*End section of my blog post of 2020 – please read Part 1 and Part 2 for the full post.

My son started primary school this September so I now have 5 days a week in which to progress. It’s a new chapter. As you can imagine, the challenge I have is balancing or rather, tilting my time and energy between the three businesses, and still having energy to be there for my family, the house (jeez that pile of dirty washing!), friends and being a parent and staying ‘charged’ myself.   I have certainly not mastered it yet – my head can get way overloaded and pulled in so many directions in attempting to navigate the different worlds I am stretched across, with their different terminology, learning / knowledge and ‘to do’ lists, and then at 3pm I’m at the school morphing into being  Barnaby’s mum (which by the way can feel icky inside as I try to switch off my ‘just get another thing’ done mind at 2.30pm)!! 

I really feel like I’m starting my 40s as a beginner. A beginner in being a mum (now of a school-aged child), in being a UW Partner, in being a LAMDA teacher, being self-employed and learning how to grow the community theatre company of my dreams.  Yes my life up until this point has prepared me but turning 40 feels like a rebirth, a blank slate.  In some ways, this is tough on my ego – I identified as a successful well-paid drama teacher before Barnaby was born.  Now I’m some sort of splurge of many worlds, over spilling them all!  All I can do is work towards the death of the ego, ie. of identifying and judging myself in that way, and do my best to honour the opportunities I now have in life, count the blessings and keep re-finding the faith to trust in the process of my life.

I received the budda doodle above on the 21st October and it reminded me I had to come back and finish this blog which does indeed feel like a bumpy mountain where I’ve touched on lots but not quite got to the bottom (well I suppose I’m trying to get to the top anyway, and that’s more about letting go and becoming lighter!), hopefully it’s still a step forward to share where I’m at right now.

Let’s imagine we are at the top of that mountain the cartoon buddha is climbing, sitting under the tree with the warmth of the sun’s rays on us feeling fulfilled, admiring the view from the top. I’d like to mark the moment by sharing what will probably always be my tippety toppermost quotation of all time whilst sitting up there with you: ‘it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the human eye’. The Little Prince, as I’m sure you know.  See with your inner knowing, your visions, your dreams, your heart.  We can get there. We will get there. One step at a time – regardless of how untidy that step is (‘Even if you stumble and fall, at least you have moved forward’ Darren Hardy).

Let’s all have patience and keep believing there is a more peaceful, love-based future coming for us all. Right now we are in darkness but see with your heart above all else.  ‘True success means winning in your battle with yourself. Those who persist in the pursuit of their dreams, no matter the hurdles, are winners in life, for they have won over their own weaknesses.’ Daisaku Ikeda – the incredible Japanese leader of the SGI Buddhist movement.

In order to keep moving towards the future we all want, let’s all keep asking ourselves Deepak Chokra’s question: ‘When you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask yourself do you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future?’  I have it on a notelet in my office.   It’s a tough one to face, especially at moments that demand courage, but it’s important to, otherwise we’ll all just keep perpetuating the same mistakes.  Let’s try not to let the past run the show. It is over.  The future is truly waiting for us if we stop replaying past garbage.  Our mind at times is one very sick bunny that has a caveman’s limitations of fearing anything out of the ordinary. It does not have the answers, only doing something new can bring about something new. 

The phrase ‘Be Yourself’ is fascinating to me – I reckon it has many layers.  I feel like in some ways I’m more myself than I’ve ever been – I just don’t fit in boxes anymore.  I never did but it took giving birth and becoming a mum to force me to break free into the undefined me.  I do feel scared but I sense the freedom I have always yearned for – to be myself.  It’s having faith I can and that can only comes from trusting there is a Grand Design in which I have a part to play.  A part only I (the real ‘I’) can fulfil.  A part for which I am needed as if I don’t step up, others won’t step up either and fully play their part and I desperately want us ALL to be heroes in our own stories.

If you’ve read to this point, my sincere thanks.  We’ve made it to the end of the blog!!!! Yippee! I hope you feel a sense of achievement too. I’m aware this is a bumper, messy, long blog I’ve written in three sittings trying to pull together strands of thought that have occurred to me amidst everyday life.. I am above all seeking to be brave in the hope that sharing something that is raw is far better than holding back and forever staying stuck.  This blog is the toughest one I’ve ever written – I hope in sharing my part-time work triangle there are jewels for both of us in the dirt. 

Finally, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH to everyone who has looked at UW with me, totally regardless of the outcome (!!). I hope you can see that any progress with UW helps me to be in a better position to achieve the Moonstruck Astronaut dream too. 

Let’s all remember we each have our own mountains we are attempting to climb, that if we do achieve, in turn, benefit the whole.  Loving companions make all the difference as to whether we manage to go the distance.   ‘Be kind – for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle (aka. climbing their own mammoth triangular mountain!)’ (Socrates). 

After I drop my son off at school, I like to walk across this field. On the day I took this photo I was struck by the fact there had only been a few people walking before me, as the path had been erased the day before. I was not walking along the usual well-defined path.  This is what my part-time work triangle feels like to me, finding my way on a path few have tread before.   I just hope in walking this path I make it easier for others to find, and that my bravery has blessed many lives by the time I’m done.

*Sincerely – if you have read to the end, thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you’d like to leave a comment or a takeaway below, you’d make my day! Much love, Hannah xxx