Definitely not alone in the lack of mojo.
Anyways. From my perspective, the last 12 months have been an absolute rollercoaster of absolute highs and traumatic lows. Work has proven unrelenting - coupled with 6 months of single handly managing home education whilst Mrs BF poured her life and soul into Covid response. I’m coming out of Lockdown 3 tired and demoralised. The only real highlight has been that children have returned to school - meaning I can give work 98% of my energy from 0900-1730 (and 2000-2200 whilst I play catchup) (ACC gets the other 2%). With work I’m spending extended periods of time in front of a screen delivering training, running reports, doing data management, responding to emails - and whilst my face to face contact is starting to pickup again, it’ll take a while to get used to the new way of working. All this means that VPNs haven’t really happened for me. I’m still in routine contact with RAFAC pals from across the UK and I’m still discussing ideas and stuff to take forward, but it’s largely staff development work in the hope that’ll help me refocus.
What I really wasn’t expecting is the gradual build up of BS from on high. Maybe it’s just that we’ve been outside the system for a while now and not had to worry about it to much. But over the last 2 months I’ve seen a steady stream of BS raining down on us which is slowly eroding what little passion and drive I had left in me.
For an organisation which is promoting and championing mental health, I’ve seen a lack of compassion and understanding at all levels recently. Putting on weekday and weekend “chats” doesn’t address some of the issues we’re facing. They certainly aren’t helping me tune out the “noise” of emails in the inbox, surveys, “taskings”, audits, policy changes and, randomly, threats of “Civil Service investigations if we respond with hostility to permanent staff” (when I haven’t even had contact with any permanent staff - let alone had the opportunity to tell them to do one!!).
They also haven’t helped me address the seemingly growing mountain of faff which, until it’s addressed, is going to stop my cadets doing activities - which is actually what I want to crack on with.
I wonder if the experiences we’re having now are the same as those who’ve gone NEP for a year are similar, which is why so few return?