Monthly Archives: January 2018

You don’t always get want you want


Yesterday I received the worst mark I have had so far in my current studies. I wasn’t happy. I felt a mix of a lot of things, deflation, worthlessness and wondering if this was the right career step for me. In saying all of this the mark wasn’t that bad. I’ve grown used to getting fairly good marks in recent months so to all of a sudden get a lower mark definitely took the wind out of my sails.

With three more essays to do in just under two weeks, my optimism about getting them done and the quality of them has begun to drop. Claire tries her hardest to pump me back up as she always does reminding me that the type of assessment I’d done was something I’d never seen before and perhaps I need to go a little easier on myself.

But that is easier said that done. A lifetime of being hard on myself in light of my perceived failures is nothing you turn around in a day. But then this morning something happened that gave me a bit of perspective. I casually logged onto Facebook as I do ‘whilst I’m studying’ and noticed a post from one of my fellow students at university.

It read, “Feeling deflated! Actually more embarrassed, I didn’t pass the numeracy or literary test and now I’m rethinking my continuing degree”. It’s funny how we think about things a different way when something isn’t happening to us but rather to someone else. Within a couple of minutes, I replied with the following:


Perspective is tough when its ourselves eh? And sometimes we need to something to jog us out of our way of thinking and today it seemed like this was sent along for a reason.

Although I’m still annoyed about the result, originally maybe due to that I thought it was unfair and my thinking that I deserved a better result, I now think what I produced just wasn’t good enough for a better grade. But I’m learning, as we do every day. The real problems are when we don’t learn from our mistakes, we don’t use our experiences to be better next time.

I cheer myself up in a very usual way. I go for a run and that process makes me realise something thats very important, I don’t give up. I finished a marathon, and if you ever want a situation where your mind gives you multiple reasons to give up, that is the best personal example I have.

And so I continue working with a bit of renewed vigour, ever hopeful that the good grades will keep coming and if not at least the experiences will build a resilience within myself that will enable me to deal with these situations better.

IJS 30/01/2018

What happens when everyone leaves?


I thought maybe this year I’d try to write a few smaller pieces in the moment instead of longer pieces and try to make them a bit more regular. Although time will tell whether that eventuates.

I’m old enough to know that we all feel the same things, I’m not as unique as I thought was when I was a child or even into my early 20s. We’re just finishing a few weeks over Christmas where we’ve had family staying with us and through all the trials and tribulations of what that brings we’re at the point where everyone is leaving and suddenly in many ways its like it never happened at all. The memories are like the photos that were taken, they are stuck in time. Fleeting portraits of events that occurred and things that were done.

I guess it’s true of every part of life that we appreciate people the most when they aren’t there anymore. It’s a day to go, the first set of guests left today and tomorrow the final two guests leave and already I can feel that stirring of emotion inside me. That intense feeling of loneliness coming over like a wave and try as I might to hold it back, I can do little more than King Canute on the beach asking the tide to turn.

I suppose understanding the feeling is pretty advantageous, I don’t believe there is much really to be done about it. But it won’t hit as hard as it would do. If my life has taught me something over the last few years it is to have strategies in place. Being in my position of working from home every day, it can be a particularly isolating spot but once I anticipate the feeling at least I’m able to do something about it. Its much like that feeling when you first come back off holiday, you’ve had a fantastic time away and come back and just think, “is this it?”, but as experiences tell us, that feeling fades.

I’m incredibly lucky to have the friend set that I do and I’m able to arrange things within a few hours and all of sudden from having a lonesome old end to the week, its filled with people. However, part of me questions if this is really dealing with the emotion or rather avoiding it. And perhaps on that question, there isn’t really an answer. Part of me thinks I should be able to deal and cope with this, without seeking support and filling my time, but the other part of me thinks, well these options are available to me so why not use them. We can’t always be this stoic version of ourselves we build up in our minds, we aren’t impenetrable however much we like to think of ourselves that way.

I realise within a few days, it will be like Christmas and New Year never happened. It will just be back to what was. It seems as humans we struggle with change but too much of the same just gets us caught in a pattern of humdrumness, and whilst this offers us a modicum of control and comfort it seems to me that, that space is not where we truly live.

Time is ever moving forward and we move forward with it.

IJS 9/1/2017