Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

Of all the occasions during this past year when I’ve thought to myself that I would add to this blog, it was this day – the last day of the year that is 2017 – that I just had to log in to reflect on how this year went.

This blog entry very nearly just got interrupted by my teen daughter who nearly killed my laptop by tripping on my wire. And all for my sister’s macaroni cheese pie! *facepalms* So after my wail of fear as I caught the laptop at the very last minute, plus my daughter’s wail of fear at my wail (and then me getting her chastisement at scaring her), I shall continue.

One main thing that I have noticed about coming to the end of 2017, has been the fact that we are here, on the cusp of a New Year and I feel at peace. This has to be the first year in a long, long time where I can truly say that I feel a peace that surpasses all understanding. Given that this is grace-based I love how that feels.

This year has been a journey with a big learning curve and I thank God that as I come to the end of this year I have no regrets. Isn’t life something, when a person can look back at a year and actually see progress? This is progress in terms of learning from life’s curve balls or unpleasantries. All the previous year ends would always see a regret that I shoulda, woulda, coulda but this year feels different.

At the beginning of this year I was working on a project with a big IT company which gave me a taste of what it’s like to not be highly stressed out as a classroom teacher. It taught me to take hold of any opportunities that come your way and to not fear. The position was a leap of faith for me due to the fact that it was not permanent, and I had kids to raise and a mortgage to pay. But I saw that I can actually leave the classroom and that there was life after the security of being a teacher. I will forever appreciate the opportunity given by Google Education and the confidence that such an experience gave me.

The death of my dad in March, taught me about the enigma which is bereavement but more importantly about how important it is to allow oneself to grieve. It was by far the bring-you-to-your-knees moment in the year but yet, it gave me a deeper sense of empathy towards those who lose a close relative and it enabled me to focus my direction of  prayer when praying for those who are grieving. It taught me that rather than it being a temporary blip in one’s life, it was in fact a change or modification of what our journey is as human beings, how interconnected we are and how important it is to carry out our purpose on this earth. It was and is a sacred experience which is on going.

The end of the IT project plunged me back into the prospect of being in the classroom and in a way I went through a period of grieving again (being honest in this blog). Although I kidded myself that substitute/ supply teaching was a means to an end and that I was bringing new resources from the last contract back into teaching, my heart, love and drive has actually gone. But again it is with no regrets. Even though I was away from teaching for basically an academic year, to witness the scale of changes that have taken place in that short time, has sealed it for me that it is finally time to let go of being in the classroom or the front line, so to speak. So as I approached the end of 2017 I have been exploring the many different options to enable me to still care for my children but also to be able to explore new frontiers away from teaching.

As I have had a gap since working in September, I have been able to return to my first love – to create something from nothing. This has taken the form of having the time to programme a solution in Python to help out another teacher whose speciality is SQL, to getting back to making all things craft-like. In 2018 I am aiming to creating a self marking assessment test which feedback immediate levels for students – of course this being dependent upon not getting called out too often. Plus also looking into the idea of making craft items that I can sell. Ideas and brainstorming but now with the confidence of knowing that I can explore these things as well as others.

So here I am, witnessing the afternoon pass by as I approach 2018.

We are on the cusp of a year of many new opportunities and experiences and I thank God that through Christ I am strengthened enough to eagerly explore them.

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