Life Lately – January 2016

*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?

trust

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 😉

 

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Kathryn Rossiter

Kathryn is a South African lifestyle blogger and mom of 2 who has been blogging daily for over 9 years! She writes about travel, health, beauty, fashion, decor and family... but not food (unless it's food she's eaten made by someone else) as she is a hopeless cook. She only wakes up early for 2 things... a red-eye flight to somewhere exotic and early morning game drives. She has just finished an extensive home renovation and would prefer to never see another box again. She's never met a chocolate or glass of bubbles that she didn't like!

14 Comments
  1. Ai babes. So sorry to hear about all of this.

    Festive?! I wish. You are not alone with that one. Honestly, the last 3 New Years I’ve experienced have been filled with tears and uncertainty. Only getting to grips with a few things now.

    Life is hard. And sometimes completely shit. But we dust ourselves off and get on with it. We don’t have much choice. Just know that you have people who care (more than you probably know!).

    God. Relationships. Health… will be my focus too. You are very wise.

    All the best! xx

    1. Aaaaah Charlene. Thanks so much for your comment. It helps so much knowing others have gone before you and come out the otherside…. and of course it’s great to know there are people who care. Thank you xx

  2. I have to say this, because I feel like it needs to be said: Sometimes it takes breaking completely apart to be reformed.

    I am so proud of you, and I am so inspired by your ability to discover and introspectively select your way past the chaos, madness and sadness: you have found the good, despite the barrage of bad.

    All power to you my friend! Trust X

  3. Hang in there! It takes things breaking apart for them to fall back together, and when they do, you’ll stand back and see a prettier picture. It takes a very strong person to know when to walk away so don’t see it as a failure. I like to think of it it like trying to pick up the pieces of a broken mirror – you’ll just end up getting hurt and it’s very tough trying to be passionate about something you’re not fully committed to. Change is good and inevitable, you’ve grown and now it’s time to start a new journey.

    Festive seasons are a sore point for me, having my family divided in all corners of the world is shit, to say the least. It’s a sad reminder of the remains left after two divorces and a family that was once a unit, now split and trying very hard not to mention the elephant in the room and work around trying to give everyone some of your time, while desperately hanging onto sanity. It’s hard, exhausting and a constant weight on the shoulder, not to mention the expense that comes with all the expectations.

    But we take the good – no matter how little there is – and we use them as the motivation to make tomorrow a better, brighter one. We continue on, realizing that building yourself up is not an overnight thing and that it takes constant support, love, encouragement and nurturing from family, friends and most importantly ourselves – we need to be kinder to ourselves!

    Good luck, I trust that February brings you better days.

  4. Lovely read. I’m sure many can relate. And well done for taking steps in the right direction. Real feelings and lives expressed on social media is imperative for healthy community so thank you!

    You’re doing great! See you on the road (running!)

  5. Send you SO much love, Kath! I’m so sorry that the holiday season was anything BUT festive for you – but know that your words have inspired me, and so many others, I’m sure. You’re so strong, and this post and the way you’re handling everything that’s going on in your life right now is testament to that. Good on you for recognising that your job wasn’t working out for you and that it was impacting your health and family life, before it was too late! I’ve struggled with similar issues before, and I feel like I’m currently going through it again with a client. I know I need to let go of this client, but I feel so guilty!

    “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. This is exactly what I'm going through, but reading your post made something click. It's ok. It's ok to give up and quit – ESPECIALLY if it's to the betterment of your family, relationships and health. You are so, so right. Thank you for helping me to see this, too.

    And lastly, I am so sorry for your loss. How unbelievably heartbreaking 🙁 I have no words to explain what the reasons for your friend's death may be, or even words of comfort to offer you. All I can say is that I am sorry, and I'm sending you so much love. Look after yourself, my friend xx

  6. Im actually in tears…I thought I was the only one whos mojo got stuck in 2015..we hve a saying at work due to all of us going thru lost loved ones..unemployment of someone close etc: We still in 2015..it just wen into a new year but 2016 hasnt started…we try uplifting each other every morning with lil laughs but we know we have pain and as colleagues we cannot truly breakdown as its work but we at least make the day bearable. ..so I commend you and wish you strength…with each day I wish you insight and wisdom and for those days you might feel less ‘human’ heres my shoulder…you’re not alone

  7. This is just beautiful. Thank you for sharing – makes the rest of us who have the same feelings know we are not crazy or alone! Life can be hard, brutal and unfair but I’ve also been reminded about how each day needs to be lived. How we need to appreciate our loved ones while they are with us and how life is about creating memories and not about ‘stuff’. One never knows the value of a moment until it’s a memory. Xx

  8. That’s really brave … not many people will admit that the end of the year is only really enjoyed by children and builders … hope you can carry on with your blog: have only just got to it and love it already!

  9. Thank you for sharing Kathryn, I think so many of us feel just like this from time to time. Thank you for putting it out there and making us all feel that it’s okay! I am glad you are on track and doing things FOR YOU! Here’s to a refreshing 2016 x

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