Possibly one of the most irritating (but conversely, soothing) things about learning differences is how much of a stickler you need to be to get through your day. For me, it’s time keeping. I cannot function without some sort of timepiece. I was able to tell the time well, before I could read. I plan journeys to the minute. And as for being late…no, just NO!
This morning I woke up to the sound of my phone informing me of an incoming text at 6:40am, and on seeing the time I groaned at the prospect of losing almost an hour of my morning. Not only do I like to keep time, I also like to get up early and start my day in the blissful morning peace, with the darkness beyond the window as my companion, and if possible, before the birds wake up.
So, I didn’t quite manage to get everything I wanted to do before the kids and birds were up this morning, and I am still trying to catch up! Tidying up my office space isn’t on the cards, so this is pretty much my space as of 4 minutes ago. I am very blessed to have such a great space to write and work in. And, this is one of two great spaces I have! My studio space is just as wonderful.
Studio space photo really does need updating! This photo was taken just before I gave the presentation I had to give to join the art group. It is a lovely place to work…although this space looks rather bare! Doesn’t look like that now. Maybe a studio tour post will be worth doing at some point in the future?
However! I digress! Another thing that is good at eating up my time is getting side-tracked and distracted – I am a bit of a magpie for that, which is probably why time is so important as it serves to remind me to get back on the ‘right’ path!
And today I am writing my business plan…yeah, right 😉
I have just realised my new year starts at a slightly different point than that standard 1st of January. Or the changeable Chinese New Year (31st of January this year). It actually dawns of the 10th of January, tomorrow. Along with my own new year date comes a taking of stock and a nod to wear I’ve been and how far I have come, and we have come. As my new year of the 10th of January only started 6 years ago, it is still fairly new, and yet in that time I have:
- Moved house twice, including clearing, packing, organising, unpacking, etc, etc etc, the whole thing. The first time my eldest was 14 and youngest was 5. The second time my eldest was 18 and youngest was 9 – second time was much easier! Both moves were down sizes, so both required huge clear-outs. Loved both moves.
- Learnt to drive. Took me a year and one failed test. It is still one of my most favourite achievements to date (after having kids that is). Bought my first car.
- Went back into education. Firstly just one morning a week, then full time university for 4 years. Loved every minute of it.
- Got divorced. I can’t say I celebrate this, but it is notable nonetheless.
- Completed the Race for Life. Epic wonderfulness.
- Stood up to one local authority, and won. Shouldn’t have had to do it in the first place, but given that I did, I am so proud I managed it.
- ‘Diagnosed’ with Dyslexia. This is here as, after I recovered from the shock of it and stopped being angry with everyone (and myself) for not noticing sooner (I was 41 when it was ‘discovered’), I embraced the difference fully and started to understand my coping mechanisms. Two of my children are also Dyslexic, so we share tips and understanding.
- Graduated with a 2:1 in Fine Art. Say no more.
- Became a student representative and was nominated for Faculty rep of the year. Loved that too.
- Learnt to love public speaking. Now, if you had known me 6 years ago at this point I could barely caste my gaze off the ground, so to be able to stand in front of a room full of people and debate the merits of employment education, give talks on artists, debate with lecturers about the strengths of another’s work, etc, well, let’s say, you wouldn’t recognise me.
- Gave a presentation that enabled me to join the artist group I am now with. This is my future.
- Taken part in and/or co-organised 5 exhibitions in the last year.
- Found myself. I didn’t know I was lost till I discovered myself. This is a good thing, although I think age has turned me into a bit of a gobshite at times. Tough.
- Had therapy. Fabulous stuff. If you are willing to work hard on yourself, this is so worth it.
- Discovered my ‘other’ side. The bit that makes me special. 😀
- Got a paid job, and another voluntary one.
- Rekindled and maintained my relationship with my father.
- Found love – couldn’t find it elsewhere until I learnt to love myself again.
And many many more things, this list seems tiny compared to what I have achieved, but this is perhaps the most palatable (for want of a better word) and publishable. This list is not in any particular order. So, it has been a busy 6 years. Here’s to the next six!
Ok, this just got serious. You know how you start getting these little thoughts that you should be doing a little bit more…? Well, I am just about to change the format of my personal website and that will mean losing my much loved, but very unread, blog. I knew I would need to do something and I know I need to step up my social media use to something a little more productive than just stalking my news feed on facebook. So, this is what happened next.
During the Christmas period I happen to come across two guys on the internet called, Matt and Bradley. I think I found them while stalking on facebook, I’m not sure, but anyway, I signed up for their webinar and I am sorry to say, I lost interest pretty fast. I didn’t know what they were talking about and, partly due to my learning differences, and partly due to living in a busy home and being constantly distracted, I gave up listening and did something with my youngest daughter instead. However, this did not stop the persistent emails from Matt and Bradley and finally today, with a touch of mild irritation, I blurted out to my uninterested teenage daughter ‘ok, what is this wordpress thing?!’ one shrug/pout later and I picked up my phone and googled it for myself.
So, whatever it is, I can blog with it, and even better still, it was easy to set up, even with my slightly dozy end-of-the-year-I-don’t-want-to-do-much attitude. Within seconds I had an account set up on my mobile phone, including links with facebook and twitter, and a few seconds after that my phone let me know it was not happy to be working so hard on low battery, so I jumped up (ish) grabbed my laptop (a whole 5 feet away), plugged in my phone and opened up the laptop/desktop version of wordpress. Yep, my new wordpress blog was there waiting for me, just like my phone said it would be.
New profile photo added (taken today I might add, the mince pies and turkey have not been kind to me…) and first blog written. Ever get the feeling you’re on the first step of a big adventure?