Monday, 30 May 2005

I am having a rather full on couple of weeks at work. Exam marking, report writing and a filming and editing a video. Making the video has been fantastic. It is so satisfying to create something from scratch and it was really nice to just sit still and focus on just one thing for a couple of days. I know most teachers feel like they never really have time to focus on anything for very long. It seems like continual multitasking, which can feel very frustrating and draining.

I have always struggled to deal with how busy it gets at school sometimes. I just feel overwhelmed by everything and feel helpless to do anything about it. But I am getting better at just breaking it down into small parts and just knocking away at it. Every deadline is pretty flexible in teaching and it is really easy to sweat the small stuff. So here's to keeping a lid on the stress and surviving another crazy week at work!

I had a lovely coffee with a friend today. She really challenged me about taking on too much. Her Grandma once told her "a need isn't a call". I feel often at work that I see things which need to be done and I feel like no-one else is going to do it so I should. Sometimes I even feel like I would do a good job! But often a I say yes because I think someone should do it. I have always been a good starter but a rather useless finisher and I always take on too much. My friend challenged me on my plans for later in the year. I want to reconsider whether I should be taking on more work towards the end of the year. But when the issue is service to others rather than work it is hard to draw the line and make some boundaries.

I spent every summer of my teenage years at these wonderful horse riding camps. I credit these camps and the leaders who sacrificed their time for them, with me being a Christian now. So now that I am older I want to keep giving back to the organisation. But my job involves kids all year round and do I really want to spend another week in my holiday with kids? It is a tricky issue because if everyone who has been involved decides they are too busy or stressed no-one else will benefit from the blessing these camps can be. However a need is not a call and I need to decide whether I am being called.

Boundary setting is such an issue for me and when I am to lead an intergrated life without faithless spaces it is hard to know where to draw the line so that I can actually be healthy, in the most holistic sense.

Wednesday, 18 May 2005

I have had an inspiring day with my work colleagues. We had a day of thinking about how things have been going and where we want to go from here. Sometimes my job can get quite depressing. You never feel like you finish anything and never quite do enough and could always do better. But I do think it is true that without a vision the people perish. One of the women I work with told us why she came to teach at my school. It was inspiring and liberating to hear the hope she has and the exctiement she feels about facing challenge and being part of change. Often these kind of days are very airy fairy adn nothing practical comes out of them but we came up with a whole lot of practical ways we can use to improve the way we do things.

Yesterday I felt that there was nothing I wanted more than to walk out the front gate and never come back. It was one of those gloomy, wet and humid Auckland days where the school smells like only schools can and everything seems dreary. I was walking up the stairs for about the 5 th time that day and I just thought "I've got to get out of this place"(imagine the sound track of Good Morning Vietnam). But today has given me fresh energy and enthusiasm. I know why I am here and there are things I can do and offer that could change the future for the department and the school. I also feel the need to grow up, to move on from needing everything to feel exciting and to be prepared to persevere even though I don't really feel like it. I am going to try not to talk about leaving teaching and focus on the things I want to do here in the near future. Though I know there are other things for me in the future I know that right now is not the time to find out what they are.

So I am going to stick it out and dig it in and any other expression for keeping on keeping on that you can think of. It is just another example of me having to accept the reality of being an adult!

Friday, 13 May 2005

I think I am becoming co-dependent. It is one of those very "now" pop psychology terms which basically means I often feel like I am dependent on others helping me to get the stuff I need to do done. A basic example: the other night my husband was out. So I sat in front of the tele for the evening. He was rather late. I kind of just waited for him to come home and tell me it was time for bed. Sick eh!

But to put this all into perspective, I am a pretty extreme people person but need alone time and I tend to set pretty high standards for myself. So when I do relax I tend to turn into a passive blob, lethargic and unable to make even basic decisions, like that it was time to go to bed. It may sound like I am blowing this totally out of proportion but yesterday I had another wakeup call about my co-dependency issues. I am going to a Media teaching conference in October. Our accomodation and transport is paid for. A collegue from school is going also and she has lots of friends she can stay with. I don't. Therein lies the problem. The idea of staying in a hotel by myself for about 4 nights fills me with dread. I know it is irrational and to many people an opportunity to be alone is absolute bliss. But for me my first reaction is panic and intense loneliness.

I know that part of the reason I have become like this is getting married. There is always someone around now. We do the supermarket shopping, run errands, clean the house, cook etc. together so I am not by myself very much. I am determined not to lose the independence I so valued before by becoming a wimpy heap! So I will try to take responsibility for myself a bit more.

I hope this doesn't sound completely pathetic but even if it does, so there! I don't need you to like it! (supposed to be said with an independent and cheeky tone if there is such a thing!)

Saturday, 7 May 2005

You would think that now that I have internet at home that I would blog more often. But sadly no. I have been very slack about making the time. I have been thinking about a lot of stuff. Here's a list:
  • human rights abuses in Uzbekistan - the US and Britain are supporting the use of torture in Uzbekistan for the purposes of obtaining intelligence. The U.S flies in 'ghost planes' carrying those who have been detained at places such as Guantanimo Bay and uses the fact that torture is legal there in order to gain information. The British government has no problem in accepting this information as they feel that they are not doing the torture themselves so it is okay! The governement in Uzbekistan has been known to torture the children of those who they have imprisoned in order to extract information.
  • It is World Fair Trade weeks from this weekend until the 21st of May. Support free trade by shopping at Trade Aid stores and asking tricky questions when shopping. When in Starbucks next ask why they are labeling coffee produced in the United States as fair trade coffee. It think they have missed the point. For more infor visit the trade aid website or
  • Dafur - over 3.3 million people have now died. They have the largest number of internally displaced people in the world. I saw a moving and motivating report on CNN where a reporter travelled with a family who had fled the Muhajadeen when they had attacked their village. They travelled to a refugee camp where they waited for 6 weeks before receiving any food or shelter. The men feel ashamed that they have lost their land and have not been able to protect their famlies. Their social structures are in tatters. Where will they go and what will they do? Also many have witnessed unbelievealble violence and brutality. Why isn't the international community intervening?
  • Pentecost - 2 weeks away! I have been thinking about what my deepest passions and heart dreams are for my life and my place in the world. I want to follow that passion that the Holy Spirit has placed in my life even if it seems crazy and risky. Now I just have to come up with the courage! And do it with wisdom from God and not just to ease my own conscience and grow my ego. Hmmmmm! How do you do that?

So that was heavy, but the world is. Heavy with strife but in the midst of it you have people in Dafur who despite their terrible experiences share their little food with each other because if we lose our hope and humanity what have we got?