Back to School

As my children keep reminding me ‘It’s my first day of school and I shouldn’t be frightened as I’ll make lots of new friends’  Good grief, where did they learn that sort of talk from?  Oh yes, that would be me….

But still I am terrified as I start an MA in Library and Information Management at Manchester Metropolitan University.  My fears stretch far beyond making new friends though.  Will I be intellectual enough for the study?  How will we cope financially?  What about work?  Who will organise Christmas if I’m busy at Uni? 

Running a family takes so much time.  We’ve already had the talk about helping out more and Paul says he’ll make a real effort, but he works full time in an academic and demanding job and he runs the largest local junior football club in the area.  Then there’s the children, three of them, all bright, intelligent, beautiful and very, very busy.  There’s the dancing (2 of them 4 times a week), swimming (1 competitively 4 times a week, one casual, but used to be competitive, twice a week) the football (practice and matches) the music lessons and youth orchestra.  Its all fine in a ‘normal’ week, but as soon as there’s a gala, show or concert all hell breaks loose.  I’m often planning the week so I can be in three places at once. 

And then there’s me.  Failed teacher, aspiring crafter and part-time library worker, oh and I produce weekly notice sheets for my church.  Into this mix I’ve decided to do an MA, full-time and not try to give up anything else.  Well I guess I can kiss goodbye to a tidy house.  Not that it was ever very tidy anyway. 

I’ve done the induction day now and it all seems really interesting but the questions I’m asking myself are far bigger than ‘What should my dissertation be on?’ there are all these big questions about where am I going and who am I?  At nearly 40 you would have thought I’d know some of the answers, but really I don’t.  This feels very much like my last chance to get things right and do something with my life.  People keep telling me I shouldn’t discount all that I already do, but somehow it doesn’t see to add up to enough.  I know I’m in a hugely privileged position to have this chance to go back and try again at a career and I don’t intend to waste it. 

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