As I'm officially taking a week off ( boy did I order some good weather as well might i add), it's given me a little more creative head space and more importantly time for creative imagining.
This blog came about as an aside to realising that the two weeks myself and my hubby have booked off for our main holidays, coincide with half term ( which basically, in real terms means the prices for hotels and flights are hiked up by what seems a zillion percent!) As we don't have school age children anymore, school holidays don't feature on our radar so to speak, they will from now on however, we've already searched out next years school holiday calendar to avoid the same debarcle as this years holiday hunt.
Holiday searches aside, It did stimulate a discussion over breakfast the other morning.
Can you remember what it was like when you went back to school after the 6 weeks summer holidays?
(even longer for some)
After those long sunny days...... as I child I can only remember long hot summers, despite our surprise when we get a couple of days of sunshine in a row and call it summer now.
We would have played out for hours, with no digital interference, coming home only when we were tired or hungry, or both. Those conscientious among you would of course have completed any homework at the beginning of the holidays, the rest of us would be cramming to complete it on the bus, on our way back to school on the first morning of the new term.
Did you, like me (and my hubby as he told me) get excited about new exercise books, pencil case, crayons, pencils and of course the obligatory fountain pen and cartridges, it just made hand writing look better right?
At our school we had to back our books, so some kids bought posh paper from Clinton's cards, whilst the rest of us had some roll end of anaglypta wallpaper ( it lasted far longer didn't it?)
Of course there was the school uniform torture, had to get two sizes too big to grow into, so that it would last beyond the first term, and if you were really lucky you went to Clarks shoes to get your feet measured for a hideous pair of sensible shoes, when all you really wanted was a pair of kickers, or way finders with a compass in the heel!
There was just an air of excitement and anticipation, mixed with a little trepidation,a new teacher, a new class, maybe new students (who had moved to the area as a result of business executive parents, generally in those days of the 70's and early 80's, the executive dad who had been given a relocation package to move to another office or market area).
As was the case for me in 1978, having moved from a upmarket rural village south of Nottingham, I found myself in a foreign land, the northern town of Rochdale; Smallbridge to be specific, on the edge of moorland, down an unadopted road, behind an old disused textile mill ( I'm making it sound like it's grim up North, which isn't the case at all, it does however rain.... a lot). I was still in a beautiful; if not a little more rugged and open to the elements, rural location, yet surrounded by; as the famous hymn ( and my school hymn indecently) "Jerusalem" would state, those dark satanic mills.
I found people to be extremely friendly, everyone spoke in the street ( this was a bit of a novelty aged 10, did everyone know everyone?) I remember very clearly the apprehension of going to Howarth Cross middle school on my first day, new town, new school, new class, new teacher... and I was the new kid ( as described above, moved with my dad's job, along with whole family including grandparents and a menagerie of animals, I think my step mum was very probably pregnant with my little brother too, what a time to move).
I was well and truly out of my comfort zone.
Thankfully for me, this beaut on the left happened to be sitting on the wall outside the "quadrangle" with her mum, alongside me with my step mum, on that very first day. This blue eyed mischief maker, who looked much like an angel...... and was generally scheming something naughty and cheeky most of the time ( maybe that's continued Tammy?) was to become my partner in crime throughout the rest of my school years and beyond.
I soon settled in, as can be seem by my thumbs up on the right, despite having the mickey taken out of me every day for my "posh" accent, I just thought everybody else talked funny, with their "Have ya not's" .... "Do ya not's" and "I'll tell ya what it is".
As I look at the photo on the right, I'm reminded of Jane, who sadly is no longer with us, she emigrated to heaven some years ago now as a result of a long struggle with breast cancer. Also I wonder how one of these young, happy fresh faced girls, with a world of opportunity ahead of her became a heroin addict and sex worker to fund her habit, despite having two small children. I truly hope she managed to turn her life around, I have no idea what happened to her sadly.
It's a stark reminder perhaps that we are all presented with choices every day. There is a world of possibility and potential within each and every one of us. Every moment of every day is precious, a true gift.
My message to you today, is please step into your magnificence, please don't play it small. You have such wonderment inside you. You are truly limitless if you only realise it.
Think back to that first day back to school once more, the excitement, the unending potential and possibilities that you held in the palm of your hand. Yes, it may have been a little bit scary, but you know what, you're here reading this, so stepping out your comfort zone into the opportunity zone, just added to who you are becoming and you're here to tell the tale.
I urge you today to harness that back to school energy for yourself.
Where are you seeking to grow and learn, to bring newness... to step out of your comfort zone.....
What are you waiting for? The whole World awaits your greatness!
Today,I urge you to ask yourself, where am I denying the World my wonder?
Sign up for that course, read that mind expanding book, take that trip....
Make every moment count!