Day 2 of the return to life as a working mum brought me back to reality with an abrupt thump yesterday. The rain was streaming down from a miserable grey sky all day and provided an appropriate backdrop for swearing at photocopiers (I am an expert in this field). Four of the confounded machines had a meltdown within the space of one hour. Two of which were fixable (with tweezers from the science department and some guesswork) and the other two will have to be mended by a qualified photocopier engineer (chap with a screwdriver and a puzzled expression on his face). By lunchtime today (day 3 of my return to reality) there were no functioning photocopiers at all left on which to do my job. This did not improve my mood and I took out my frustration on a couple of notice boards in a flurry of staples and display paper.
This afternoon was an emotional one as the last day of term had arrived and many members of staff were leaving. They included the principal (retiring after 40 years and going out in style with a feature appearance as guitarist with the staff band) and his deputy (who had everyone in tears during her goodbye speech). All of the staff respect the two of them immensely and, as I listened to heartfelt tributes to their impressive commitment and achievements, I wondered what it would feel like for them to walk out of the door for the last time this evening and hand over something which has been such a huge part of their lives for so many years to someone else.
I remember a few amazing teachers from my school days who inspired me and hope that my daughters have the luck and privilege to be influenced by teachers and leaders like my (now ex) principal and his deputy. It is so important to have people to look up to as role models and standards to aspire to (not just as children, but throughout our lives) and I think that one of the wonderful things about living is the endless series of chance meetings with people who go on to influence who we are.
I went for a little run this evening for the first time since having Bethan. As I pottered along the thought struck me that it is likely that I had an influential impact on someone else’s life at some point (other than my daughter’s lives). Spurred on by this thought, I decided not to worry about silly photocopiers and to enjoy myself. I even started to run a little bit faster…and I kept going.