Reading Time: 2 minutes

The start of this week, and really the end of last week, were just full up. My eldest turned 11, there was a major bit of university work that needed getting over the line, and everyone had scheduled “one last meeting” before schools here break up for half term. Outside of the birthday which was excellent fun–if a bit more physically fraught than intended (technique for successful inline skating, it turns out, is really difficult to just verbally explain?), I felt surrounded by people but not connected to them, too busy burning energy on focusing in meetings or work to also feel “a part” of it all. It also meant I was missing the IEH reflections and activities, and even too busy to open the Slack. There was a sense that things were piling up. And that I would just miss them. I finally found some time (while putting away laundry!) and just decided to…play the daily reflection videos in the background as I sorted through shirts, school trousers and what felt like six million socks.

It was such an interesting experience, because I could feel myself settling as I went. I felt more and more connected as I listened, even though I wasn’t “with” anyone or replying in a thread or even taking any notes myself. Some of it is the warmth that everyone is bringing to the IEH series, it is hard not to feel welcome when everyone speaks so warmly and so clearly from a place that finds joy in the myriad of ways people gather to learn, reflect and grow. But some of it was also because I was listening to people describe what they looked like (so I didn’t need to turn and look), share how they decentre themselves and lift up others (so I could remember that there is a difference between being connected and just being “there”) and that sometimes what we do is tricky (like trying to help a nearly-taller-than-you kid figure out how to glide forward and not fall down).

I have always really enjoyed the unique nature of MYFest (and now IEH), the way it invited in our whole selves (and kids, relatives, friends and hobbies), but I think it got me getting so busy I felt like I was missing out to realise it wasn’t wonderful just because we could bring our whole self to the development but also because we can bring MYFest out of “CPD”