This time last year, I was revising my Latin and reading teetering montains of books in order to be ready for the start of my PGCE course to teach Classics.
I was apprehensive because I knew the year would test me.
And so it did.
More than once I cried. And I’m not a weepy person.
However, I had an expectation that if I worked hard, I would succeed.
Like a sportswoman investing in equipment, I had prepared for the course: in particular, I finally submitted to wearing glasses. (Okay, so not very much like a sportswoman investing in equipment really.)
It wasn’t so much that I had felt my eyesight was poor, it was more that once I had the glasses, I realised how much I had been missing.
Similarly as I blundered through new challenges, I discovered my thinking had become sharper once more.
I had to be well-organised too – younger colleagues could pull an all-nighter to get an assignment out of the way, but if I did that there was no way I could have dragged myself into the classroom to face my pupils the next day. So I had to plan ahead to make sure I got to bed in good time with my cup of cocoa.
But mainly what I’ve learnt is that as my children fly the nest my life is taking off in a different direction and I have a whole new era of usefulness ahead of me.