Boats, torpedoes and the ability to say ‘NO’!

8 April 2015

A few light years ago (well actually, on Saturday, but it feels like light years ago), I wrote about boats and what makes them go faster. I’ve taken the time – during various travels in the (still un-named) no-longer-so-new car – to take stock of the flotilla. For those of you who don’t ‘know my story’ …. once upon a time, I was a teacher. In fact, I was a teacher for over ten years and on various occasions, I still am one. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad thing. Not at all.

When I left teaching as a full-time day job, I didn’t leave the job because I hated it, had enough of the ludicrous workload, etc. I left to be a professional local, social and family historian and all that entails – writing, lecturing, case work, Heir hunting, people tracing…. I could go on. Teachers work long hours (I doubt anyone in the profession will tell you any differently!) though I can tell you one thing for certain – I work longer hours now, but that’s on my terms.

In my recent appraisal, I had a crucial ‘area for improvement’ which needed my urgent attention. I find ‘No’ a very difficult word to say, especially when I instinctively know I can ‘make a difference‘/’do a good job’ etc. etc. When I had ten private students on the books, I said ‘that’s it…. I have no more availability’. That was back in December and I now have fifteen. How did that happen?

How many lectures do I have in April? Well, four different ones in the next ten days! And how much client work do we have at FWL right now – we are inundated. That’s what happens when the word gets out what a good job we do here! So, as I have been driving around the countryside – oh yes, all those extremely potholed roads of Wiltshire/ Berkshire/Oxfordshire – I have been mentally listing (because writing when driving is not legal!) all the boats we have afloat at FWL and those which I personally try to keep above the water level. Once I listed over twenty, I lost count.

That’s crazy – that’s not individual client names, that’s just the wider circles of ‘what we do’. Boats, dinghies, yachts, ships, ferries, kayaks, canoes, motorboats….

I (personally) recently completed a Motivational Map to find out what makes me ‘tick’ – no great surprise to find that my primary and secondary motivators are ‘the searcher‘ – seeking meaning and making a difference – and ‘the creator‘ – seeking innovation, solution-orientated and cutting edge. Now that the list has been made, these are my main focus points when picking which boats should be allowed to sink (or consciously sunk) and how to do so in the most pleasant way. Can anyone lend a guiding hand with a torpedo or two? Any suggestions gratefully received.

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