On New Year’s eve, while sitting around a warm bonfire in the middle of a misty woodland, my friends and I discussed the successes of our year. After reflecting on the things we’d been grateful for, we turned our attention to our resolutions for 2017. I very, very rarely make new year’s resolutions so I simply said that I’d like to be kinder: to myself, my friends, family, the planet, animals, strangers etc. And that I’d like to nurture a healthier attitude to work so that I can get my yoga/work balance back into my life. Nothing too extreme and nothing with too definite a measure attached to it.
But just over two weeks into the year and I was only on my second class. Not a great start, particularly because the only reason I’d made it to the studio was because I’d worked from home. I had just finished class and was chatting to a fellow student and teacher in the changing rooms about teacher training; she was asking about my plans as she always does. On the very big plus side, I was explaining, after much research I had found the course and teacher I wanted to do my training with. On the not so plus side, I sighed, over the past year I have practised so infrequently that I am nowhere near being ready for teacher training. From around December 2013 until this time last year the only thing stopping me was money: apart from that, I was emotionally, physically and mentally ready. Not any more, I said, due to infrequent practise I’m battling physically and I really need to fix that.
“So what are you going to do?”
“I’m just going to have to be really strict and change the way I work.”
But as I said it I knew it wouldn’t happen. I heard myself saying the same thing ten months ago, six months ago, and equally, I could foresee myself saying it again in six months’ time. I’d been saying that for a year, over a year in fact. It was a sobering realisation and found myself sitting on the bench in that clammy, humid changing room in silence for a little longer than normal.
I didn’t sleep that night, “If nothing changes, nothing changes”, words I’ve heard and used so many times, fluorescent in my mind.
The following week I resigned. I didn’t wait to find another job, instead, I chose to do the thing that has always made me feel slightly queasy. I decided to go freelance. Freelancing has always been way too much of a challenge to my Virgoan need for consistency and stability but suddenly, it felt exciting. This is my healthier attitude to, not only work, but life. I’m doing something that absolutely terrifies me.
It means I have the chance to build up a client base that I can return to after teacher training. And that I won’t be spending three hours every day getting to and from work. Instead, for most of those fifteen hours a week, I’ll sweat :). It might work, it might not, and if it doesn’t I’ll find a way to deal with it but at least I’ll have tried. I have to take a chance on me.
So today is my last day. I am just coming into Wembley for the last time as a permanent member of FA staff. Tomorrow I fly to South Africa to spend some quality time with family and friends and when I return in two weeks I’ll be jobless; I suspect at that point I’ll be doing a-whole-nother kind of sweating.
The bottle cap in the image is the from the Singha beer I was drinking when I realised that yes, this was the right, and most exciting, positive, thing to do. Like a sentimental child, I have carried it with me since.