Back to school

3 Sep 2022
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I used to volunteer with a student who was described to me as being a little bit rude, and I was told that I could keep him in line by telling him he wasn’t allowed to be rude to me.  

From day one, I found him a joy to work with. He had so much to say and, once I worked out his key, he was like a puppy - energetic, impatient and enthusiastic. I miss working with him and hope eventually I hear what he ended up doing in life.

I wonder what my key is. I recognised his so quickly (and it was only for one aspect of his life - school) but I can’t read my own for love nor money. Do you think if we each discover our key, the things that align to allow us a flow state, that we will thrive rather than just exist? Do we each have a key just waiting to be found?

I’m sitting on the back bench, the dregs of late-summer sun reaching my face and I’m sure this has to be part of my key. It’s certainly a very contented moment.  

Love from

The room above the garage 

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

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Comments

Ach UK

Sept. 4, 2022, 6:15 a.m.

Good morning Ratg, I have a key cupboard with lots of hooks for keys, keys in groups on key rings, keys with plastic fobs and omg, two biscuit tins with a plethora of loose keys in. :--))) Trouble is I've forgotten what many of them are for and also where are their locks ? :--). A lifetime of locks and keys . . . I do recognise many of them and they carry a label or an instantly memorable shape, some will turn easily, some with trepidation. Some have a spare lodged with friends :--))). . . . The keys to my heart, my hearth and my home. Your blog reminds me some need oiling. XX Ach.

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the room above the garage

Sept. 4, 2022, 12:37 p.m.

I too have a tin! It’s fairly small, an old hot chocolate tin. I edited it when my son was wee because he loved playing with keys, I had plenty that I’d lost track of which he adored. I thought it was now just keys that I know and use…but no :-D on quick inspection there are plenty I’ve lost track of yet again!

Oli

Sept. 4, 2022, 7:07 a.m.

I love the lock and key metaphor ratg -- that's how I see the world too. When I understand something it's like it's happening to me -- understanding, and confidence are feelings and are like sensations. They are kind of like pain: it feels like it's happening to you. So when I'm certain, I'm sensing it, it's happening. (Which is why "positive affirmations" can feel so fake: you can say the words but feel nothing. Nothing happens to if you don't feel confidence in the idea.) [Looking into the mirror]: "I am a worthy, loveable person." [Looking back at you]: Are you sure about that, sunshine? I like the lock and key idea because when an idea "clicks" you feel it. You feel the lock open and what was hidden behind the door is visible and clear. For me, I really enjoy lock picking with other people -- helping them open doors they've been tugging against for years sometimes but haven't noticed the (often simple) lock that needs turning first. With myself, I've often made the mistake of over-complicating simple locks. Simple things that keep me stuck. Most locks are very simple. A simple bolt is more than capable of keeping a door shut. It's not complicated -- but you have to unbolt the door first before it can open.

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The Gardener

Sept. 4, 2022, 8:25 a.m.

Oli, I had a door I always blocked with a duster or something to stop it closing completely, metal door, scared of being shut in. Lady who cared for house while I was away 'tidied' it away. I could not open it, called in usual 'help'. He twisted it, opened straight away! I had been turning handle to right, locked it! ****** French door, opened to the left, did I feel an idiot!

Oli

Sept. 4, 2022, 8:31 a.m.

Exactly correct. (Not an idiot though.)

the room above the garage

Sept. 4, 2022, 12:41 p.m.

Hello Oli, what you said about it “happening” and being a sensation, I completely understand that. (There is something reassuring about keys and locks, I hope we don’t change everything into smart technology, scares me a bit to be honest!)

Sarah yellow rose

Sept. 4, 2022, 7:09 a.m.

Hi Ratg, thank you for your great blog. One key I notice of yours is your commitment to writing your blog for Moodscope. I get a feeling of calm safety from reading them. Xx

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the room above the garage

Sept. 4, 2022, 12:46 p.m.

Hello Sarah, what a great thing for me to read, thank you! I’m interested that you get a feeling of “calm safety” - I usually write them in a ‘bubble’ i.e. I settle somewhere quiet, where I’ll be undisturbed, with a mug of tea, and ignore everything else going on. I suppose I’m then in a bubble of “calm safety”. I love your description.

Sarah yellow rose

Sept. 4, 2022, 1:22 p.m.

Thank you, this morning I woke thinking I’m looking forward to your blog, as I do all who contribute. We joined Moodscope at roughly the same time. I was going to say that your key is being reliable, not just with Moodscope but with your family and the young people you help. I changed it to commitment. Reliable felt as if I was reliant therefore adding pressure. I think words can be powerful and I always aim to be positive. I know I’m sensitive and others on Moodscope understand as they are too. I appreciate this community as it’s so supportive. Your bubble of calm safety radiates xx

the room above the garage

Sept. 4, 2022, 6:22 p.m.

I remember, you were Sarah and then added yellow rose since there was another Sarah! It’s been lovely walking with you all this while xx

Jul

Sept. 4, 2022, 7:43 a.m.

Morning ratg When I first read your blog, I took from it that you wondered what made us tick, what was the "key" to our view on life and personalities. I have just reread it and see that you mean what is the key that will open a door to allow us to flow through life more smoothly. I would like a door to be unlocked which led me into a beautiful sunny landscape where I had no anxious thoughts and could just drift for one day. Jul xx

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Bearofliddlebrain

Sept. 4, 2022, 9:23 a.m.

Jul, I always imagine you doing exactly that when you turn the key in the lock of the door of your house in France….stepping through to Narnia and peace, quiet and restful. Bear hugs x x x

Jul

Sept. 4, 2022, 9:36 a.m.

Bear. You are right!! I was just saying that very same thing to my OH. BTW we always use the red purse for our Euro coins. Jul xx

Bearofliddlebrain

Sept. 4, 2022, 9:43 a.m.

Lurve that!! Bear x x x

the room above the garage

Sept. 4, 2022, 12:50 p.m.

Hello Jul, you’ve just done a very powerful thing - used your imagination to see what you would like. Now you are a step closer to that reality! It will happen xx

Chris

Sept. 4, 2022, 8:29 a.m.

By key I presume the word passion can be substituted. I don't think I am passionate about anything, the nearest I get to this is cycling which I enjoy and am very motivated to do. I believe I am having what my therapist described as a depressive episode and as such I find lots of things I previously got a lot of enjoyment from hard to motivate myself to do. I thank goodness that I believe I have large reserve's of willpower and I think this serves me well! When I was an Occupational therapy assistant working on psychiatric ward I would say to patients "Simple advice, when you find something you enjoy keep doing it"!

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the room above the garage

Sept. 4, 2022, 12:55 p.m.

Hello Chris, sorry to hear you’re not feeling tip top and I hope it’s not too long before life steadies again. Are you still feeling motivated to cycle? Motivation is the first thing to go for me and it’s very frustrating. But you can’t always fake it and I do believe our bodies and minds are sometimes just letting us know that they need listened to. I’m glad you have willpower, that will serve you well. It’s good to see you, staying connected through tougher times can be a real help.

The Gardener

Sept. 4, 2022, 8:37 a.m.

I need a door and a key with a able 'contentment and acceptance'. I have loads of things to do, I need nothing, except, and a big 'except' conversation, communication, company of the young and something to write about/for, desperately missed. I AM a grouch at the moment. Covid, Brexit, not driving in UK have put unexpected restraints on my life (ignoring age). Last week's blog on the drama getting back from UK was not a 'one off'. So, it was August, but no strikes, famous French 'Manifs' (demos) in fact, what passes for normality. Life IS getting more difficult, travel in particular, which means 'acceptance' that seeing my family will be more difficult. I see Southern Ireland doing as much as possible with France, paper work anything to do with rest of Britain. Away from blog? A few years ago I had a blog 'Harnessing Percy' (perseverance). That's the key I need now. Your seat sounds nice ratg, I have several in my garden. Will take occupations and look at lovely church. Not religious, but 'Think on these things'. ***

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The Gardener

Sept. 4, 2022, 8:40 a.m.

It is from the Bible, lovely quote 'Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are lovely' etc etc 'Think on these things''. Could be summed up 'Stop grouching'.

Bearofliddlebrain

Sept. 4, 2022, 9:28 a.m.

No, TG, not stop grouching necessarily, your ‘pain’ at the moment is the inability to be with the younger people you want to share stories with, communicate and to have meaningful conversations…go sit in one of your numerous benches around the garden and drink in the smells, the sounds and the sights - be in the now for a little while and hopefully the things you can’t do anything about will melt into the background. Love and Bear hugs x x x

the room above the garage

Sept. 4, 2022, 12:58 p.m.

Hello TG, you are not a grouch and you are not grouching. You are a hugely intelligent woman who needs connection to thrive, and it’s not always possible. That is not grouching, it’s a mismatch and I wish I could make it different. Lunch out today?

Bearofliddlebrain

Sept. 4, 2022, 9:42 a.m.

Lovely, just lovely Ratg. From seeing the key for that boy to sitting mulling it over on your bench, this was a lovely well-crafted blog again and I do think that this shows one of your ‘keys’ is your kindness (volunteering - then and what you do some weekends currently). Then there is your thoughtfulness - you sought and found out just what this lad needed and he thrived with you. Giving: you give your time to your liddle family and to us, your Moodscope family, every week. Generosity of spirit in all the above and the replies you give when you are able to…all summed up by the song that sprang into my head when I read ‘key’ (from the name of the album by Stevie Wonder: ‘Isn’t she lovely, isn’t she wonderful…’ one of the Songs in the Key of Life. I don’t know if I’ve found my key - I know I need to wild swim, I have to walk the doggits and being with them is a pleasure; I know I should keep my gardening up - so I think the fresh air is one of my ‘keys’…and being with lovely people who make me happy and vice versa. Sorry, a ramble from a ramblie Bear! Love, thanks and Bear hugs x x x

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the room above the garage

Sept. 4, 2022, 1:01 p.m.

Oh not a ramble, I loved it! One of your keys is definitely wild swimming and having a meeting of minds with those who enjoy it with you. You have thrived ever since you discovered it! I am going to look out that song, right now, I love it! He has such a unique voice, instantly recognisable ***

Teg

Sept. 4, 2022, 4:23 p.m.

Hi Mrs Bear Your key is your empathy. You have a knack of placing yourself in others situations and understanding their feelings. Your empathetic consistency on this blog is incredible. ps Hope Mr Bear enjoyed his bit of nostalgia with Stevie W! Txx

Bearofliddlebrain

Sept. 4, 2022, 4:50 p.m.

Aw fanksch to you Ratg - and I hope you found the song. Teg - you are ve ve kind…I appreciate your words here whenever you write to us all, thank you…yes we both enjoyed Stevie Winwood!! Funny how I’ve written above, about the other Big Stevie W today! ;-)*. Bear x

Moss

Sept. 4, 2022, 12:19 p.m.

I think the major key is love, of self and others, that casts out fear and judgement and criticism and gives courage to go through the doors.The Gardener's acceptance and contentment door is an archway to new ground that I would like to be on. But that is paradoxical as embracing the current state is essential before moving anywhere else is possible. I tie myself in knots!

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the room above the garage

Sept. 4, 2022, 1:04 p.m.

Hello Moss, far from tying yourself in knots you have perhaps just mapped out perspective for yourself. Once you know where you are, you can feel better…even if you can’t reach the next bit, you know it’s there.

Bearofliddlebrain

Sept. 4, 2022, 4:51 p.m.

I like how you wrote that Moss and fathomed it out! Bear x

RC

Sept. 4, 2022, 1:40 p.m.

Hi RATG, I think my key is finding a sense of purpose in my life which is a little low at the moment. I am aware that I mustn’t do too much else my energy levels drop but I so want to get back into volunteering. I’m starting to find my purpose by attending art and yoga classes and then, hopefully, volunteering at an animal rescue centre walking dogs or cleaning out the fluffy bunnies! ;-) Take care Thanks for your thoughts this week RC xx

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the room above the garage

Sept. 4, 2022, 6:27 p.m.

Hello RC, volunteering is a bit of a lifeline for me, it helps me as I can’t think of anything in my own life when I volunteer therefore it’s a ‘rest’. But it is very easy to give more than we have, I’m lucky that at least two of my roles are time controlled by me so I can dip in and dip out as energy levels fluctuate. I suspect the animal volunteering will be emotional but hugely wonderful!

Patty

Sept. 4, 2022, 2:24 p.m.

I was a substitute teacher for a time. I always liked to relate to the students. One thing I would do is implement my own things in with the teachers program. I liked to read stories from Chicken Soup For The Soul after lunch or whenever. The kids really enjoyed those short stories. I also implemented puppets and singing from a Kindermisic program i took with preschoolers and kindergartens. That was very fun. I think I was good with the kids and reaching them where they were. Finding the key to them. Thank you for the bl9g and reminding me of these enjoyable times in teaching.

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the room above the garage

Sept. 4, 2022, 6:28 p.m.

Oh gosh that book, I forgot I had it! Digging it out for a bedtime read!

Teg

Sept. 4, 2022, 4:33 p.m.

Good evening RATG I think your key is comfort and warmth(C & W). These attributes are apparent every Sunday in your Posts. You provide loads of C& W to all our Moodscope friends. The contentment you feel relaxing on your bench shows C & W at it's best. I realise now why you write on Sundays. It is the day of rest and C&W! I think my key is humour; it unlocks so many doors. It provides smiles and laughs, breaks ice and friendships thrive on it. Txx

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the room above the garage

Sept. 4, 2022, 6:33 p.m.

Teg, thank you! C&W is a keeper statement, I’m blessed :-D I didn’t intentionally pick Sundays (I used to just write randomly and submit a few blogs at a time for anytime), then when I tried writing weekly, Caroline slotted me in to Sundays. I wonder how we’d all feel if we swapped around…completely out of sorts I bet!! I’m currently back outside in the end of the day, it’s a magical time. The sounds…

Sally

Sept. 4, 2022, 6:27 p.m.

Hello Room. You put me in mind of a student I had, who was trouble on two legs in class, but on a one-to-one with me, a joy. Take students seriously and they’ll blossom. I didn’t do that master/servant bit.. Establishing a relationship was paramount, one of mutual trust . I think the key was starting from where they were, and building on that, with plenty of praise and high expectations along with humour. You say you’d love to discover your key…I think you possibly know it really? When things are going swimmingly for me, I feel I have the key, but it is so elusive!

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the room above the garage

Sept. 4, 2022, 6:35 p.m.

Sally, what a lovely teacher you are…you sound like you are on side and that is all really that is needed. The finger waggy master/servant obey will never build trust or even respect. I’d have liked to have had lots of teachers like you.

Bearofliddlebrain

Sept. 5, 2022, 6:20 a.m.

Me too! Would have loved a few more Sally-teachers xx

Teg

Sept. 5, 2022, 6:31 a.m.

Hi Sally "Mutual trust". A great phrase and the cornerstone of any relationship. Have a lovely holiday. txx

Lexi

Sept. 5, 2022, 1:50 p.m.

Hi RATG, late to this. I was once told that in order to be successful I just needed to get out of my own way. At 53 I am still trying to get out of my own way lol xo.

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