I'm trying to slow down, simplify and enjoy life as it is. I'm purposely removing stuff from my to do list in order to make room for things that I actually want to do. I'm even being more mindful of the way I spend my time and the overall value of what I'm doing. I enjoy asking myself the question "What have I really done today?"
Most of my days are filled with "must dos": going to work, picking up children, walking the dog and providing food for the family. Sometimes these do feel like chores, drains on my knitting / gardening time and don't get me started on the rage that is enlightened within me by the ingratitude that my home grown home cooked dinners are rewarded. But recently I've been trying to look at these as a privilege. I can almost hear the Dalai Lama whispering in my ear "Much depends on your own attitude" and this is so true.
Yesterday was a very important day for one of my students. After possibly a lifetime of barriers, challenges and the odds being stacked against her, she was finally ready for her exam. Exam anxiety is probably one of the most common reasons that students consider themselves as academic failures. Exams do not test knowledge as much as they reward those who can stay calm under pressure, remember things easily and sit still in a room for a very long period of time and concentrate. Try it yourself, grab a pen, an uncomfortable chair and sit silently for 1.5 hours writing down everything you know about a subject with no distractions, no phones, music, interactions or breaks. You mind will start to drift even trying to image yourself in that scenario.
I was lucky enough to read and invigilate for the exam which had it's own challenges for me. In such quietness, thoughts run wild and the level of stillness required just isn't that easy. So I sketched, quietly and careful observed what was right there in front of my eyes. I hope that she has passed.