I’ve been away from this blog for over a month now and so I want to tell you what’s been happening. It’s been a busy month and there have been both good developments and sad ones. The sad concerned the sudden death of my uncle earlier this month.
This is not the place to speak about family matters but it was a particular shock to us. Families grow apart as siblings get older and my dad and his brothers went their own ways. Lately we hadn’t had much contact with my dad’s youngest brother and so it was a big shock to us when he died quite suddenly on Sunday the 8th of May. My dad had unavoidable work commitments in Swaziland and so wasn’t able to make it back for the funeral. I was asked to be a pallbearer and also to do a reading from 1 Corinthians:
Love is patient, love is kind, It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
And so on. It was a very fitting reading for Uncle C since he gave so much of himself over the years (perhaps too much). This was also the reading I’d done at my sister’s wedding and it felt so strange to be standing up there in my wedding suit and to be reading the same words. I was very sad that I hadn’t spent more time with my uncle when he was alive and sad for him for the disappointments he’d suffered over the years. But also proud of what he had achieved in his life, particularly with regard to yachting. The last conversation I’d had with him was around model yachts and more than a year ago he’d invited me to the Waterfront to see the yachts that he and a friend were making and selling. He had always been a keen sailor but as he’d got older he wasn’t as fit anymore and so he switched to model yachts. I was busy at the time and so I didn’t go. Now I wish that I had taken a greater interest.
Moving on to happier news, this month has been an exciting one for me work-wise. In the same week as my uncle’s funeral I went for a job interview as a school psychologist. I was understandably nervous but I had a good interview (in front of a panel of five) and yesterday I met the principal and signed the contract! And so in three months’ time I will be leaving the military and going back to my roots in education. I’m really looking forward to the challenge and I know this is a good move for me. As much as I learned a lot in the military, gained invaluable experience and made some good friends, it was not a long-term career option for me. I just wasn’t comfortable with going away on deployment, having officer’s training hanging over my head and just the general culture of ranks and saluting, uniforms and endless rules and regulations. Of course schools have their own rules and regulations and uniforms and hierarchies. But they are also nurturing environments and it’s a particular challenge to work with adolescents. I’m looking forward to it.
Another thing that’s kept me from blogging is that my part-time private practice is slowly picking up. Two months ago I started sharing another psychologist’s consulting room three late-afternoons a week after I’ve finished at the military base. It was terribly quiet to start with but I also knew that things would pick up in time and they have. It means taking a change of clothes to work (since I’m in uniform) and also a longer day since I start work at the military at 7am and I’m finished at the practice by 5.30pm. It’s an exciting development but also more difficult in a way since there’s more pressure. Medical aids often don’t cover psychotherapy and so clients need to pay for it themselves (which is particularly difficult in a recession).
And then of course there’s L and Baby F. L goes back to work part-time in July and I think she’s looking forward to it but is also quite anxious about how we will all cope with the change. Baby F will be four months old in two weeks’ time and she is cuter than ever. She has also, dare I say it, started to sleep through the night (and has been doing so for the past two weeks). I’m not even going to risk saying the words “easy baby” because that would be tempting fate. As for the anxiety about being responsible for this little one, I don’t think it ever goes away.
I’ll try and get back into a blogging rhythm soon – even it’s only every second week. But I wanted to say I haven’t forgotten about my blogging friends. Happy reading and writing to you all.