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A Life Worth Living

Another extremely powerful and confronting blog from Cate Knight. This time she questions our motives and asks ‘What is life for?’ and ‘Why do we do what we do?

I have spent a lot of time thinking about my purpose this year: who I am, why I exist, what it’s all for?
Navel gazing. It certainly hasn’t paid the bills.
This has, in its own way, caused huge angst. I’m failing to adult properly. I’m not meeting the expectations of grown up life.
The pressure of this has weighed enormously. The needing to stop and recharge and the overwhelming burden of knowing I can’t. The needing freedom and time but being pulled and pressed by duty and responsibilities.
Another brown envelope arrives and I sit on the bottom step of the stairs in my house and think, “what is the point?” I am working in order to do what? Survive?
By that logic I spend 5/7 of my week stressed and tired in order to supposedly enjoy two days of calm. Except I don’t. I am still stressed on Saturday. Exhausted, worried about an ever increasing to do list. Sunday is worse. The mounting panic at the task that lies ahead is suffocating.
Holiday!! Yup!! I get those!! And sometimes I use them well. Sometimes I go away and unwind. Sometimes I enjoy my home and lavish some attention on my garden. Sometimes I wonder, “is this it?”.
What are my efforts for?
I know the response. I help people. I change lives. And I’m immensely proud of that. But…..
What about my life?
When will that change? I look to either side of me and I see friends, colleagues, family all treading a similar path. Some contentedly, others begrudgingly, many wearily. Is this really IT?
The world seems to function on an unfair dividend scheme. For everyone. I am one of the lucky ones. I do get a pay out.
But what of those who work from 21 -75 in order to pay off a mortgage and put kids through education so that they too can do similar. What of those who say endlessly, “I wish we could…”.
I don’t have an answer. But I do know that life is for living. Whatever you do for the majority of your life must sustain you and make you feel ALIVE!
So I am trying this. I am putting my priorities at the core of my life and working around them. It is hard. I need to let go of the fear of losing my adult status. I need to prepare myself for a different way of living. For people to not accept or understand.
Family, People, Kindness, Love, Diversity, Creativity, adventure and innovation.
My life plan. Sure money will feature somewhere but actually I won’t allow it to rule me like the cruel master it once was.
The cost of that was a debt I’m not willing to pay: my life.
I have re-evaluated. I’m going to spread the message. Don’t live with drudgery. Choose your priorities and build your life around them.
Life is only life when it is one worth living

One Reply to “A Life Worth Living”

  1. Dr Jill Berry says:

    A great post, Cate – and such an important issue. I am fond of saying that teaching/leadership in schools is a JOB. It’s an important job, but it is a job, not our lives, and not the sum total of who we are. Very best wishes with your life plan!

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The author

Cate has been a teacher for 20 years. She has worked internationally and across all key stages in the UK. Her secondary specialism is Performing Arts with a keen interest in PSHE/RSE. Cate is recently married with two cats who keep her busy and an allotment that requires more time than she can give it!

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