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is it time? no, it’s fear, every time

April 27, 2017

I have loved the holidays. It’s been reason enough for me to coddle my inner introvert until she grins from warmth. I am champion at “introverting”! So it stands to reason that when I get up some mornings to get ready for the day, be it to enter into a manic classroom, rouse up my choir, or somehow wrangle my Year 6s like a desperate (colourful) woman herding recalcitrant cats, my inner introvert struggles. All-out throws a tanty of epic proportions. But I love my teaching, so I have developed coping mechanisms in order to be able to get through the day; 5 minutes away from my desk, practising the piano rather than engaging in mindless small-talk, or chatting to the interesting and imaginative Year 7 rather than the mind-numbing, life-sucking, and NOT creative colleague.

And right in my element, I love the rush of activity. It’s extraordinary, I know, but I love the intensity of musical work, of conducting, of making snap-decisions on the spot, of actively creating. It’s tiring, but I revel in it.

So why are some mornings unbearable?

I wondered if I needed a longer run-up? Why do I pad out the mornings with “maybes” and “what ifs” some days, when others are able to work through the sludge and stress, and somehow get themselves on track, and I need a Herculean effort to arrive at “normal”?

And I realise…it’s not time. It’s fear. It’s fear that I might not be enough. What a slippery realisation! It’s fear that I won’t be able to manage the day, that I won’t have enough time to look after myself and fill myself up energy-wise, or that I’ll be sucked dry by just getting through the active day, or that I’m not kind enough, or that I’ve not planned enough, or that I’m not doing enough by the kids. And I realise how incredibly vulnerable and normal that is.

In realising, something has changed. Knowing fear is in the headlights, I get the pen + script. I shine the torch. As hard as some days are, I get to re-write how this all goes. And it doesn’t start with me being afraid these days; it starts with me knowing that I have what it takes to figure it out, no matter how challenging or time-consuming it might be.

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