Dear BIC community,

As our world settles into a strange new "normal", all of us are having to adjust. I imagine all of us have, up until now, been operating at 100 miles per hour. We are all, always, so busy. We have jobs, families, friends, interests, worries, priorities, aspirations, ambitions. Life is hectic, complicated, rushed. We don't have enough time for the things and people that matter, we never feel we have done our "to do" list. So many people never feel satisfied. This virus has forced us to slow down.

Maybe not during the day, and indeed, for our children, we do not intend them to slow down. Our pledge remains - to provide an outstanding education to all our students. We know, from the feedback and emails, that this is an ever evolving and improving picture. Could we have more videos? More live sessions? Less rigidity? More work, less work, about right? During the day, we are all, I can assure you, working flat out to ensure that our school continues to provide an excellent education for all.

But outside of work? Well, we can't go out. We can't exercise. We can't socialise. We are trapped. As I am sure like many of you, I have been thinking long and hard about this, about my own "free time", even though I am not free to enjoy it as I so recently was. I am absolutely determined to stay positive, to count my blessings. I am equally determined not to waste away hours on social media or the internet. I am going to do all those simple things I have promised myself for so long, for years, but have always been far "too busy" to achieve. I am going to spend time away from any screen. I am going to read more. I am going to learn more from that reading. I am going to reflect on things more fully. I am going to be. And I am going to feel appreciative for that.

The purpose of life is not to get everything done. As we tick things off our "to do" list, new things replace them. All the time we are fixated on getting things done, we will never get a sense of calm and well-being. In reality, (almost) everything can wait. My auntie, who I am extremely close to, and who I should have been spending the forthcoming weekend with, along with my uncle, sent me a message last night that really resonated, a quotation from the global spiritual leader Thich Nhat Hanh: "We have a tendency to think in terms of doing and not in terms of being. We think that when we are not doing anything, we are wasting our time. But that is not true. Our time is first of all for us to be. To be what? To be alive, to be peaceful, to be joyful, to be loving. That is what the world needs most."

Amen to that.

Alison Colwell