Monday, 28 March 2011

Dynamic Assessment

It's been a day for rearranging. I rang the council to see how our planning permission applications is coming along to be told that they have no record of it - it never arrived. And it will take eight weeks to process. The builder originally assured me that it would be a 48 hour turn around and they have already begun work. It's not that it's illegal, just that it if we don't get permission, we will have to rethink the whole project. However, on searching the council's web-site to download new forms, I discover that we may not need planning permission after all and now we are waiting for a response to to our query. Having spent quite a while dealing with this in the morning, my carefully planned and dove-tailed day was beyond rescue and a new plan needed to be created. Back to my to-do list and timetable to establish absolute priorities and what could wait. Somehow though, it's always the children's day-to-day education that seems to end up waiting and I spiral into panic that they won't get jobs and will end up homeless because on this day we didn't do half an hour of maths. A weekend booked to walk a section of the North Downs Way had been changed to a weekend in Wales and is now a weekend in the Peak District. Things change. Sometimes it feels as if there isn't even a moment to stop and figure out what is important. Still, today, cup-cakes got made in time for visitors, dinner is in the oven and the dog is asleep suggesting that she has had enough exercise so it can't be all bad. I am increasingly aware of my inability to discern what I really want before the point where I am disappointed that I haven't got it. What is the hurry with our building project? What are my priorities in a day, in a week, in my children's education? Do I mind where I walk or where I sleep when I'm away? In all of these shifting plans, the thread is being with the people I love. As long as there is space for her to sleep, it is not problem if the garage is not converted before my best friend comes to live with us. As long as they are learning and happy and relationships are in tact, it doesn't matter if the children haven't done today's maths or have yet to finish a writing project. As long as I am relaxed enough to enjoy their visit, it doesn't matter if there is not a table-cloth and candle out to welcome our friends to share tea and poetry. As long as we are having fun, are outdoors and away from suburbia, enjoying our time together and experiencing a challenge, I don't much care where I go walking in April. But I do care when I miss the opportunity to connect with my child, or with a friend; when the day-to-day stresses overshadow the moments of joy and laughter; when all I can see is the next load of washing up and I lose sight of the amazing people I share my life with.

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