Tuesday, August 27, 2013

condensing months into minutes

I bumped into a friend today in town who I haven't seen since late last year. Depsite living only a few miles apart we seem to fail abysmally when it comes to keeping in touch, yet thankfully it is one of those friendships where the months having gone by mean so little and we pick up as if we'd seen each other last week.

During the ten minute 'so what have you been doing since November?' conversation (periodically interupted by a reasonably patient 6yr old who thought we'd been chatting quite long enough already thank you and can we go now Mum?) we covered our respective ECE lives - or mostly lack of it in my case, although I had just come from kindergarten when we bumped into each other albeit not for work purposes. As we chatted I repeated something I'd said recently on another ECE friend's facebook update when she commented on how sick she was yet again - so far this year I have had one three day cold. And that is it. Not two or more week-long minimum colds per term (there being four terms in a year), no 4-6 week bout of bronchitis (although I did have a few days of a tickly throat I suppose), no tummy bugs, no migraines. Basically I've been healthier this year than I have in years, so many years in fact that I can't actually remember one where I've had so few bugs and viruses (as opposed to ongoing chronic conditions that are just part of life). The moral of the story being? Keep away from the germ factories that are Early Childhood Centres perchance?

Keeping away from the coughs and colds has no doubt helped no end, but also being away from the stresses of the job has probably had a huge impact too. I still really enjoy popping in to kindergarten, I really appreciate time spent with the children and I loved spending a couple of days observing them and taking photos of their learning journeys. But it has to be said I really appreciated being able to walk away again and know that the extent of the follow-up work for me at present was editing +150 photographs and tracking down parental consent for potential publication rather than feeling the pressure to produce the quality documentation that I know I am capable of, if only I had an extra 24hrs in each week with no other demands...

As the friend I bumped into is halfway through her ECE degree I felt a bit bad about pointing out the difference being out of ECE had made to my health - especially as I'd encouraged her to study in the first place! But it isn't like she went into it blind to such issues, and in anycase her health is far more robust than mine has been in decades. It was great to talk about it all though, one of those conversations where even in just a few minutes you realise in sharing you've clarified a lot of things in your own head. We used to have lots of conversations like this, usually sitting in the car chatting for ages as she dropped me off from our evening class. All the more reason really why we ought to be better at keeping in touch - I miss those conversations, the ability we seem to have helping each other see things more clearly is something we both value. I definitely intend to make sure we see each other before another 9 months has gone past!

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