I cannot quite believe that we have only 18 weeks left in the school year… is it just as we get older that time seems to speed away? It seems like yesterday that we were just gathering back to school once again in September with the eager anticipation of all that a new year holds. The joy of being reunited as colleagues, with friends and with our pupils who are such a big part of lives.
It only seems like yesterday that in family life we were gathered around the Christmas tree and eagerly wrapping presents only for them to be unwrapped in the frenzy of excitement the next day!
And yet now we are ready to embark on the next season of change in the year of the Church as we await the start of the journey for Lent. We have a choice to make about how we approach it this year. Do we let it drift by or will we embrace opportunities to change and grow in some way?
I have been taught something special by a friend of mine recently. Deborah is a fantastic Deputy Head in a school in Surrey, super-Mum of two and general fire-cracker and I have known her since she was an NQT. She has never lacked confidence or the ability to get things done, in fact she could sell ice to Eskimos! She is now 35 and has been diagnosed with bowel cancer but is approaching it with her normal verve for life and commitment ranging from starting a great blog as bowelbabe, appearing in The Sun to raise awareness and becoming a fantastic ambassador for Bowel Cancer UK. She isn’t doing it to get sympathy or attention but in essence to share her story, in graphic detail at times, to help others benefit from her journey. She is also embracing the treatment, and life itself, one day at a time to make the most of every opportunity.
So I think it is in this that we have found the answer for Lent this year. Live life to the full and cherish every opportunity each day provides for us all. I will try and do this especially in the next 40 days. Each day I will try and do a few basic things;
- Be grateful for all the blessings in my life – my family, children, a wonderful wife, a job I love, a roof over my head and plentiful food on the table.
- Stop to pray and reflect at some point each day – even for a short moment in dedicating the day to God in some way or giving thanks for what we have experienced at the end of the day.
- Take time to think of someone beyond myself – if we can all find a way to make someone’s life better in a small way then I think it makes us intrinsically happy too.
- To stop myself from letting life drift by and to make sure that we cherish and value every moment and opportunity we are given.
I hope that the journey this Lent is good for you too.
Keep the faith Deborah – I know so many people are keeping you in their thoughts and prayers. You have inspired so many people already in your honesty, bravery and unrelenting sense of humour – just as you have in your life so far as a teacher and school leader too.