*warning* swearing and real feelings ahead 😉
Hello! How are you?
I must admit I’ve not been so great lately…. and as a friend has challenged me recently, it’s time to take off the mask and get real!
Yes, I do tend to share the fun and frothy highlights reel here, most of us do even if we don’t blog (Hello Facebook, Hello Instagram) but beneath the surface life has been getting the better of me lately and I’ve been feeling rather down, demotivated and depressed over the past month. I’m sure I’m not alone.
To be honest with you I’ve even lost my blogging mojo and have been avoiding my inbox and computer for a good few weeks now.
The problem is that this past “festive season” hasn’t been particularly festive for me.
A couple of things have contributed to that…
We lost one of our very dearest friends in a horrific car accident just two weeks before Christmas and we’ve been struggling to process the meaning of it all. Especially how to come to terms with what this means for his wife and 2 small kids. To say it’s been hard is an understatement. It’s tougher than tough and over the past month both my husband and myself have found ourselves in tears at random times as we contemplate his life and what it means for ours…
Then a few days later I resigned from my job. A job I loved. A job that, on paper, was perfect for me. BUT I reached a point where I realised I needed to make a change. I was not coping. The amount of work was insane for someone working 30 hours a week. The relationship with my superior had soured and I was not being appreciated. My kids and husband were suffering more and more as my stress levels reached a breaking point and my own health and sanity was on the line. It was time.
But even though it was time and I made the decision to walk away it’s left me feeling like a complete failure. For longer than I ever thought it would. As an A-type personality this “failure” has hit me hard. I am not a quitter. I push through. I make things work. I try my best. I don’t give up. It’s just not who I am. Yet, here I was doing exactly that. I was giving up and walking away from something just because it was hard.
This change has knocked my self-confidence and it’s been at an all-time low for the past month and is, only now, creeping back up very slowly. Unfortunately, what I realised about myself is that my work was defining me as a person – and that is a very dangerous place to be. We all do it. But the fall out is that when our work no longer defines us, who are we??
I’m working on rediscovering who I am really. And trying to turn my view of failure around to become one of “lessons” instead. It’s hard, but I’m growing.
Other impactful occurrences this “festive” season include family fall-outs, friends struggling with mental illness, other friends struggling with grief, picking up more weight that I would have liked and the incessant wind that is the Cape South Easter!
Basically it’s been pretty shite
I spent most of 1 January 2016 in bed feeling seriously down. My hopefulness of New Years Day’s gone by had vanished and in it’s place was cynical me.
You see, what I’ve realised this “festive season” is that it’s not festive at all. In fact it can be the hardest part of the year for many people. If not all. Anyone who’s lost someone. Anyone who’s missing someone. Anyone who is struggling – mentally, emotionally, financially. It’s freakin’ hard.
Up until last year I hadn’t realised how sad it can be. But now I know.
As someone blessed to still have all my close family around, living in the same city as me, Christmas has always been filled with joy and fun, friendship and laughter. But it’s not always this way. In fact my eyes have been opened to what the reality actually is.
Life: It’s farking hard.
So, where am I now?
I’m probably the lowest I’ve ever been. And for someone who would be described as an outgoing optimist this is hard. I’m not depressed. But I’m struggling.
The kids went back to school about 2 weeks ago… and I’ve barely done anything productive since.
I sorted out my cupboard. Laundry. Kitchen. Bathroom. Accessories. Underwear. Blog products. I’ve been trying to clear some of my head space – can you tell?
But it’s not all doom and gloom. What I can report is that I’m totally in the right place. I’m taking one day at a time. One experience. One opportunity. One door.
- I’m so grateful I can be there to drop my new Grade R at the classroom, and fetch her at the gate instead of only at the aftercare. She’s been struggling too. So we’re in this hard place together her and I.
- I’m easing myself back into my work life with a little bit of freelance writing and editing and I’m loving working from my own desk with a cup of rooibos and the sun streaming in the windows while listening to the birds (including a Fish Eagle) calling outside.
- I’ve started running. Yes don’t fall over. I signed up to the local Run/ Walk for Life and (very slowly) I’m getting fit. I have to. I have high cholesterol, crazy stress levels and a tyre around my tummy that needs to go. It’s only been 3 runs so far but I’m feeling positive that I’ll be fitter this year than I’ve even been before.
- I’ve seen a biokinetist (on my husband’s prompting) to help sort out my lower back pain and get me doing some strength training.
- I’ve been reconnecting with various friends and family over a mid-morning cup of coffee. Without any guilt. You see what I’ve learnt through all of this is that relationships rank right up there in terms of priorities. Neglect them at your peril because before you know it the person you love won’t be there anymore – they might have moved to another country or on to another (eternal) life. So I had coffee with my mom for the first time in 2 years… for a while we didn’t even know what to talk about. Until we did. And then we couldn’t stop.
So my priorities have been re-adjusted for the year.
God. Relationships. Health. All the rest can follow after!
And my word for 2016?
There you have it. My life lately. It’s not been pretty, but it’s been real.
And I hope it’s given you some insight as to why my posts have been a bit sporadic these past few weeks…. Thanks for understanding. I’m hoping to find my mojo again shortly 😉