Blue skies and new horizons

good good good

Life is filled with unexpected events, beginnings and ends, doldrums and dog days.

This summer solstice I’m able to celebrate that the doldrums have all but passed. Herceptin is almost concluded which means it’s just over a year since I discovered my body had become a serious biohazard. With luck all should be well now and I will soon return to the drug-free life I’m more familiar and altogether more comfortable with.

The densely populated dog-eat-dog hyper-drive that forms our capital city and the robotic (non)-life that streams relentlessly like human army ants on a perpetual march to who knows where is also behind me, at least for the foreseeable future.  For the first time in over twenty years dog days are here and the seeds of exciting new ventures have started to germinate.  This summer I’m not commuting, rushing from meeting to meeting or refereeing political sparring matches.  This summer I’m spending each day doing the things I want to do.

My Dad and I had lunch together last week. It’s the first time for a very long time that we’ve had the chance to do so.  Even when we lived in the same city the clockwork reality of work, work and more work stole the opportunity away from us. We have both been slaves to work for far too long because we come from a family where working hard and doing a good job is the only appropriate approach.  We both still believe in doing a good job and my Dad works exceptionally hard, but my decision to take a break is already creating possibilities that wouldn’t otherwise have existed. For me an afternoon spent with my Dad is more precious than any material possession.

Most days I get outside, work on the garden and tend to my flowers and vegetables. There are strawberries, embryonic tomatoes, courgettes and vigorous pea plants filling a space previously clogged with bindweed because in every other summer the scant periods when I wasn’t at work were rapidly consumed by a mountain of domestic activities – cleaning, cooking, ironing… and out of hours work. Now I have time to sit  under the cherry trees while adult goldfinches teach scruffy-looking fledglings to take sunflower seeds just a few feet away from me.  I have space to truly appreciate life’s wonders and miracles instead of winding my way through bureaucratic, often preposterous scenarios rife with petty politics and bereft of any commitment to achieve shared goals in service of the greater good.

Having time has given me chance to think about what I really want to do, how I’d like to contribute to society and where I want to make a difference. I’m coaching other people which is hugely rewarding; helping others achieve their dreams is one of the best ways I can think to spend my time.  I also dreamt that in future I’d work somewhere totally aligned with my beliefs and values, somewhere that makes a positive and lasting difference to people’s lives.  I sensed that I would find an environment where people strive to achieve, to continuously develop and grow irrespective of age, background, creed or colour. Now I know that once in a while such dreams come true; blue skies and new horizons beckon.

Before I take up my new job my summer will be filled with travel, friends and family.  Houses by the sea and nights so dark that the Milky Way will stretch out before me like a diamond encrusted pool of indigo-black ink. I don’t care if the days are bright or overcast; if its sunny I’ll be walking on harbour walls, stony cliff tops or sandy beaches.  If its raining I’ll be watching the waves through rain-spattered windows while drawing, painting or learning about the new technologies I’ll encounter and how my new team can harness them to create a world-class learning environment.

I’m all too aware that there are no promises in this realm, my life may still be shorter than the current average. It’s no big deal. I knew from the age of five that however long my life might be it would never be long enough to experience all the things I’d like to experience, learn all the things I’d like to learn or give all the things I’d like to give.  My new job offers the opportunity to give more, to use technology in a way that helps create future generations who are equipped to do great things, to make a positive contribution to society and the international community. For me that’s an amazing prospect – some of life’s unexpected events are changes for the better.

At the moment I’m happy to enjoy my summer days doing whatever I want when I want. I wrote about 2013 being a good year in spite of all the superstition and it looks like my prediction was correct 🙂

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15 thoughts on “Blue skies and new horizons

  1. Hello Tracy its lovely to hear that you have found another occupation I do hope it works out good for you.I love to read your Blogs you seem so self confident and I am glad that life for you is on the up .I think of you often and get the info from Dad who as you say does work hard as you have always done love from me to you xxxxx

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    • Hello Aunty Linda, I’m glad you get to read my musings and thank you for letting Annie know the news. I sometimes wish we all lived closer together and could meet up more easily (but we’d have to go where Annie and Martyn are, it’s warmer!) I’m glad that I can enjoy the summer and then start afresh in a positive environment. Hopefully everything will be good for now on. Sending lots of love to you to xxx

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  2. I have to say ‘congratulations’ Tracy. When it came to making choises, you were the best person for the job. I’m really glad that you managed to present the Tracy I know and love to the people who interviewed you. It is most unfortunate that your self esteem was damaged by the ‘sociopath’ but great strength comes from adversity and you have managed to overcome these unfortunate experiences.
    I too, am glad that I found some time to spend with my lovely daughter. Time is always precious but most people don’t realise it until it is too late. For my part, I still regret that I was unable to spend much more time with you when you were little. Forty years on, those regrets still trouble me greatly, but at least we are now able to make up some of the ‘lost’ time.
    May your summer be filled with the leisure time you so deserve. Time to heal and time to look forward to new challenges and new horizons.
    Much love and {{{hugs}}} as always. Dad xxx

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    • There’s no need to regret the time from younger years Dad, we all have so much pressure on us when we’re starting out with new families. Keeping a roof over our heads, food on the table and shoes on the feet all too often means working like a Trojan, often for people who don’t appreciate it. When we’re younger we also see time stretched out ahead of us and no bumps in the road, its only when we’re older we see the road is full of potholes and fallen trees. I’m just glad we have time now and can enjoy it together, love always xxx

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  3. Based on your recent comment I had a feeling a new job–an exciting change in direction–was in the works. This is great news. An excellent match and what a powerful response from you. Cancer had a go at you and now, here you are, taking the huge test it out you through, and turning it right around. If that’s not “Fec This” nothing is :>) Yes, great news!

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    • Thanks so much Maurice, its hugely exciting. Possibly a little daunting – a new environment, new technologies and big ambitions to manage but I like a challenge and if I can deal with the whole cancer thing I’m sure I can get to grips with anything else that happens :-). Technology in education is probably the nearest thing to a dream job that I could imagine.

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  4. I am so thrilled for you! It took great courage to take yourself out of an unhealthy workplace and start anew. Enjoy the many gifts of time and living life to the fullest. Xoxoxo.

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    • You understand these situations personally and professionally Elizabeth and will know I was deeply concerned given everything that’s happened in the past 13 months but I knew when I went for the new role that it felt ‘right.’ A more balanced environment can only be a good thing.

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    • I am making the most of every minute, don’t care what the weather is doing or how bleak our economic outlook is (I can’t change them so why worry) and focusing all my energy on good health or the future

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    • Thanks Mae, reading your blog has been an inspiration and often provided solace when most needed. I’ve learned much from your wisdom including to make space

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