The Dream Job and Just Another Panic Monday.....

I was a bit out of sorts this Monday morning. I guess another sleepless night didn't really help. I did eventually fall asleep but it was more of a drowsy half-awake, half-asleep kind of slumber. You know, the kind when you don't know which you are; awake or asleep.

Well I have to tell you, I awoke from this half-sleep condition in such a state. There I lay, wide awake with my eyes shut tight, in a right aul' panic.

I had to get up for work you see.

'What, you've gone back to work' I hear you ask? Yes, that's what I asked myself too. And I told myself to not be silly that of course I'd gone back to work, did I not remember?

Well I didn't really so in my panicked state I reminded myself over and over again that yes, I'd gone back to work the previous Monday  - to the job I left ten years ago -  and really liked it. Until Wednesday that is when I went out sick for three days.

The problem was, not being used to being back at work, I'd forgotten to go back once my sick leave was over!

Hence my panic.

Oh God, I have nothing ready. I have to get the teen wonder 'out of that bed..... NOW' ...... yet again!! What about his lunch? Can I get him to the bus in time for me to make the Dart? How do I explain myself in work? I'll be sacked before I've even gotten used to it once more. And how on earth do I get home on time for school finishing? I could give him a key I suppose..... and how did I manage all of this last week anyway?

Oh, my poor sleep-deprived and jumbled brain.

When I realised all that I had to do I couldn't believe that I'd actually gone back to work. What was I thinking? At that moment in time I was totally in awe of parents who do this every day, but I just wasn't used to it and had been hit unawares. So to speak.

Had I really gone back to work? I kept asking myself that question, and the answer was always the same.... 'Yes, now get the hell up and get sorted!'

So, I went to do just that and actually woke up.....  for real this time!

It took me quite a while to accept that this was all a terrible dream. A waking-sleeping nightmare really. Brought on perhaps by my recent  musings on procrastinating and middle-aged mums going back to work! And maybe also by my recent endeavours to secure Transition Year Work Experience for above-mentioned teen wonder.

Still - although there was admittedly a moment or two in there that I quite liked the fact that I was 'back-to-work' - I nevertheless breathed a huge sigh of relief when I finally accepted that I was back to being a desperate housewife and my usual Jazzy Mum self.

With a coffee/tea meet up with a friend beckoning, my Monday could only get better..... right?


Well, actually make that semi-wrong. My Monday was definitely saved from the scrap heap of panic by my lovely catch-up time with the fabulous, and blissfully unaware, Looking for Blue Sky! But not before another panicky moment a few hours later.....

I was only trying to do a quick Marks and Spencer food shop before my meet up and thought I was being very clever parking close to that shop in order to save my back when carrying the bags afterwards.

It was a good plan, really it was.

Until I couldn't find my damn car with mere minutes to spare before driving closer to the coffee shop!

There I was, the panicked lady, wandering lonely as a cloud  demented, headless chicken, balanced as I was like the scales of justice - with a heavy bag in each hand and a bulky handbag hanging off my ever-drooping shoulder! So much for parking nearby!

Oh how I traipsed from lane to lane, repeatedly, desperately seeking my black automobile everywhere and not finding it anywhere. I swore blind I'd parked it in this car park in that lane that lead to that shop door that I couldn't gain access to. That was my marker see, how I knew I was right.

Well, panic was setting in I can tell you, rain was starting to fall and tears were threatening to make an appearance!

Then the cavalry unexpectedly  arrived  when the couple that had been behind me in the shopping queue, upon seeing my desperation and aimless, panicky meanderings, stopped their car offering to drive up and down all the lanes in order to aid me in my search. And when that proved fruitless they beckoned the security man for me who was approaching in his van. Such lovely people I met that morning. In the rain. In  my panic.

Then the lovely and very patient security man drove me up and down the many lanes and had 'the man' back in the control centre check the cameras in nearby car parks for my car.

It wasn't long before it was found.

In a completely different car park, and in a completely different lane!

Oh the embarrassment...... and the absolute relief to find that my car had not been permanently 'lost'.

 I tell you, lack of sleep and 'dream jobs' really have an awful lot to answer for!

However, all's well that ends well, especially when it does so with a lovely catch up  and a very large mug of tea. And cake. naturally.... I was in 'shock' don't you know and in much need of such sweetness!

As you can see I did a bit of word play in this blog post title and as a result the following song appears to have become my ear worm for the week... so I thought I might make it yours too?!  I must admit though, it might have been more of a dream and less of a nightmare had I been 'kissing Valentino' in my sleepy-wakeful slumber!

Hope that wherever you are that you are having a good and very un-panicky week!

The Good News Week and Other Thoughts......

Sitting here in the pouring Sunday rain I cannot help but contemplate the 'good news' week gone by and be still embraced by all it's positivity.

There were lots of little things like good weather, some ideas and projects coming to fruition, a book launch attendance  and of course there was the Junior Certificate results last Wednesday; pre-empted as they were by some mama-nerves!

I needn't have worried though, my boy put in the work and was as happy as we were proud of his achievements. I didn't share his actual very good results as I am uncomfortable about doing so.

It was however a joy to read the good news stories from other parents on social media too; mainly on Facebook. I was particularly taken by the proud updates from parents of children with special learning difficulties. These relate to children that may have diagnoses of ASD, Aspergers or Dyslexia etc. Some were able to sit all papers and some were not but all, within the realms of our education system as it is, reached their own personal potential; be that 8 honours or 2 passes, or anywhere in between. All results were to be celebrated.

I thought about all these children, and of the young adults who got their Leaving Certificate results back in August, and wondered about the pressure the education system puts on them and how beneficial that actually is to all.

Coincidentally, on the same day that my son was getting his results I  was looking through old boxes for something in particular when I came across my own school results from the same examinations, all those years ago. I won't tell you how long ago that was but suffice it to say it was so long ago that the Junior Certificate was known as the Intermediate Certificate!

I didn't do too badly back in those ancient days but my son did better than I on his Junior Certificate equivalent! And I wondered about that, as I often do......

Now I hate to sound ancient and all but, you see, back in my day 'honours' results were not the norm. We did of course work towards them but getting 8 or 10 As (or even 8 or 10 honours) really was not the norm. Nor was going to college or university. That was reserved for those families who could afford it. It was also a generational thing. Most of our parents finished school after the Intermediate Certificate i.e. at age 14, if they attended secondary school at all, and went out into the work place. Some parents wanted their children out working as soon as they could, as that was their norm. Most of us sat our Leaving Certificates at age 17, some were only 16.

Imagine..... out working by age 17. Hard to envisage these days, isn't it?

There is almost an acceptance with this generation, and the one before it, that attending college/university is a foregone conclusion.

Granted with the unemployment situation being as it has been in recent years it's probably just as well that students stay in education. But are we really a better educated people these days with honours results and a college degree being the norm? How many students actually work in the industry their college degree prepares them for? Is today's college degree 'yesterday's' Leaving Certificate?

I think it's wonderful that there are more accessing college and university places these days yet I cannot help but wonder:  Is this the only way that we can help all of our children reach their true potential and to work in the industry they wish to?

I think this system leaves some talented and perhaps less-academic students behind, and you would have to question why a degree is necessary at all for some jobs.

With that in mind I do welcome the introduction of Solas : a further education and training authority in Ireland two years ago. I have no idea how successful this authority that amalgamated the VEC schools and Fás Training centres is but it is good to know that it and organisations such as Youthreach exists.

As time has passed and the emphasis changed to getting a college degree before entering the workplace I think we've forgotten that, in some instances, learning-on-the-job is the best 'qualification' anyone can get. And in this regard I say bring back apprenticeships, which may suit some very talented and less academic students that may otherwise be left behind. I mean if it 's possible to learn 'on-the-job' and get paid, whilst also attending night classes if necessary, then why not? Although be warned, mentioning this to one of today's cossetted youths may be met with: 'but, when would I sleep'?!

It is a tough world for our children these days in some ways, such stresses and expectations to succeed so highly being heaped upon them.

That said we all want the best for our children and I will of course encourage my child to attend college, if that is what he wishes, but I will also research other potential suitable options.

Inside the Busy Mind of a Serial Procrastinator.....

I recently posted the photo below on Instagram. Admittedly it's not a particularly good photo but I wanted to show the knitting and crocheting projects that I am currently working on. Flitting haphazardly between all three as I go, on a daily basis.

My 'knitocheting' projects as I called them! Good, huh?

The more I looked at that photo, and the more I thought about it, the more I realised that this actually symbolised  my whole life.

This photo not only revealed my knitocheting projects, it also allowed a glimpse inside my terribly busy mind.

Not important-busy mind you, more of a busy-busy mind really. A mind that rarely stops running. Sure it's no wonder that insomnia constantly lurks in the background!

I can never seem to do just one thing at a time you see, or complete one task before I move to the next. When I'm knitting or crocheting I'm also watching TV or sitting in the sun; alternating between needles and book. On the rare days that the sun deigns to shine warmly, that is. When I'm writing a blog post I'm also flicking through emails, facebook, twitter etc., or even crushing a candy or ten! Especially if I'm stuck on a sentence, or on the whole damn post. When I'm swimming lengths I cannot possibly do the same stroke, length after length in a monotonous loop, I'm driven to vary it. And when I go for a walk it's like I'm squeezing it in to my day, which I am, and thinking of what's next on my list. Not necessarily jobs to be done, it could even be something nice that's next in line.

I need to live more in the moment. Enjoy what I'm doing, when I'm doing it. Like taking the time to watch the sun filter through the branches as I walk and feel the fresh air tingle my senses. Although it must be said that over the years many a blog post gets written, or a dance routine set, on these walks. In my head that is!

I need some Mindfulness in my life I reckon. And in that vein I downloaded Headspace two days ago..... I've yet to try it out as I moved on to something else and never got back to it. That right there is a perfect example of  my hectic brain! That and this rambling post.

I've come to the conclusion that it's not just a busy mind that impacts on my life but a hugely disorganised one. One that repeatedly procrastinates.

I do mean to get things done, really I do. Sometimes I even write them all down on a nice to-do list, and sometimes they even get done. Like this blog post for example, that along with others has been sitting neglected on a shelf in my disorganised mind for some time now. Sometimes I think that it's just getting started that's the issue? You know, stop thinking about it and just do it type of thing?

Sometimes I think I'm just easily bored.

Then I thought, maybe not so disorganised after all?  I mean a serial procrastinator with a haphazard brain couldn't possibly organise 120 plus Panto children into groups, choreograph and rehearse them and have them performance-ready to a deadline  now could she? I did that for at least five years and then moved onto smaller groups of teenagers.

I can organise and schedule myself to successfully promote anyone's business or charity on social media and I can even be one of Santa's Elves, if required!

Maybe I'm more organised if I have a defined job to do? A job that I'm passionate about? Perhaps I left my organisational skills behind in the office I left ten years ago, in order to more apply myself to the the most important job that I have ever done. That of being a mum. And I have definitely not been a disorganised mum, of that I am absolutely sure!

So this is where my busy mind has been going lately, and then I read Barbara Scully's piece in the Irish Independent espousing employers to grow up, that 'Middle-aged women are in their prime'! She's right too, in a lot of what she says. Some of us may have stayed home to raise our children and run our homes (I refuse to use the term 'housewife' as I most certainly am not married to my house) but our brains didn't entirely turn to mush in that time. We've kept busy with other things too and a lot of us have also involved ourselves in our children's schools and in our local communities, thereby enhancing our life's experience even more.

We certainly do have a lot of skills to offer.

Maybe I need to get myself back into the paid workforce then? Or perhaps it's enough to remind myself that I can be super organised if I really, really have to be!

I certainly need to calm my busy mind a tad, whilst also keeping both it and my body active. That's life's key I believe. Or a very large component of it.

I may also need to be a little more understanding when my teenage son procrastinates about starting homework/study and any household chores.

He didn't lick it off the stones after all!