Ironing shirts and letting go of teaching dance!

I am so not well but of course it is business as usual both on work and home front. It is always hard when I am poorly as chores have to be done and it always seems I have something nice to do. This weekend I took my lovely Mum to see a band. I bought the tickets for his birthday. So there we were in the back row drugged up on pain killers enjoying someone else’s performance; sniff sniff.
I wonder if Sunday night is always ground hog day for other Mums? Every Sunday evening for me is the dull ritual of the ironing of the five school shirts and a pair of trousers with the pairing of the socks. I dislike ironing. My mother loves it, finds it relaxing. I wonder if it would have more appeal if I was tackling it as a stay at home Mum rather than trying to squeeze the time out of an already full weekend? Generally I do flattening and not ironing but can’t get away with this approach with school shirts particularly as smallish boy is on standoff regarding of the wearing of the red school jumper. I generally manage to cope with this task with a little bit of dancing in between collars!

School shirts amongst other things are a reminder of how much unconditional love drives those parental tasks. It is not all about the cuddles cuteness and proud Mum moments is it? Deffo unconditional love goes into every steamy bit of ironing for that boy. Unconditional love seems to have pushed big boy out into the world right and proper. Hardly ever hear from him. There was the other Saturday when he texted me “Help Mum” when I thought he was lying in a ditch. Turns out he just wanted drunken advice as to how to manage flat mates crying boyfriend lying prostrate across her doorway in the corridor. Unconditional love made me tell him to go to bed with the offer of glass of water with forgiveness and my sense humour enabling me to sleep. Hardly a peep out of him since.

I suppose big boy not phoning home having finally left his bedroom for the city indicates my year of many changes. This weekend I have offer on my house so stepping closer to letting the past move into happy memories. Happy memories are indeed good foundations to move forward and I am not one for harping back to the past. I like to look forward. This week I made the decision to stop teaching dance classes. I am sat here typing this realising how much I have written before getting to this point. Which is the point. Dance class is pretty much down my to do list with shirts and family life and work and home coming first at the moment.

I have taught dance for ten years. The same class with other classes students coming and going and lots of wonderful workshops. But for now I have run out of passion and heart and head space for teaching. My class has got smaller with little input from me to create any more students and I think I have reached the peak of what to offer my lovely students. Of course I could just carry on. A bit of technique and a bit of choreo would keep everyone happy. But my high professional standards won’t let me do it. I am my father’s daughter. I remember my Dad leaving the choir he loves all his adult life as he didn’t just feel it was of the right musical standard any more. I am the same. I do not have the energy or passion to make my class the standard it needs to be to give students what they deserve. So I am letting it go. Financially for some time it has offered little back either so indeed time to let go. I am happy I celebrated a decade of teaching and then to conclude last class whilst Maram still exist as group means we can end on a high. After a few weeks it is unlikely folk will remember I once taught as time moves on. Of course who knows with the right push oomph and moment I may well teach t again in a new guise, time will tell and I am not saying never again.

So come Christmas I will no longer be a belly dancer teacher. I stopped performing for money as a soloist some time ago. So now I am dancing for joy, love and pleasure. Dancing to the beat of my man’s drum at the moment makes me smile so that will do for now. So I guess my love of dance as always been conditional. Many of those conditions were related to my professional identity but as I move towards the end of this year of change this is shifting. I think there are others things I want to do, things I need to so and to be honest I love being at home investing in my new family life with my lovely man. Dancing and drumming is an extension of this which is why brings joy.

Now I am off to ponder a text to the large silent boy and a Aitchoooooooooooooo

Reflections from a working Mum on autumnal days

I have not blogged for weeks and weeks. Full time working has shifted my life into a completely new direction. What changes have happened since I last sat down and reflected on my goings on in my world.
This weekend my time off will be busy! I went to a wonderful dance show last night; Infusion Emporium. The excitement and creativity of the performances was wonderful. I was also amazed at how many people I knew to say hello and share a hug with. Dancing has always brought so much light and love and fun into my life and I need to remember that. My lovely Mum and brother are staying so it’s been a week of catering etc. but I am loving the space the new house has! Small boy is loving having Gran around as am I and big boy is coming home today so it will be a real family weekend. My Mum always makes me feel loved and spending time with her despite all the health challenges she has always brings miles and laughter. This week we were in stitches as I tried to negotiate the aisles of Sainsbury’s pushing Mum in a wheel chair and trolley! Last night I came home to small boy and gran proudly presenting their carved pumpkin. I love my lovely Mum and I know that she has given me the skills to hopefully be a lovely Mum too.

For eighteen years I have parented and brought my boy up ready for the last couple of months. The large boy left home. I am not sure if nipping down the road to the next big city would be such a full adventure but for a boy who has not gone out much it has proved to be far enough.
Over the summer large boy was quite frankly a big pain in the ass! Whether moving in with my lovely man presented a big macho challenge to him who knows. But throughout the summer he criticised moaned and whinged about everything I said or did. No activity big or small or comment was too insignificant for large boy to share is wisdom with us and pass comment. I am not sure how I have managed to survive fifty years without his sage advice! We also had lazy pants big boy too. We would come home from work exhausted to a sink full of crockery and astonished large boy wanting food and his washing done.

So my logical head was really relieved in September to lie on the sofa watching TV knowing that the door will not open to large boy insisting on telling me why what I am watching is so awful and how I am wasting my time. I have come home from work without large boy asking me why his washing has not been done (it was in his room). I come home with shopping and no one says there is nothing in this house to eat. There is no empty glass on coffee table not cider cans by sink. Small boy can now shower when he wants and not wash around big boy’s forty minute shower.

In order to push my large boy out into the world I emptied my bank account and packed him off with colander and spices. He could make a pasta sauce and a curry, use a microwave and make coffee. I gave him a new quilt to keep warm and grandma’s handmade quilt for comfort and love.
I attempted to give him a talk on being street wise but he is a student in halls, I purchased cleaning materials he asked for an Ethernet cable!

And so I left him in the big city and wept all the way home. In less than hour large boy had made friends and has not looked back. He is doing everything I wanted to do. He enjoys his course and am reassured that texting him at 8.00 am one morning ( important post not weird stalker Mum!) he tells me he is up and must go to his early lectures. I get few calls and some texts mostly when prompted he is happy socialising. Most calls have been “must go Mum as I am off to…” He now knows how to use a washing machine and is an experienced night clubber! Note “night clubs are not the same as in your day Mum as we have to get drunk before we go as drinks are so expensive”! I am happy he has friends, has left his bedroom and likes his course.

Work has so overtaken my life and being in a new home I have not missed the large boy as much as I could. There is a yearning to see him in my heart but business has taken over. My work life balance has shifted to work. I have made myself get up at 7.30 on a Sat morning to capture these thoughts as there is never a moment. I feel intellectually alive again working and it is funny as work is now central to my world as opposed way off centre. I am enjoying exploring my intellectual abilities to get the job done, and the autonomy I have to make things happen. The politics of it all are interesting and I am meeting and getting to know some wonderful bright intelligent smart women. So all good. Oh and the money is great.

Sitting here I am at home three months on in my new world. Half an hour from my old town I am astonished that this would be such a big adventure. It seems to be less of adventure for small boy than it has been for me! He trots off on the school bus each morning happily, and is happily settled and enjoying life. He refuses to admit all is well (my new school is rubbish I have no friends) but spies in the camp tell me he has made a gang of friends and is doing just fine.

I am settled too but my big adventure is adjusting to the fact that moving and working seems to be that I no longer have a big circle of friendship. My moving on means that I am no longer in folk’s hearts and minds I appear to have simply gone. I have reflected on this and realise that my big circle of friendship involved me knocking on doors and working hard at staying in touch and holding people close. So it appears that that few friends are fussed about visiting my new home or hearing about my new life. But the friends that do are the good ones, caring folk and are interested in me. Fewer friends but some blinking good ones heh?

So my personal adventure is about shifting priorities in the autumn of my fiftieth year. Big boy has flown and I am at work coming home to the lovely man, smaller boy and step girly at weekends. We are becoming our own family. I take an hour early in a morning at weekends to walk think write do something. For this past year I have been told from some wild and wonderful people and places that I give too much out and I need to keep back energy and love for me. This is always a struggle as I am an instigator of doing things for people. But clearly there will be less friends and although hurt at others inactivity to stay in touch I am excited about holding close friends close and being more discerning with whom I spend my time. That gives me some real choices to make about my direction of change.

Last night watching dancing made me think I do need to keep hold of dancing Jude for now, there is a need in a mad working week to be creative and dance with a smile on my face. Anyway I really like dancing to the beat of my lovely man’s drum! But for now I had better go as I have chores to begin in a sleeping house! Happy weekend in a full house and my big boy is coming home! Wooohoo!