I AM sitting here waiting for my last governing body meeting at this school, where I have been head for over four years. Before that I was a head in another authority for seven years.
I am leaving at the end of term, and I will not be taking any more work in education. Like the deputy last week, I have decided there is more to life than anger and anxiety over things beyond my control, such as governors deciding my pay, the local education authority and the Office for Standards in Education banging on about raising standards but never recognising improvements in things WE think are important.
So I'm selling my house and moving down-market, and not working for a while.
All that ambition and self-development has resulted in a bit of cash, so I'll make the most of it!
I'm only47, and I've got a feeling that once I make room in my head, all sorts of good things will have space to grow. Maybe after a while I'll be able to sleep properly without worrying about the interminable list of jobs for which there are never enough resources. Maybe I will feel that all my principles and dedication, all my experience and commitment, haven't been a total waste of time. Maybe I'll remember that I have inspired a few children - and parents - and made a bit of a difference.
Because it's very difficult to think positively at the moment, and I owe it to myself to become the daughter, friend and lover I used to be - before headship.
Best wishes to all of you who have to hang in there.
West View Letchworth, Hertfordshire