Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 364 – Work and Play


“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.”

Alan Cohen

You’ve totally centred on my theme of R and R, this week, Spidey, so thank you!

As you will know, from the last couple of posts, I have been working pretty hard, but I have also had to rest, as well.

We’ve had a lot going on at school and there appears to be rather a huge amount happening over the next five weeks of term. So much squashed into this time. We have visits from various individuals, as well as the hovering threat of Ofsted, who are due to pay a visit at any time, too! Coupled with lesson observations and staff having days off, it’s a juggle.

No time to be ill, as most teachers will tell you.

But then, I think back to something several people say. You will always replaceable at work, but never replaceable to your family.

On Friday, I went into work, with an inkling that the day wasn’t going to be good for me. Sitting in my classroom, I was getting ready for the day, and my colleague could see, immediately that I wasn’t right.

So, instead of battling through, because that is what I usually do, I just got things set up, and spoke to my head, who agreed I needed to go home.

I do feel lucky to have a head who is fully family orientated, and understands work/life balance, even though I find myself messaging her to switch off, regularly, too. She knows that if someone is not well, they won’t be able to give the best of themselves to the class and school, or to their families.

I spent the best part of the day in bed on Friday and carried it forward on Saturday, too. No writing, those days, because I was unable to, but, finally, I recognise when I have to switch off.

I’m still achy and a bit tired, but at least I’ve given my body time to recuperate and will continue that, today, too.

So, are you good at recognising when you need to have a break?


Wishing you a wonderfully peaceful Sunday, Peeps!

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 357 – Strong Women, Strong Tea


“A woman is like a teabag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” 

Eleanor Roosevelt

Let me raise my cup of chai to you on that one, Spidey!

Firstly, can I say that as I read this quote, I was compelled to go and make myself a nice, hot, strong cardamom tea!

So, I’m back now with a steaming mug of tea, and a chocolate chip muffin to go with it, because, well, you need that sweet treat, too, don’t you?

I do believe I am about to really show the world just how strong a teabag of a woman I am, this year.

What with my ever-busy school career, being mum and wife, as well as dutiful daughter/daughter-in-law, I have now added signed author into the mix, which means I can’t just write when I fancy it, but I kinda really have to!

Snd I feel quite determined, to be honest.

I have a year to finish this first draft, but I want to get it done by the end of the summer holidays, so I have time to read it, get opinions, go through what I want to change, etc. before the whole submitting to the publisher.

It’s not as simple as picking up a pen or opening your document on your laptop, and writing, though.

You have to be in the right frame of mind, as well as free of other responsibilities, too, in order to fully embrace your writing time. Oh, and your writing mo-jo needs to be around, too!

It’s always been a bit of a sticking point for me. Because the children were a little younger, the last time I rushed to finish a manuscript, and the rest of the family weren’t that invested in what I was doing, I was stealing time, where I could.

But I did it.

This time, however, I have the support of all of the people around me. The kids are teens, which is great because they don’t (strictly) need me running around after them, picking things up, cleaning, feeding, etc., unless it’s the summer months and cricket has started… and Hubby Dearest is so much more aware of just how important my writing is to me. If you saw my Friday post, you’ll see the beautiful flowers and balloons he gave me as a Congratulations gift for having signed the contract!

Last night, I was up at 3.30am, after having slept a few hours, and ended up reading, to lull me back to the Land of Nod. Hubby Dearest asked me why I was reading, and not writing that book if I was up!

This was a first.

For a change he is actively encouraging me to go and hole myself up in my writing cave for whatever time I need, whenever I want, to continue to make my dreams come true. In the past, it was more of an annoyance, and if my laptop and constant tapping away at it was disturbing him, or at an unsavoury time, it would cause grief.

And you know what? I’m going to do this. I really am.

This month, I am blogging daily as part of Linda Hill’s #JusJoJan challenge, so I am carving out a little time every day to write the posts. This means I will be in a daily habit of writing, again. I will try and write on my Manuscript, twice a week, to start with, and once this challenge is done, that time I freed up, to write the posts daily, can be used to write WIP words!

Work will always be there.

School is a huge part of my life, but I have also come to realise, that though a job is important, it is not your life. If we go, we are replaceable in our place of work, whereas only we can be the ones to fulfil our dreams, and to be there for our families. So, I won’t bring the stresses of school life home, unless something dire happens, or it’s Ofsted!

Instead, my after-school hours are time for my family, for me, and for my authorly future!

(By the way, the tea is almost finished, but rather cool, now. I think I should make another cup!)

So, how do you organise your work/life balance, or your real life/dream life aspirations?


Wishing you a wonderfully peaceful Sunday, Peeps!

#SoCS June 8/19 – Life Balance

Linda’s #SoCS prompt this week is a repeat, but looks, likely to become a repeat offender, in a good way!

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “open book, point, write.” Pick up the closest book to you when you sit down to write your post. Close your eyes, open the book, and place your finger on the page. Whatever word or phrase your finger lands on, write about it. Enjoy!

I am currently reading a coupleof books, which is a bit of a shocker, as I am not am multi-book reader usually, but I have a novel my Karen McQuestion – From A Distant Start – on the go, and a positive thinking book, Unlearn, by Humble The Poet that I am dipping in and out of.

It was Humble’s book that came into my hand first…

… and the words my fingers came to rest upon were ‘balance in life’.

Kinda freaky, as I have been talking to my Hoppalong Hubby Dearest about balance recently. More accurately, work/life balance.

That’s a big thing, nowadays, isn’t it?

The pressure to do better, perform better, get things done perfectly, do it all better… it’s upon us all in some way.

And increasingly, you might see couples not really leading a couples life, but fleetingly meeting in the mornings, and hardly talking in the evenings, busy with work related things, and too tired to interact in more than the most basic of greetings and goodnights.

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You hear of families who, even though they are traditional two parent families, find one parent, often the mother, feeling like a single parent, because, despite working herself, the other half is laden down with work pressures, and is barely able to make an evening parents evening, let alone help with the school run once in a while.

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There are those professionals who haven’t even got either of the above to balance out, as their work takes up so much time, that a social life, or time for themselves is so limited.

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Work/Life balance.

Afre we working to live or living to work?

  • I love my job. I truly do.
  • I love my family. More than my job.
  • I love my writing with a passion.
  • I love my friends.

Why should one have to give?

So, here’s what I do… I compartmentalise. And I find shortcuts!

The first hour of my day is devoted to getting things ready for everyone, then relaxing with a cuppa, watching the news and catching up with notifications and emails.

Yes, I am in work early, very early, by 7.45am. Yes, I can be still there at 5.45pm… but only on three days. The other two, I’m out by 4pm

During the day, I will take a break, but I will also make sure I am doing all that needs to be done to prepare for the rest of the week, to make my life easier.

I make sure that, apart from report writing, and the odd time I need to make resources, I bring no work home with me at all.

At home then, I am wife and mum. I’dd do cooking and housework. I’ll help with homework. I’ll nag (because all good wives do) and I’ll have fun with my family.

Then, once everyone is all set, my evening time is mine to choose what I do with it. Read, write, watch tv, iron (I do love a bit of steam pressing) whatever takes my fancy!

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I will arrange nights out with friends. I will go and see family. I will not let work tip me over the edge, even though it is easy to do.

We were discussing it as an opportunity may arise for Hoppalong, where he could go for a role which is more prestigious than his current one, but will involve more stress and pressure, and possibly more time. He compares himself to his MD who is literally on work mode 24/7.

You know, if it works for his MD then fine, but there is no need to be like that. There are always ways to balance things out.

Sure, when you start hight pressure jobs, the need is there to be a little more work, a little less life… but once you are settled, there is the chance to bring that balance back.

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My interactive peeps!

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