Okay, how do I start this post without sounding a bit – well weird? Nope, just dive right in Dave, just dive right in son!
I believe that positive thinking reaps positive rewards. There is something celestial going on I can tell you that I can’t put my finger on. You see I recently won an Internet giveaway (I might have mentioned one or twenty times on social media) and it came at a time when I was really trying to be positive all round (at home, at work, on social media etc).
Okay, had I not entered that giveaway I wouldn’t have won it but let’s not focus on sensible logic shall we. Because, it’s happened before when I won a GoPro through an Instagram giveaway the year before and I remember at the time I was in a period of feeling really positive. It just seems to be that good things happen when you least expect it and are all about just being positive and giving back.
I know I am sounding weird as I write this so I do hope you understand what I mean. It’s not in a “someones looking down on me” kind of way and I know cynics would say it’s just luck. But, you make your own luck don’t you and maybe being a positive person giving back and doing good things helps bring about that luck.
I’m not saying if you start being positive right now you will win a £500 Synology NAS the week after but I am saying I believe it will reap a reward for you in time.
I check on the definition of the phrase you reap what you sow and was surprised it’s actually got a negative sounding meaning: you eventually have to face up to the consequences of your actions. But surely by sowing positive and be good thoughts that the consequences of that action is bound to be positive.
If we all made that effort to be more positive and give back then how amazing would this world be?
At exactly the time this post goes live the curtain will go up on the first matinee performance of the annual pantomime that our daughters’ dance school choreographs for – this year it’s Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
This will be Delilah’s third year performing in the junior dance team and she absolutely loves it – all of it. The auditions, the rehearsals, the singing, the rehearsals, the costumes, the make-up the rehearsals (there’s lots of rehearsing). Okay, maybe she didn’t love getting up for school yesterday morning after a late dress-rehearsal finish! She LOVES being on stage and performing, it’s a revelation to see her come to life up there. I remember the first time we saw her perform to an audience as the ‘Whoopsie-daisy Angel’ at school one Christmas and she wowed us with her confidence and she continues to wow us. Shes the current holder of the dance schools “Performer of the Year” award and we can see why!
Delilah was just 7 when she first auditioned for the panto dance troupe and she got in. She was by far the youngest in the group but she certainly held her own. Now, she has a family rival as Verity is joining her this year!
Verity might be younger and built differently but she is a feisty performer and again brings it when she hits that stage. I am really looking forward to seeing them up there together in their team of friends. Verity is the youngest in there but I am sure she will do amazingly.
Tonight we reach another milestone in our parenting timeline – our eldest is going to her GCSE options evening. Of course nothing is decided tonight but there will be some pressure on her for sure – not least from teachers of the outlying subjects trying to get her to “pick them”.
I say “outlying” and what I mean is those subject where she actually has a choice. Of course English (literature and language), maths and science are a given but from there she has some choices to make. There’s real pressure on kids nowadays when it comes to these choices, far more than I can remember as a spotty 14 year old tasked with making his choices.
I feel for her, I do really. Because I simply don’t agree with the pressure put on our youngsters at school nowadays. Pressure to know the path you want to take, I mean she’s 14 for crying out loud. This was me at about her age – do I look like I know what I want to do? Nah, I didn’t. I went from Army, to physiotherapist,to fire fighter, to RAF, to architect to professional footballer all on a daily basis. But her younger sister, who is 13 and a year below her, also takes her options this year as the GCSE course changes from two years to three. Wow! So now we’re asking 12/13 years old children to make choices like this as well? Oh, okay then!
Our advice to her has always been to pick the subjects she enjoys. There is little point picking a subject that you think might be useful in the future you are looking at now but struggling through two years not enjoying it. I am living proof of how futures change. I left school with okay GCSEs and went to work at a chemical company in the labs for four years – then switched to IT for the next 18 (still in IT now). In the intervening years I have also been a photographer and now as a blogger I also love writing and maybe in my future this will play a bigger part. Who knows?
We won’t funnel her down any particular route at all. We will support her and listen to her and help guide her, but crucially the decision on what she chooses has to be hers.
I’m sure this blog will chronicle our passage through support our four girls through their GCSEs in the coming years – it could be a roller coaster!
Let me know what you think. Have you got a teenager heading into GCSEs soon?
I hadn’t intended to down tools on blogging over the festive period too much, in fact I saw it as an opportunity to have a bit of time to write some post ready to hit the new year running. But, it didn’t quite work out like that and I just enjoyed some down time. I was still posting to Instagram though.
I read a post over at Dad v World earlier that I replied to (go check it out but finish reading this first please). Only after reading back my reply did it dawn on me just how busy I/we are for the first quarter of 2018. Then I remember Helen telling me that between the new year and the end of March we have just one solitary weekend where we have no plans! Madness! This isn’t quite the new year post I had started writing already, but my reply on Dad v World made me change direction – thanks for the inspiration.
So here’s what on the agenda:
Panto rehearsal and performance run for the two young girls – meaning lots of Dad’s Taxi and assisting with chaperone duties
Dance school showcase for all four girls – meaning lots of rehearsals, Dad’s Taxi, helping back stage/front of house.
Two dance festival competition for the youngest two – meaning rehearsing at home and spending 4 weekends at the comps.
On top of this my day job as an IT manager is crazy busy and the company I work for is in it’s busiest period of the year from January to May. But it doesn’t stop there…
On May 6th it will be the annual Kirkbymoorside 10k. This annual charity road race raised funds for local school and I am the race secretary/director looking after entries, health & safety, website, social media, promotion, traffic management and the course itself. It’s a massive volunteer undertaking by a dedicated team. We start taking entries in October but things start to hot up from an organisational point of view in January. Head over to kirkbymoorside10k.com to enter – it’s a great event.
I am also still planning to run a spring marathon so I will need to cram in the training for that along the way – oh and I’m writing a book (more on both of those another time)!
So you could say we’re pretty busy and I am looking forward to summer already! We do have a BIG family holiday in September for a wedding that is the big thing we’re looking forward to this year but until then it’s busy all the way.
I actually thrive on being busy and up against it. I’ve always been the same. I thrive on tight deadlines and being a bit last minute and taking on more that I really should. But I do recognise I need to take some days easier and find some downtime. I really do.
I’m not ashamed to say that many years ago now, during my first IT management job I was diagnosed as having stress by my GP. That made me change my ways massively. At that time I was going to work early and leaving late. Once home I was continuing to work. Something had to give and it sure as hell wasn’t me and there and then I decided work stayed at work. I’ve relaxed that a bit now, but maybe that’s because I’m 10 years older and better tooled up mentally to cope with these things.
In a nutshell I love being busy – but in a controlled way that works for me, Helen and our family.
I think as parents you somehow develop this amazing control mechanism that allows you to deal with all the coming and goings that come with having kids. I sometimes see posts by friends on Facebook who have just the one son or daughter and catch myself thinking how simple that must be. But then I love, love, love having a big family. Yes, it’s stressful and challenging at times but our house is also filled with love and laughter (okay we have two teenager so it’s also filled with hormones and attitude).
I’d love to know what you think in the comments below.