A day in the Life – Penny Francis

The Transition – Anything Is Possible

It takes incredible strength to make a single transition in life, yet we go through so many in one lifetime, often having to dig really deep, so deep that it can often feel like all of the resources have run out, dried up.

The transition can sometimes be a gentle and subtle journey, so gentle that we hardly notice how we smoothly step from one steppingstone to another. Other transitions come reluctantly, such that we are forced to accept the hand we are dealt and there’s no way out and another through choice, from decisions we have consciously made because we are wanting a change.
Change through choice can be refreshing, bring a new lease of life to our well-being, bring forward new learnings and understandings for the better but in the same breath can happen so rapidly it can leave us in a spin.

I had always worked full time, thinking this was the only way I could survive in a world where rent was high, food prices high and life in general cost an arm and a leg just to breath and as a single parent of two children, I knew my options for going part-time and working more with spirit were limited or at least so I thought.

When working in a high school, like many who work in schools we get to wear many hats and many titles but for no extra remuneration.
It was September of 2017, first day back after a summer holiday, a summer holiday that wasn’t a holiday and one that I had wanted to forget. I had been troubled with double pneumonia, double as it went undiagnosed for 4 weeks and I ended up feeling I was at death’s door.
Yet despite 6 weeks recuperation I was still feeling lethargic and wanted a quiet day to slide back into things gently, that moment changed as quick as the thought flickered through my mind. The Headteacher appeared as a silhouette at my door, blocking out as much light as possible, triggering my thoughts knowing his presence was one of doom and gloom and the image of the grim reaper appeared in my mind, my bad! Yet as he approached the desk I was sat at he was adorned with a big grin that said more than hello, he came bearing gifts…he had yet another new role for me!

I think he thought I would be delighted by this new proposal but instead, my heart sank. And he was shocked by my imminent response of ‘NO!’ For the first time ever in a working environment, I spoke up and I could hear myself justifying my role in the hope he would revoke his offer. I continued to explain what I had to do to create better ways of working not only for the children but staff as well, how I had worked tirelessly with our local RAF base in supporting our Service children, not forgetting the 265 in my college that I was overseeing pastorally, as well as being safeguarding lead, Head of College, whilst managing a teaching timetable, needless to say, he wasn’t listening, it was like talking to fresh air, he didn’t notice I had stopped mid-sentence and breathed a heavy sigh. All I could hear in my head was ‘it’s time for a change’.
As he left, I turned to my computer and without hesitation typed up my resignation, printed it off and placed it in an envelope ready for presenting the next day! I was walking on air. After 10 years of working to the grindstone, I had finally surrendered and made a decision.

However, this was short-lived as the realisation and the dawning of my own reality hit me when I returned home that evening. My logic shouting at me in all directions “I have no job to go to”, ‘where will I find money to pay the bills’, ‘what am I going to do for work?’
My daughter arrived home, already working at the hospital had told me she was going to work some extra hours on her ward by joining the ‘bank’, the ‘bank’ being like an in-house agency of Specialist nurses and nursing assistants, which just happened to be recruiting that month and the closing date was that evening!
The rest is history, I was interviewed on my daughter’s birthday, emailed that afternoon to say I had been successful. I now have a 24-hour (2 day per week) contract at the hospital that allows me to have 5 days to schedule and work with Spirit.
2 and a half years down the road my work has grown, the days are full. Full in ways that I couldn’t even imagine, I am constantly surprised with the opportunity that is presented to me and feel blessed to not only work with spirit but so diversely too.
Everything worked out well, but it took some weeks and months to find the balance with finances, travelling and accessing a new skill set, and have recently undergone phlebotomy training to add to my already full basket. I initially worked quite a few extra hours in order to ensure everything found a balance and continuity. What I didn’t bargain for was how much happier I was in my life; how free I have felt ever since.

In this case, I didn’t give myself any time to rethink my position of leaving the high school, everything fell into place at exactly the right time but I still endured an emotional upheaval throughout the two months of transitioning and yet I spearheaded my way through, kept my focus, dug deep and deeper still and have never looked back, not once and certainly never regretted it, the lack of regret tells me that it was one of the best choices I have made in my entire life.
This current phase in our lives, the world in uncertain times has caused a greater number of us to rethink how our lives are. This time has allowed people to sit and look deeply into their reality, seeing what they are wanting and not wanting for themselves, many have decided to re-educate and retrain. Change their relationship status, transitioning into a solitary life, some have found new friends and are reaching over the garden fence more, checking in on one another, all of which are transitional phases of newness, letting go of the old to allow the new to enter, polish and refresh facets of our soul’s that have been dormant for so long.
Whenever you are about to make a decision that changes the course of your life and it brings about doubt, always remember that you have come to this point for a reason, that this point marks a turning point, it has presented itself to you because you are on the verge of a precipice of change, it will require strength, focus and a strong will but the rewards will be greater than you could ever imagine, all you have to do is surrender and give yourself permission and allow those trusted wings you were born with to spread wide and see how far you can fly.

Author: luke