Its 10 years since we moved into our current house and area. This, coupled with 2023 being a year of significant birthdays for myself and my family, has made me think about all the changes that have happened in the last 10 years and wondering what the next 10 will hold.
10 years ago I had three children, my twins were just 1. I remember sitting in an empty living room, looking out over a snow covered garden whilst the babies crawled to the fireplace and tried to eat coal as we waited for the removal van. Due to the snow our bed didn’t arrive so we all had to sleep together on a mattress on the floor upstairs. Sylvia was still at her old school for a few weeks until half term so she had to “commute” to school via 3 trains, eating breakfast on the way. This was a change for the two minute walking “commute” she had had before. I was on maternity leave, due to go back to work about a month later, and we had no childcare as our childcare had fallen through. We had no pets. My role before maternity leave was Head of the Learning Development Centre and the University was about to restructure. I was just starting to use instagram, definitely not WhatsApp and TikTok didn’t exist, as far as I was aware. The UK was still in the EU, we had just had the Olympics and austerity was starting to hit.
Fast forward to now. I have four children. They are all in school, albeit two different ones and Sylvia is taking her first serious exams this year. This morning, I am sitting in my office, about to attend our SLT meeting as a VP. Its cold and frosty but not snow. Social media has exploded although I had to limit my use for my own mental health. Since 2023, I’ve had another period of maternity leave, had two different jobs and am still at the same university. I’ve travelled a lot and then not a lot during the global pandemic. I’ve taken up yoga, got fitter and focused on my own wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of others. I’ve experienced the loss of close family members which has changed things in unimaginable ways. I’ve gained family and friends who had to my life in many positive ways. I feel that I know less now than I did 10 years ago and that that is ok!
I’m not sure what I thought my life would be like in 2023 when I was landing in our new home in 2013. I am pretty sure I would not have anticipated half the events that have shaped me over the past 10 years. As part of my reflections over Christmas I was asked to think about where I wanted to be in 10 years time. I have always struggled with this long term planning despite being more of a planner now than ever before. In 10 years I know things will be fundamental different – I won’t be doing any school runs for a start, after doing a couple of thousand of them! – but some things will still be the same. When doing my visualisation for the future, all I see is a calm and quiet sun filled room where I am happy and at peace. This feels pretty good as something to strive for. Maybe in 2033 I will be writing still on this blog and looking back to this post and remembering both 10 and 20 years ago!