No windows, no ceiling or floor – 30th September 2019

Woke up just before my alarm. In my dream, I was trying to enter a password for something but kept getting it wrong. Things are fairly normal at home. Normal is good. Why I write this is because all our cats are happy at the moment.

All the humans are happy too.

My last week at school. Very relaxed. Not sure about what is coming up next – well, actually, I am. It’s holiday time. LIve in the moment. Your job doesn’t define you.

Gratitude Journal

Playing sport with some of the school kids made me smile, even when I fell over and hurt myself! I smiled and laughed with Amy a lot this week, feeling better about things in general. I smiled coming to school knowing that a holiday is coming and I will be leaving this environment. I smiled at Kim Chi and Cap chasing each other around the house. I smiled when the big dead lizard made Amy jump a mile into the air!

9th Mar 2021 – When I think about working at schools in Thailand I can’t help but believe that I am there for the student’s education and I care more about them than the ‘adults’ working there, who I can generally take or leave. The Thai staff at the schools I have worked at have a different agenda entirely as far as I can tell.

We got that attitude! – 29th September 2019

Gratitude Journal

I’m happy and grateful to have people who care about me all over the world.

7th Mar 2021 – Today I added the post for 23rd October 1994 where I called back to my friends in England that I was missing very much. My collection of friends and acquaintances around the world has increased substantially since then and I am grateful to them all, no matter how minor our connections may have been.

The Chiang Rai Alternative Hour #05 – 28th September 2019

Music from All Right The Captain, Plastic Blues Band, Phleg Camp, Replacements, Tanjaret Daghet, Sweetheart, Mike Watt, Flin Flon, Drive Like Jehu/BlackPink, Keukhot, Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, Ruins, Free Salamander Exhibit, The Halo Benders, The Red Krayola, Eat Avery’s Bones, Idiot Flesh, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282.

Gratitude Journal

Thank you to me for always growing and learning. I know it has been hard but it got my where I am today.

I’m grateful for our friend Baew who always shows us kindness and caring. I’m thankful she is in our lives.

We got that attitude! – 27th September 2019

Even though a new job feels like it may involve more work, it is a relief to leave this current job.

When I think back to my other jobs I can identify a person who made life difficult in many of them. Sometimes I could handle it well but I have a great sense of injustice with many of them. I can’t control their personalities but find it difficult to control my own reactions.

I will try to improve.

Gratitude Journal

I am grateful for my mother and the respectful characteristics she instilled in me. She taught me to be independent and showed me how to do it.

27th Feb 2021 – It’s inevitable we start to see our parents in our own actions when we are older and have stopped fighting against them to find our own way. I was lucky my mum was a good one. I sometimes think about my old friends and their parents and wonder what quirks they now enact.

We got that attitude! – 26th September 2019

Yesterday I showed some resilience. Small things upset me in the morning and everything felt overwhelming again. After school, I went to the dentist. I think sitting under the drill settled me down again. At home, Amy was quite negative about being here in Thailand but I was the one telling her things aren’t that bad. I realised I had some strength and resilience I need to draw on more.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful that other people have shown an interest in working with me. It shows me that I am valued for my contributions.

Gratitude Journal

Today I’m looking forward to a job interview with another school. I’m looking forward to Hayden coming to visit in a couple of weeks’ time. My friend, Ellen, will also visit from China with lots of yummy Sichuan sauce. I’m looking forward to getting away from some people in this school where I work. I’m looking forward to time hanging around at home with Amy and our friends. I’m looking forward to the cooler weather of winter. Damn! I’m looking forward to a lot of things.

23rd Feb 2021 – Looking back on this looking forward is interesting. Some of the things I was looking forward to, didn’t necessarily turn out for the best but it was definitely the right way to approach all those things. I know some folks who anticipate the worst of the future and then feel pleasantly surprised when things turn out better than expected. I think I used to be like that but not these days. I’m much more of the thinking that even difficult tasks, events and situations are just occurrences and they will be over after a certain period of time regardless of what my thoughts are about them.

We got that attitude! – 25th September 2019

I dreamt I couldn’t find my socks so that I could go to school/work. Mum was there, although, I didn’t see her. She made me feel calm and I understood to work methodically to find them. I think my mum taught me patience – I surely tested hers.

Hayden will come to visit soon. I hope he can take away some life lessons from me. I should plan some things to talk with him.

Gratitude Journal

I learnt today that the sun still rises. No matter what. The old adage ‘it will pass’ is consistent, even if it doesn’t feel like it at times. I am grateful to the kids in my class. Day to day they don’t give a shit, yesterday’s problems are forgotten.

18th Feb 2021 – Sometimes I need an ego reset. Resume child-like wonder! This time was tough for me and I’m reminded now of one girl in another class getting really upset and angry at another student who made fun of her skin colour. I comforted her and told her she was a beautiful person and not to ever forget that. She looked up to me a lot after that. But now, I look up to her, as she and the bully run around playing together still.

Candle lights begin to glow – 24th September 2019

I dreamt about fire…and friends. We did our best to keep each other safe.

I still wake up during the night thinking about working with kids and how to get my mojo back and get rid of this dark cloud. It’s slowly lifting but I still need to do something to move it along. I want to learn to deal with this kind of feeling better.

Gratitude Journal

I smiled today when a P1 student came and gave me a hug.

15th Feb 2021 – Kids can be so perceptive sometimes. I obviously needed a hug.

Three things I am grateful for:

My friends who can show me support and the positive way. They make things feel better.
My wife who is a strong independent woman with a beautiful heart.
My cats who make me smile every day!

Peru resh! – 23rd September 2019

Chiang Rai, Thailand. Don’t forget where you are and everything it took to get you here. It’s been an amazing journey. But now you are here – what next?

“In enlightenment, there is no pleasure, no pain – just nameless ecstasies.” – Sadhguru

Hmm – enlightenment seems like something to aim for.

Learn to meditate.
Learn Thai.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful to meet Laetitia because she has a lot of energy and strives to do what she wants to do. I hope it can inspire Amy too.

14th Feb 2021 – Laetitia was a bright and bubbly French lady who was teaching at the same school as myself (and fell foul of the same stupidities that I did). She was in Thailand with her husband and two of her four kids. She had a can-do attitude and worked really hard and always came up with new ideas. Amy and I met with the family once to discuss a possible business proposal but despite their enthusiasm, we couldn’t see a way things would really work out. Soon after, I left the school and we didn’t see them so much. They seemed to have a lot of financial issues and eventually, if some stories are to be believed, they fled the country to Burma to avoid repaying their debts and this is what had led them to Thailand from France in the first place. Who knows where the truth may lie but I was even more grateful that we didn’t get involved in any business dealings and defer to Amy’s judgement on these things, that working with other people and their money will only lead to trouble.

23rd Mar 2021 – Along with starting the music podcast I also started reading more about Stoicism and discovering various email lists and blogs that dealt with mindfulness and self-help but with deeper thought than just the usual quotable influencers. I started this gratitude journal on this day and with very few exceptions haven’t missed a day where I have found something to be grateful for. Looking back to this time I can see a big change has happened in the things that I do day to day. Trying new things and testing myself in new ways. Whilst I guess this is inevitable across any 18-month period of time, this time it feels more like a serious decision to make some changes.