Monthly Archives: January 2017

actions speak louder than words…


Over New Year I spent some time with special friends. While walking the pups, Phillip asked me what was the main DBT skill I used. Immediately, I replied ‘Emotional Regulation’. I then went on to pontificate about the importance of keeping myself well… avoiding crisis, averting issues and generally making sure I’m ‘topped’ up.

Unknown.jpegThe last few days have made it abundantly clear that the words are a lot easier to say than live!

Readers will know I am a Head Teacher of an Independent School that I co-own. Term has started back two days ago but things really took on some critical intensity from Thursday/Friday of last week. The details of the events are unimportant for this purpose. Suffice to say, as the heat went up my emotional regulation went plummeting down.

I’ve eaten rubbish by the bucket load (and only rubbish) – pizza, chocolate and biscuits basically . I’ve drunk coke by the litre. I’ve hardly slept. I’ve medicated myself in front of the tele. I’ve spent money that I shouldn’t have. My Christmas decorations haven’t been put away. Bills have been unpaid. My medication had run out and I hadn’t renewed the prescription.My anxiety over leaving the pups has been the highest ever. Its been pretty appalling. I then wonder why I feel so incredibly sluggish and awful! It really isn’t rocket science some times…

Today, I woke up literally and metaphorically. Time for the pity party to stop. I was able to give myself the shake I needed. I can’t just look after my health in the holidays. I need to grow in my capacity to emotionally regulate even when I’m busy. I know that emotional regulation isn’t optional… it’s essential. So this afternoon, I packed the decs away. I cooked some food for supper. I emptied the car. I filled a box of decluttering for a charity shop drop. I can’t face the humiliation of hockey at the moment but I did go for another run yesterday.

images.jpegSo as I look ahead to a busier term than usual, I’ve got to get organised. The only way I can eat healthy is to have food in the house and prep my food in advance. I’ve got to pack my bag the night before an early start- to ease the morning stress. I’ve got to ration my TV watching. I can’t have coke or bread in the house. And its not just about operation survival, I want it to be operation flourish.

Thankfully, I’ve only had a few poor days- I’ve seen it now and I am going to practice what I preach. Emotional Regulation all the way!

Thanks for listening





imagesI submitted my Masters’ Essay on 1st January. Following on from my previous post- I had lots of successes. I stopped when I reached the minimum word count, I stopped over the Christmas break and left myself just 24 hours to proof read, consolidate and ratify references. I did ok with managing myself doing this. I submitted the day before the deadline- then I couldn’t do any more.

Remarkably, it was marked and returned to me within 2 days.

I did well. The pass mark was 57% and I got 72.5% and  good comments (which were more surprising!) Fab.

But the problem is, I got 29 out of 40 and the Distinction cut off was 30 out of 40.

Getting a Distinction makes absolutely no difference to my final mark- which is either Pass or Fail.

But missing it by 1 mark has really challenged me. I honestly really didn’t know what standard my essay was- I was hoping that it was enough- but ultimately I didn’t know just how good it was. I did what I did. But I know that actually if I got this mark with the minimal effort I put in- it wouldn’t have taken much more to get a Distinction and that is a uncomfortable truth. It would have been easier if I’d got a solid 65%… but I didn’t…

My response has very clearly told me that I’m not ok with doing ‘just enough’.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I worked hard. I did lots of reading and thinking. I am doing the Masters because I want to learn. What I didn’t do was edit the essay endlessly and go the extra mile in my writing.

What I realise is that I’m not ok with doing ‘just enough’- but I also know I want to be. 

15894888_1240282029351044_9128517440420503338_n.jpgIt was so lovely not being ill from exhaustion this holiday. It was great being able to switch off and do what I needed to do but also have fun with friends and read silly books and colour- in cushions. I liked that. I liked the feeling of not being totally shredded at the end of it. I handed in an essay with more left inside me, and that actually was a new thing for me. And I like it.

So, missing by 1 mark isn’t great. But actually its exactly what I needed. I know I can write at that level, just by doing what I do. I can choose to go all out or I can choose to do just enough and still have a life. I choose the latter. It just might not be a smooth road to get to that destination.

Thanks for listening.