Monday, January 1, 2018


Some time ago I was talking to my son about the long walk he is planning (he is doing the Pacific Crest next year) and about what he's thinking of doing afterwards.  This was quite an extensive plan, that involved such things as buying a house, getting engaged, getting married, and having children.  I remember saying to him "Don't tell God about your plans" as I know life has a habit of getting in the way of these and taking us off in directions that we couldn't even imagine.  In fact the first part of his plans have already changed.  Despite finding a house and being just 4 days away from purchasing it, the whole thing fell through.  And sadly, his plans to go to New Zealand for a friend's wedding have fallen through too, as his friend has been diagnosed with cancer and wedding plans are on hold for now.  Plans for the walk continue.

As 2017 came to a close it was also time for me to reflect on changes in my own life.  As readers will know, my mother has been diagnosed with dementia.  A year ago my brother and I visited care homes to find an eventual place for my mother.  We were asked what our timeline was, and all we could say was "sometime in 2017".  And yet those plans have changed as well.  Now at the start of 2018 mum is still in her own home.  The place we were hoping and planning for also fell through recently.  I'm desperately seeking options.

 A year ago I thought I was in India for the long-term.  Even at the start of this school year I thought it.  But now it seems it's not to be.  I've fought this for a long time in my own mind.  I've often said I have the perfect job in the most amazing school, but this year I've had to question that as well.  I think I spent many months trying to preserve the status quo - now I know it is time to focus on the next steps, and these are going to involve a return to Europe.  Mum is very needy.  I need to be close by.  It's time to redirect my energies to the next things in life.  It's time to accept what's coming.  It's time to forgive people for not giving me what I thought I needed.  It's time to move on.

So what is next?  Some months ago I started to think of other options.  I registered with a couple of search agencies and even interviewed for a couple of jobs.  I learned a lot about myself in this process.  I learned that there are actually very few schools where I would want to work.  I have come to see that I'm passionate about curriculum and "getting out of the way" so that students can do deep dives into limited areas rather than trying to "cover everything".  I learned that I can never work at a school where the focus is on ticking the boxes.  I also learned that my passion is technology integration, not managing systems.  I want to work with people - with teachers and students - not with software and hardware.  I thought I was heading in one direction, but when I actually thought about it, I realised that I needed to head off in a different direction.  I don't just want to focus on "the latest and greatest" technology trends that are not authentically integrated into the curriculum.  I want to focus on using technology for deep learning.

I've come to see that life gives you opportunities, though sometimes they don't seem like opportunities - they seem like challenges.  Sometimes picking up my whole life and moving again seems overwhelming.  But I know it isn't - I've done it before.

One thing I know is true - you don't regret the things you do, you regret the things you don't do.  When an opportunity comes along you need to grab it.  Moving to India 6 years ago seemed to be a challenge - but it was amazing.  How glad I am now that I took the "scary" option instead of staying in Europe.  Now I'm opting to take the "scary" choice again.

It has been a tough year, and something else I've learned is that I want someone to challenge me to do new things.  I'm fairly self-directed, but I do want people to notice and appreciate what I do.  It's hard to work and stay motivated in a vacuum.

So 2018 is going to be a year of personal and professional change.  Watch this space - more coming soon!

And to all my readers, I wish you all the best for the coming year - whatever it may bring!

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