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Sunday, 23 February 2014

When Life Happens ......

Hi All

I know that it looks like I have abandoned by blog for the last few months, but it was because “life” got in the way.  I know there should be no excuse because when you start a blog, you make a commitment and you are in it for the long haul.

I have missed blogging.  Every time I think of a topic I would like to blog about, I get a little sad because I know that time is not on my side.  So, I thought I would firstly apologise for not posting regularly like I should be and also explain why.
Firstly being an Accountant is hard work.  I worked overtime in December to make sure that I had a two week break without having to go into work during my holiday.  While on December break, I had a list a mile long, for things that needed to get done (not all of which got done.  Before I knew it, it was time to get back to work.  When I returned to work in January, you can only imagine how much work had accumulated for the two weeks I was off work.  Also, it means that the deadlines must still be reached regardless of the holidays.

My daughter started high school this year (2014), she is 13 years old.  The last quarter of last year was spent following up with schools, going to school interviews with principles, filling out documents which meant taking time off work to do so.   So there was lots of prep for high school to be done in December and January (school uniforms, books etc).  Also xmas itself is soo hectic (shopping, visitors etc.)

The first few weeks of school have been so hectic OMW.   The lists of things that needed to be done was never ending.   The school my daughter is attending has a “Camp-out” for the Grade 8 students every year.  Since the grade 8 students come from different schools, it gives them an opportunity to get to know each other better and familiarize themselves with the school and their teachers.  Since the committee for the camp-out is made up mainly of parents, we got to know each other better as well.  Which means that we are able to build a long term relationship whereby, we could contact each other and support each other and liaise as to whether our kids are on the same page or need help etc.

The Camp-out was held on 7th of February 2014.  When school started in January 2014, the parents had to attend school meetings two or three times a week leading up to the event.  I just got “voted” on to a committee to help running the camp-out.  I did explain that I was extremely busy at work and would help where I can.  They were hearing nothing.  First I got voted on to the food committee. Which meant planning - working out menus for the kids, grocery shopping, preparing and the list goes on.
Thereafter, I joined the sports / team-building committee as this was up my alley.  We do lots of team-building events at my company, so I had lots of ideas.  I would have lots of input but I would let the leader of the sports committee run with it, since I had to work on the day of the camp-out, although I would be there in the evening.

As the meetings went on, I was being asked to do more and more stuff.  I therefore excused myself from the food committee.  The principle asked me to plan “the Amazing Race” for the kids, which was a two and a half hour event.  It was a solo planning event without the help of the sports committee.  There was lots of work and planning, stuffing envelopes, working out destinations / routes based on the layout of the school, working out clues for the kids to follow.  All of this was done at night while I also brought work home from my day job.  I also had to go to the school on a Saturday to study the layout of the school.  

I produced a 14 page document, a route map, bought the props, made the signs (speed bumps, pit stops etc) with no help.  I stuffed so many envelopes, all while not sleeping for two nights leading up to the event.
My deadline at work was on the same day 7th February.  I worked overtime, just about finishing my work on the evening of the 6th February.  I wanted to at least be there for the event that I planned.  I reached the school in the afternoon, just before the event was planned to start (just after the kids finished the water-slide).  I had to set up the school in record time.  I had to place parents at their posts (speed bumps, detours, road blocks, pit stops etc.) and explain to them what they need to do when the teams arrive at their stop.  I thought the kids would have been worn out by the time the amazing race started as their action packed day started on Friday 7th at 8AM.  Not at all, they took off like a bullet.  It was over-whelming as the kids most of the time, arrived at all the stops at the same time (10 teams), screaming with enthusiasm, thoroughly enjoying themselves.

Anyhoo, it was stressful at first.  After the amazing race, I was congratulated so many times for a job well done and for attention to detail.  This was a good feeling for me, especially since I put a lot of time and effort into it.   They definitely want to do it again next year.  The paramedics had scheduled to do a demo with the kids, but had to leave since we could not stop the Amazing race – It was that good!

After my event had ended, it was followed up with a braai and a disco for the kids, marshmallows on the fire, ice creams etc.. the list goes on.  25 parents stayed over at the school watching the kids – meaning another night with no sleep.  The kids refused to sleep, they even had milo at 2AM Saturday morning.  At 5:30am they were rounded up and we took them (made them walk in their now sleepy state lol) to the Umhlangeni River.

This was followed by breakfast on their return and later sign out by parents (Kids had to be signed in the previous morning at registration).  When I got home, I slept for a whole day, only woke up to eat supper, then went back to sleep and woke up Sunday morning.

 I was then asked to join the Finance committee (a subcommittee of the SGB – School Governing Board), which I said that although I was honoured, I don’t want to join if I can’t give my 100% to it, being busy all the time.  The principle was hearing nothing and asked me to please join.  I attended the meeting this week which only adjourned at 8:35 on a workday.  This committee meets about once or twice a month.

On Friday night 22nd February, the principle held a thank you dinner for all the parents that attended the camp-out, which was lovely and the food was excellent.  There I was asked to please join the SGB (School Governing Body) by another member.  I did not say yes (yet – lol) I know that the SBG members have to manage another subcommittee on their own, and I don’t think I can manage any more work.  Also listening to them speak, there is a timetable of hundreds of events planned for the school year where they require lots of support and planning from the parents.

Its also almost financial year end at work, which means audit prep, stock takes ect.  No rest for the wicked.

I am soo sorry for going awol and also sorry for the looong post.  But I wanted to let you know that life really did get in the way, I was not just neglecting my blog.

Lots of love.