As I watch my friends who are still 'at the chalk face' staggering towards the end of another academic year, I find it hard to believe that I'm actually almost two years into my life 'post teaching'. There are elements of the job that I do miss.. especially the fun that I used to have when I was lucky enough to have time with super-motivated musicians... BUT I wouldn't go back for anything.
Nowadays I'm what can best be described as 'steadily busy'. My days are always full of music, family, friends ..and keeping on top of house-related jobs. I love the fact that I'm master of my own ship. I rarely have that horrible, stress-inducing feeling of sinking under the weight of commitments. I enjoy the fact that I can always re-schedule my day if some-one needs my time, or help in anyway.
I'm starting to enjoy myself as a musician too. In the last three years of my teaching career I didn't touch my harp at all and I lost a lot of technique as a consequence. Since I stopped work I've put HOURS of practice into my harp and I'm finally starting to sound confident and competent again. On Sunday afternoon, Ness and I played a set in a concert in the local church. For the first time I wasn't paralysed by nerves... Look, I'm even smiling in this photo!!!
I've got very little money but, as I'm time rich, I make things for people. Last week I made this patchwork bag for my sister's birthday. I love having the 'head space' to be creative.
It's funny... I read somewhere that it takes a month to recover from every year of stress that you've lived through. I'd agree with this. I worked for 26 years on adrenaline and it's taken the best part of 24 months to get it out of my system. I felt better last summer - I feel immensely better this summer. The only thing that suffered from this has been my waist-line... but that's the content of another post!!!!