Z paces the floor and worries

This evening, I cannot find music to fit my mood, or else soothe it.  I’ve tried a range of stuff, and it all irritates me.  I have turned it off and lit a candle instead.

Usually, I don’t give it a great deal of thought, but let my choice just happen.  I listen on Spotify, mostly, largely because I want to get my money’s worth from my subscription, but also because, even if I’ve bought the disc, the artist might as well get the small sum from it being played.

I’m becoming a nervous wreck.  Time was, you got a longish period of notice of a school inspection, but you knew when it would be.  Then you got short notice (at one time, it could be no notice at all, they might just walk in, but I don’t think this happened to many schools).  This time, they told us that we’re in the pilot group, but not when they would come.  I am not consciously worrying, but my shoulders hurt because they are so tense, my face aches because I’m grinding my teeth and I wake every hour or so at night.  Even the Sage is irritating me, because he’s so cheerful.  Well, not just that.  Someone called in for a school business conversation and he monopolised the conversation throughout, with the result that we weren’t able to have our discussion.

I’m sorry.  It’s just that there’s so much to do, and this is holding us up.  I’m also attempting to do some turning-out, things belonging to my mother.  Yes, she died eight years ago, but this is stuff that stayed in a cupboard in Al and Dilly’s house for some time, so it’s only been in a spare room for five years or so and it just got left.  Now, I’m being a good example to the Sage.  He has a room to turn out, and he needs somewhere to put his things.  There’s no point in nagging, I’ve got to have a practical solution or the work will never get done.  Anyway, much of my mother’s stuff has turned out to be old papers, not interesting ones but newspaper cuttings and bank and tax papers, so it can all be burned.  But every half hour or so, someone calls or the phone rings and then I don’t get back to it.  I can see that this will take me quite some time.  So far, one boxful to keep, four to get rid of.

I cannot see that we will ever be in a position to downsize.  Having said that, Ro’s room is as he left it when he moved out, and it’s a huge room.  Lined with cupboards and shelves, it could solve all our storage space issues.  I wonder if he’d mind.

20 comments on “Z paces the floor and worries

  1. Mike and Ann

    Of course he wouldn’t. All of ours are pleasantly surprised when they find there’s something they can do for the oldies rather than the other way round. Mark you, we’ve ‘downsized’ twice, and it can be done. Be firm about old paperwork, and stuff which really is too nice to part with – give to the youngsters. Of ours, one got a four poster bed, two got old dolls’ houses, one got a Victorian rocking horse, and one got an oak refectory table (plus smaller bits). That way everyone is pleased and we still feel we’re in touch with ‘our’ things. It sounds as if , in every sense, you’ve got too much on your plate at the moment. Try and relax. It’ll work out.
    Warm regards, Mike and Ann.

  2. Z

    When my mother died, my sister and I turned out her papers and so on, and agreed that we would dispose of personal letters and cards between her and our stepfather, because we’d feel it intrusive to keep them, that we’d keep any photos if there was anyone we recognised in them, but otherwise throw them away (a lot of random scenes we didn’t recognise) and that we’d amicably share anything we wanted.

    None of the children has room for anything we might offer them, unfortunately. And they think we’re far too cluttered, which is true!

    And, thank you.

  3. Gledwood

    I remember how nervous our maths teacher looked when we had the inspector in… I dunno why he looked so stressed, he was a good teacher.

    You could always try the orange theme vitamin C mix on my sidebar. I dunno if you’d like that one. I think it was originally written by Henry Purcell, was featured in the film A Clockwork Orange and got techno’d up…..

  4. Dave

    Presumably, as governors are volunteers, and not employed to be avaialble to the school during its opening hours, the Inspectors cannot make them attend – if one has a full-time job, and is only available in evenings, for instance, or if (as they don’t give you a date in advance) you are away on holiday, then it is just bad luck, they can’t see you.

    So, if it’s making you so tense, why don’t you just go away on a holiday?

    On the other hand, if you really want to meet them, and want to make yourself avaialble at whatever time suits them, then try to accept this is something you want to do, and look forward to it.

  5. Z

    It’s not the inspection itself, it’s the waiting – although my friend Jo who, like your Maths teacher, is a very good one, is very nervous too.

    Dave, you may think it’s okay for me to let people down, but I don’t. And the point is not that I’m dreading the inspection, but that getting ready for it uses a lot of nervous energy and adrenaline, and we were all ready weeks ago and are now on hold. Although it isn’t consciously on my mind all the time, it’s affecting me as I described.

  6. Roses

    Oh my dear. Yes, I can see that the anticipation is far worse than the event. Bastards torturing you this way.

    By the way, when you’re finished downsizing yours, would you mind doing mine too?

  7. Dave

    I’m not suggesting you let people down, I just can’t believe that every single governor (or even just the Chair) is expected to be available at the whim of the inspecting authorities.

    Presumably there must be times when they make their inspection and find the governors are not around because of work and holidays.

    If they really want to meet people who are not employed to be there in term-time, and expect them to have made preparation for it, then common sense (not to mention common courtesy) suggests that they should make a proper appointment to do so.

  8. Z

    You may have a few years to wait, Roses, but I’ll add it to the list, no problem.

    Obviously, they have no such expectation, Dave, and that isn’t the point I’m making. They will be there for two days, there are five of us on standby and any or all of us, as available, will go for the meeting. Hopefully, that will include me or the vice-chair or both, as we have the best all-round knowledge of the school. None of this is a problem (if the worst came to the worst, they would do a telephone interview). What is a problem to me is that it is, without my conscious knowledge and beyond my control, affecting me physically and mentally.

  9. Dave

    My point precisely then. They don’t expect you to be there. You have others who could be there. It’s affecting you physically and mentally. So why let it?

  10. Z

    Dave, I’ll explain this one more time.

    I have taken on a responsibility. If I had not been prepared for all that entailed, I should not have taken it on. If I just ducked out of the interview, I would be letting down my colleagues and the school, although if the inspectors want to see us at a time it is impossible for me to be there, I cannot help that and provision has been made in that eventuality. However, since I know I can do a good job and help support the school well, I would rather be present for the interview.

    It isn’t a matter of “let it”, I’ve explained that my tension is beyond my control and I cannot help waking up four or five times a night. The point is the unexpected wait, long after we’re ready. It’s no one’s fault, and I’m not criticising Ofsted. If you look at the post, I wasn’t complaining about anything to do with it, just that I want it to happen and I can’t settle until it has. Usually, music to suit my mood helps me to relax, but last night I couldn’t deal with it, it was all just noise.

  11. Dave

    I am sorry, but you are letting it affect you, because you could walk away from it.

    I have seen too many people make themselves physically ill with stress, to the point of breakdowns. If a voluntary job causes this stress to you, then you must ask whether the pleasure of doing it (or the satfisfaction of serving your community) outweighs the stress.

  12. Z

    Dave, walking away from it would cause me far more stress, I would be wracked with guilt. I do this job well, believe me, and right now I’m the best person to do it. A few years ago, I was under more stress than this constantly and I coped because I had to. This is a short-term situation, for a specific reason. It is not the inspection, it’s the wait.

  13. Sharon J

    I hate waiting for anything once I’m prepared for it, too. It’s the limbo feeling I dislike – it just doesn’t feel natural to have to wait once everything’s ready to go. I sometimes wonder whether this is a woman thing, because the men I’ve known have never appeared to be bothered by it. Hopefully it’ll soon be over and you’ll be able to relax again.

  14. Z

    Thanks, Sharon – that’s exactly it. The good thing is that we will only be notified on a Monday or Friday morning, so can get on with other things the rest of the week without expecting a call.

    The daft thing is, I’ll be fine when it’s announced, it really is just the wait.

  15. savannah

    i so understand this, sugar! it’s the waiting and nothing more. i have been known to leave for the airport and hour earlier than needed, rather than wait at home. crazy, i know, but waiting makes me antsy! xoxoxox

  16. Christopher

    I know you’re terribly busy, and that in the end you will conquer everything with your usual mix of patience, tact and good sense, so please don’t feel obliged to devote time to reading this.

  17. Z

    Having left home early for the train on Saturday and been very glad that I did, I’m with you there, Savannah!

    Does my hard stare reach over to France, Chris? (known as a Paddington stare in our family).

  18. luckyzmom

    Though Dave may be sensible, I perfectly understand. The suspense is figuritively,killing you. Unlike most men, you just want to talk about it.


  19. sablonneuse

    From what I remember it wasn’t the inspection but the INSPECTORS themselves. They had such superior ‘know-it-all’ attitudes. Often the ones who seemed a little more pleasant to ones face were the ones who gave nasty reports. Our head of maths was criticised for not introducing the topic. “But I did that before you came in” he said. “Well, I didn’t see it so it didn’t get a tick” was the response!


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