to come back as something better. It’s not because I’m hoping I’ll get something in return. I do it because…. well, because it’s just who I am.

In my last post, I wrote about my way of coping with losing a job I love by making resources for others to use in my own time. I didn’t do it to show off or to look good. I did it because I saw a need and I like helping people. Well, okay, and I also like making things and this seemed like a good use of my time.

I’ve also written about losing my job and how it wasn’t about the money.

As a casual relief teacher in an environment where students are now studying from home, I knew there would not be opportunities to teach until schools fully reopen so I found a way to fulfil the joy I have for teaching in other ways. It felt good.

Do you believe in karma?

Today I did my first of three days of work at my school.

I know.

I still can’t believe it.

For some reason, they were short on teaching staff and a member of staff I had chatted to recently on one of my runs around the river mentioned how crushed I’d been to lose my job and how much I would miss the kids.

So they called me and offered me three days work with a possibility of more in the future.

I don’t know if I believe in karma in the full religious understanding of it but after the events of this week, I have to believe that what you put into the world will come back to you.

Be kind.

Do good things.

Give what you can.

It will come back to you.

 

Kindness