They call me the wanderer

“They call me the wanderer, yes the wanderer, I wander round around around…..” well my mind is anyway. At least thats how it feels this week. Somewhere in the haze of stress and anticipation was another successful week. Yet it all disappeared somehow.

I produced a couple of half decent paintings, nothing you would see in a gallery, but definitely a step in the right direction. In fact each painting seems to be a step in the right direction. It’s a bit like a snowball getting bigger and better as it rolls along. I have reached that stage where the thought of producing art rather than painting pictures features heavily. Whilst my first attempt at being loose with paint application wasn’t exactly a success, the change in direction is exciting. At least I seem to remember it being exciting at the time. It just seems so long ago… it wasn’t, actually it was just 2 days ago, but a lifetime in terms of this week.

Work was also successful. I took a pleasant young mum for her driving test and she passed first time racking up just one minor fault in the process. So not just a pass, but a very, very good pass. Im proud of her, she has performed well on each lesson. More importantly she can take her young family out now, knowing she has the skills to keep them both happy and safe. Since that was a good three days ago now, the memory is rapidly fading. I actually had to sit here and think hard about what had happened this week.

Last night I took lesson one of my basic astronomy course at the local observatory. A very interesting evening and we were blessed with the appearance of stars. Not such a common experience under Englands cloudy skies. I saw the big dipper constellation for the first time. Well I recognised it for the first time, I had seen it before I just didn’t know it. I also recognised, without being prompted I must add, Orion. I saw Betelgeuse, a red star, visible to the naked eye. I didn’t even realise there were red stars visible in the sky. Now that I know I had had another look, and yes there was another red star, though I can’t remember its name. I also saw the constellation of Subaru, which I thought was a car manufacturer until last night.

Actually last night was the first time I actually recalled much of what had happened this week, not because star gazing is so much better than art, or getting my pupil through her driving test, it’s not. It is very enjoyable in its own right but not better. So what changed?

Write it down

I had a medical appointment booked for Friday morning, not your bog standard appointment but a very important appointment. Some time ago I realised I needed help and applied for assistance. The appointment was made for Friday where I was to be assessed. Nobody likes being tested, assessed, measured or whatever else you call it. My pupil was nervous before her test, I knew how she felt. All I could think about all week was the assessment. Hence why I struggle to recall events at the start of the week but clearly recall events from last night. By last night it was all over.

I had tried to calm and reassure my pupil, pointing out her many strong points and talking through her relatively few weak points. We discussed strategies for working through difficult points and recovering from potentially serious situations, but in the end they were not needed. The point is though, that she knew the odds were on her side and further knew how to turn her weak points to an advantage. Preparation is key. Sadly not everyone takes the advice, but I can only do so much.

So preparation turned out to be the key with my assessment. Come Thursday I was stressed, very stressed. On Wednesday I had gone to bed early with my stomach churning over and hands shaking. Imagine how I was feeling Thursday. Since I didn’t have an instructor guiding me through my preparation, I did it myself. I got out my paperwork, and made myself an idiot guide.

The more I wrote, the more points I covered, the more I relaxed. By the time I had finished I had six pages covering everything I though I would be asked. Looking through the notes, I instinctively knew I had nothing to worry about. I actually got a reasonable nights sleep Thursday.

I sailed through the assessment. Not 100% but enough to get the aid I needed. In fact the assessor said I was the most prepared person she had ever seen. She also gave me tips on preparation for when my review comes up.

Find your path

What Im trying to say in a long rambling way, is not to let the stress build up in your head. Find your way of identifying the truth, mine was to write it down. In black and white the issues become facts. In your head they become torment dragging you down.



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