Here we are, at the beginning of another school year. For me it is a particularly momentous year because it marks my fourth year in my current job, the first job in mfmmxxxx years of working (sorry about that frog in my throat...). Yes. Never before have I stayed in a job for more than three years.
There were all the starter jobs where I had to move if I wanted a promotion and/or salary increase. Then I found a lovely job but when I later met the lovely man of my dreams, I had to make a choice between lovely job and lovely man because the latter was going to China. So I went to China too. This also involved retraining for a complete career change.
Then number one son appeared and that put work on hold for a little while (by the time he reached 18 months and was consequently admissable to most nurseries in our area, I was climbing the walls). Then I reverted to journalism, then back to teaching again, and then changed schools a couple of times, and it is only now at the grand old age of 40something that I have found a place where that sense of restlessness no longer assails me about two years into the job.
Of course, in one of life's kind ironies, my current job has a limited contract, so I'll be given the heave-ho in six or seven years' time and must work out what I am going to do for the rest of my working days, which I can tell you, will be long and many since I am one of those people without proper pension provision who is going to have to work until the age of 102 to maintain my standard of living.
But that seems a long way off and in the meantime, I am enjoying buying my mark book and organising my diary and getting new school bags for little boys and all the other tasks that need to be done before the prison gates close in on the growing child - except that now, school no longer seems like a prison, and honestly, I am looking forward to meeting my new classes and finding out how the old ones have passed the summer. If you had told me hundreds of years ago as a school child that I would look forward to September and all those fresh books and newly sharpened pencils, I would have given my special hollow laugh, but now, I am ready and dying to show off my new Spiderman 3 pencil case to my mates.
Somehow, September is a much kinder month with which to start the school year: January is cold and dark, and now we just have weather which is still warm but a little sharp so we don't fall asleep at our desks, the evenings are still light until quite late and there are things to look forward to like the leaves falling from the trees and getting sweaters out and going for crisp walks followed by steaming cups of mulled wine or hot chocolate. I love winter, and I love the sense of possibility that starting the school year in September offers - we'll all be better organised and more intelligent. It's kind of the system to offer us a second chance for resolutions and plans. There will be regular sports for some of us, and writing which can be slotted into a routine, not into a chaos of moving.... Yeah right...
Will I have written 15,000 words come October 1st? Check back and see in a month's time!