For many parents, the first week of September heralds that time, when their angels head back to school and ‘normal’ life can resume. A time when many consultants who choose to take August off or have an imposed holiday, business life starts again with a swing.
I took August off. Not strictly true, I had been working, but also taking time for me and re-aligning what I do and the direction I am heading in. It would have been useful if clients who owed me money had paid me. I guess they had decided that August was a further payment holiday.
So what did the week hold?
All of my usual pre planning of getting my train ticket well in advance of my visit went out of the window, and for good reason, I was to discover.
I didn’t realize that when I was booked to deliver an assertiveness course, that the rest of my week would be spent learning a new course ready for delivery 4 weeks later. Somehow, the universe had delayed buying my ticket. It was when with some trepidation I logged on to buy my ticket. Wow, was I being looked after, the difference between first and second was £10 , and the price of second class was very low. Yippee, first class both ways.
Arrival at the hotel was when I discovered that I hadn’t pre-planned my diet. Not diet in the sense of being on a weightloss diet, but a ‘this is what I can eat’ diet. One very boring room service salad later and memo to me was, call hotel before going and pre order food.
As the week progressed a few more memo’s to me came along:-
- Email hotel when your course booking is confirmed with a list of reasonable requests, such as a mirror near the hair dryer
- Don’t print and carry your course work, just use PDF’s on your computer, or better still get an iPad, and ask your training centre to print for you
- Remember to make enough raw chocolate to last you through the week, and locate the nearest supplier
- Call the Deli manager in the training centre to pre-order your food for the week
- The queue to check out on Friday mornings is always long, so check out early or get a later train
- Pack ear plugs
- Don’t pack the shoes at the back of your cupboard because they are the right colour, check out why they are at the back (now in bin!)
- Don’t have a hot bath after not sleeping well
On that last point, I ended up fainting, and not realizing it until the next day. You may wonder how I couldn’t have noticed. Well, I was busy working. While I was busy working I ate very little. My mind became over stimulated, resulting in not sleeping very well. It wasn’t until I was showering the next day that I noticed the egg on my head, then when I looked in the mirror I was rather horrified to discover a range of other massive bruises cascading down my form. In that moment, I remembered waking up in the bath feeling odd and thinking I had just fallen asleep.
Through my fuzzy head, I continued to function and be my sparkly self. My prime directive was to through these few days and get home to Wales.
I wrote this as I was sitting on the train with a feeling of relief that very soon I would be safe, and being licked by Ferdy dog and cwtched by my boyfriend.
And what of the rest of my first week back to school?
The course was wonderful and the people who came were so courageous. I say courageous because it cannot be easy being non assertive, whether you are aggressive, passive or somewhere in-between.
- I feel somehow responsible for everyone who comes into my room. It is important that they take away some value, which will help them to face and overcome their challenges. When we look at others, it is so easy to make assumptions. The tall man with the stern face, is terrified of his boss. The beautiful woman is being bullied by so called friends. There are a million and one things going on behind the façade, so lets try and look beyond it that and see what is really inside.
- New friends were made. An instructor colleague was incredibly generous and giving of his research, guidance and care of duty to me, ensuring I am well equipped to deliver his course material.
- Another instructor friend, gave me the biggest hug when we met, when we parted and texted to make sure I was ok, before I travelled home.
- Texting one of my amazing friends, who is also my coach (and an ex GP) to ask what should I do about the fainting and getting an immediate call back was wonderful and comforting.
- Thank you to another fabulous friend who sent me a lovely meditation to do.
- Getting an email off mum telling me of her adventures with my dad looking for a Bosch wall chaser in Spain. I can feel the friction in the car from here.
- Meeting one of my oldest friends was like coming home, despite being in the hustle and bustle of London. We sat on my bed after eating out, shooting the breeze and playing on Facebook with friends.
- Hearing news of a birth and 3 breaths later learning that the mother also has cancer, was shocking.
All in all it was a week where the universe reminded me not to take anything for granted, don’t make assumptions and to treasure those around me.
What was going back to school like for you?