I was in Southern England this week. I’d had a stressful day on Monday, as a ton of forms came in from delegates for the conference I organise every year. I was super thankful that I was able to leave work a bit earlier so I could pick up my train tickets for the next morning and still have time to get to Guides without being too stressed. Realising that I would have to pack a suitcase when I got home.
Only to discover that the key for the church hall, which only comes out my bag to open and lock the church hall, was not in my bag. Cue frantic texting, phoning, turning my Mum’s car and our house upside down. No key. Me and the Guides stood outside when it of course began to rain while our Unit leader went down the list of keyholders to find no one in. Eventually someone at the other church hall gave us a key.
And if you wanted to make that 24 hours anymore stressful, there’s nothing worse than getting to your seat on the train – you know with the super-advance can only be used with that particular reservation ticket – to discover that the label on it says it’s reserved for passenger travelling from Newcastle. Confused, you look at your ticket and booking confirmation print out and realise that yes, you are the dumb person who has clicked for a ticket for Monday not Tuesday.
Somehow, I made it to my friend’s house in East London that evening, and very early on Wednesday morning we travelled to Hampshire for the first day of the college course I’m doing. The course has been created by a charity I have worked with as a volunteer for a few years now and accredited through the Open College Network. I didn’t realise though, what was going to be involved. I thought I was training to be a tutor. In fact, I’m doing the course I might one day be tutoring. They want to make the course available to other practitioners who support people trying to make decisions in the face of an unintended pregnancy – and soon. And so I’m now learning about moodle. I’m trying to wrap my head around the news that I’m going to be doing assignments every single week for the whole of this summer.
As I get older, I understand more of how I work and what makes me tick. I know that I’m an extravert and so I need to talk a lot of nonsense to process my thoughts, and unless I’m around people I don’t always get a lot of work done. I go a bit loopy if left in the office on my own (I hate being in the office on my own). It took me a whole year to realise that studying alone in my room doesn’t work – I need to be in a library surrounded by other people also studying with fixed social breaks to keep me going (my grades improved drastically as a result). I know that I need to have several projects on the go, because if there’s only one to focus on I don’t have enough stress to stop me procrastinating. Since having CFS, I’ve become a person that needs to plan in advance. Spontaneous stuff doesn’t always work for me, I like to know what’s going to happen, and when so I can plan ahead and prepare for a plan B just in case it doesn’t work out that way. I get lots done on Mondays because they are stressful, busy and I have that routine down now.
In my head, my summer was going to be pretty chilled out. School holidays. No Guides. A time to finally catch up with friends and take days off work to do some fun things. So the sudden discovery that 10 hours of each week is now going to be filled with this course was a shock to my system. I didn’t plan for that. HELP!
I know that I can do it, but I also know it’s going to take me a while to get my head around this new plan for the summer. A little bit of grieving time may be required, and perhaps it’s a good thing because in term time I might not be able to manage 10 hours a week (though granted, I’ve got very busy weeks ahead until the end of term, sooo um, nothing like being thrown in the deep end with no warning).
Come September, I’ll have another trip to London under my belt and I *hopefully* will have completed a A Level standard Open College Network course in Pregnancy Choices Practice. And passed. And then, perhaps it will be time to start my Adult Education tutoring qualification.
So if my blog goes quiet over the next few months, or you wonder why I’m writing non-sensical rubbish that no one really cares about…know that it’s probably because all my brain cells are getting a work out for the first time in many years!