I’m back! (sorta)

Dog Teilo on a beach with my hand holding a biscuit in front of him
Therapy dog on duty

I know you hadn’t noticed I was gone – there has been rather a LOT else going on after all. But after a bijou, hipster style breakdown, I’ve been offline (and off work) for about a month. During this time I did use a different blog as a kind of therapy, based around walking my dog. So if you like reading the thoughts of a self-pitying, middle aged man (it’s an undercrowded field after all), then you can at Walking with Teilo.

Anyway, some things I (re)learned in my absence:

It’s ok to not be ok. I have a strain of that protestant work ethic, British stiff upper lip thing going on. I don’t think I’ve had more than a couple of days off sick over the past decade. So, it felt just plain wrong to be taking a prolonged time off work. But, over a long career it’s naive to think you’re not going to have at least one such episode. As one of my favourite Electric Magnolia songs puts it, “no-one gets to be all right, all of the time“.

Quitting social media is easier than you think. With the exception of the lovely Books of Horror group on Facebook, I didn’t engage and once you stop then starting seems effort. I’m stepping back into that zone now, so this is not a quitlit post, but hey, giving up is not all that difficult.

You’re not as important as you think you are. I have lovely colleagues, and they carried on in my absence. It may have caused them extra work (sorry) but the OU didn’t collapse because I wasn’t there. This is a valuable lesson I think.

We’re still doing the ‘online learning is evil’ thing aren’t we? Sigh. When we live in an economy where people make their living playing games and streaming it on Twitch, it seems somewhat out of touch to feel that online learning is beyond the pale. I may start a ‘good things about online learning’ series, just for my own sanity.

Dogs are good. That is all.

Anyway, it’s good to be back. I think. Now, where were we?

17 Comments

  1. It is good to see you back, Martin, but it is equally as good to see you taking a break to recalibrate. Heaven knows these are exceptionally trying days that are a struggle to get through at the best of times. But….dogs and vinyl help (as does the occasional footie match) and I’d be lying if I didn’t say my daily timeline has been sorely lacking in both dog & vinyl postings, to say nothing about these blog posts on OpenEd and EdTech. Take care, my friend (I’ll leave the Spurs talk to another day because I don’t want to compound misery 😉

    1. Delighted you’re back. We may have kept the show on the road but it’s much more interesting and fun with you here too. Oh, and dogs really are the best 🙂

    2. Thanks Clint, expect a lowering in quality of that timeline. Spurs have been the perfect metaphor for my period off: things are ok, no – they’re terrible, this looks good, all will be well, no, it’s the worst it’s ever been – repeat 🙂

  2. Hope you are feeling better and better over time. Everyone hits their limit (I did myself) and needs to regroup. Take it slowly coming back.
    Very best wishes to you and yours.
    K

      1. Good to hear that you are back, Martin! Thank you for sharing how you feel and continously lead by example! All the best from Sweden! /Jörg

  3. Welcome to the club, Martin! I too had to learn to set new boundaries and that universities wittingly feed into our “status anxieties” (Alain de Botton) for their own financial ends. Now take care of your soul as you would for Teilo’s!

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