What does 2014 have in store?
Well frankly who knows? We’ll have to see but here are some things I see on the horizon.
Course – Into the new year on the course. We’ve had one session since Christmas and without a doubt things have gone up a notch. The skills practice sessions seem more formal, more about assessment of your skills rather than us trying to fumble through ticking off stuff on our lists in our heads. We have new forms for assessment of your abilities and the tutor is now formally observing sessions and providing written feedback whereas to date she’d been just providing verbal comments. I was one of the group I was in chosen to be in the counsellor (or helper) role this week and also was formally observed by the tutor. Oh boy, adrenalin levels up the wazoo! Still the feedback from my peers was good and from the tutor too. Also now the people acting as the client (helpee) have a brief which has a little twist in it. This week my helpee kept trying to get me to offer a direction and advice to them whereas my role is to help them examine the situation and their emotions about it and then for them to come to a conclusion on the right course of action – it isn’t for the counsellor to provide advice. So I had to politely move them back to focusing on themselves, the issues and their feelings before they then considered their own best path. All in all it was good, better than I’d feared driving to the centre thinking “It’s only been three weeks off, I can’t remember a flipping thing!”. Also the work I gave in before Christmas came back all marked up and I got good marks. So left there with a smile and hope for getting through this and getting the qualification at the end.
Work. Given I’m only part time now I realise we are biting into the “rainy day” fund a fair bit. Simply put – we spent more than we earn. Now do I start to look for additional work in the area I’m training in – given I’m still a very long way off being qualified, at least 3 more years to get to true qualified status. Or do I simply admit defeat and look for another boring IT related management job which frankly will crush my soul again? But we could do with more income. I need to be more creative in my thoughts on this I always seem to just put up barriers to things not push open doors.
Family – it was evident that my son has moved on significantly in his life at Christmas. It was lovely having him home for a week but he has his own life now and we’re only a part of that. That is all ok but it is a change, last year he still seemed “ours” now he isn’t but at 23 the fact he is successful and is supporting himself and his partner and making a home etc. is all something I’m massively proud of him achieving.
Daughter – so this year she will leave school. She is almost certain to start at university. She has her offers back, she has figured out the course and uni she is most happy with, they have sweetened the deal with a verbal commitment to soften her offer if necessary and guarantee on campus accommodation if she confirms them as her first choice in the next week or so. So that looks to be her route. By Autumn this year Mrs F and I will be feeling like “empty nesters”. That’ll be a new interesting challenge.
Music. To be honest this taken a back seat lately. I’ve not bothered to even follow up on some open mic opportunities. I just feel a bit deflated with it – I don’t think my stuff is as good as I’d like it to be, as good as it should be and the lack of any real interest by anyone in it most of the time seems to back that up. I’m drifting very much to a totally home based amateur status again as was true for the early sober years up until the revival in 2009. How do I feel about that? Frustrated. Angry with myself for not have the tenacity to just carry on and also a bit confused as to why I don’t just plough on regardless of what others think – I just don’t have that kind of blind confidence some others have in their talent and material and I wish I did I suppose.