I think it’s time for a more personal update…
I was doing so well with my Life Lately posts and getting one out each month earlier this year. Fortunately I’ve only skipped September but I can’t go another month without one…
So, where am I at? To be honest I’m probably the most settled and satisfied I’ve been ALL YEAR.
YAY. That is very good news.
Every other month I’ve started by mentioning how stressed and stretched I am. This one is different. Yes, I’ve still got a million things I’ve juggling (who doesn’t?) but I’ve been finding I’m managing it all a bit better.
A few things have contributed to this…
1. I’m home
We’re back in our house and feeling far more settled. Yes, there are still a few boxes to unpack, pictures to hang, tiles to seal and install, light fittings to choose, curtains to buy etc etc. The snag list is pretty endless BUT we’re in and we’re so very happy with our new space. I’m planning a Renovation Reveal series but it will come when everything is a bit more finished. Hang in there!
2. I’m decluttering
Speaking of space… another contributing factor to my more relaxed state is the space. Our newly renovated home has so much more space. Not that we built on too much. We just tried to configure what we had in a more useful way and it’s made the world of difference. This November we have owned our home for 15 years and although it served us well for all that time, it’s be awesome to have more space to live in. It’s giving me so much joy. We’ve also gone with a far simpler aesthetic and lots of white paint which I think has a really calming effect. I’m trying my darndest to simplify and get rid of things we no longer use, want or need. It’s not easy. As someone who grew up with parents who hung on to everything (just in case!) I find it very hard to let go. My husband not so much. He chucks everything. Even birth certificates (but we won’t go there!!) I bought Marie Kondo’s book called The Life-changing Magic of Tidying and although I haven’t done a ruthless sort out like she suggests I’ve definitely been following a few of her principles and I hope to continue to the process of simplification. One great thing about packing up all your stuff into storage and then unpacking again (OK probably the ONLY good thing) is that it does make you realise how little you actually need to live with, and then totally appreciate the things you do own when you unpack them all again. The kids have been LOVING rediscovering the old toys. I’ve been enjoying a more varied wardrobe selection again and even finding that I don’t feel any desire to go clothes shopping at all. How bizarre…. and brilliant! Our budget is loving the new me!
3. I’ve got back into my running.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not a runner. Never ever thought I would be. Never ever wanted to be. Except I realised that my health needs me to be! So in January I joined the local branch of Run/Walk for Life with a friend. Unfortunately she had to drop out due to baby sitting issues but I kept going and recruited a few friends to join me and met a few new friends. They are all MUCH better and faster than me. I pretty much suck. Running is hard! There is not one morning when I jump out of bed and feel excited about going running. Those people who said it would get easier lied. So when life got a bit hectic and the weather turned and I went traveling I dropped out of my routine and found it was far easier to stay in bed a bit longer and forgo the cold, wet road. Finally I found my motivation again. A very tiny sliver. I started up again after the October school holidays and have said to myself that I need to go at least twice a week. I went 3 times this past week. I should get a medal! I am still stuck on 5km’s. I’m not going any faster. BUT I’m going. And that is something. I’m proud of me. I’m going to try and keep it up. Like I said it’s still really hard but it’s really worth it. For my mood and my stress levels and my health… PS. I need to check my cholesterol. That was the main motivation at the beginning of the year so it’s next on my list of health checks.
Late afternoon beach walks (or piggy backs) are what holidays are all about… and Roald Dahl audiobooks, Friesland milkshake runs, endless games of pool, quad-biking, game drives, Shamrock pies, too many cokes, sand-boarding, shell-collecting, sandcastle-building and as many cuddles as we can squeeze in! So grateful for this fun family time together… And a chance to step out of the routine and reconnect! #familyholidays #familyfun #fun #family #holiday #travel #familytravel #beach #wildcoast #transkei #southafrica #familytime #piggyback #becomingyou
4. I’ve been looking after me.
This past month I’ve been to the Dermatologist for a mole check, the Gynae for an annual checkup, Style Bar for a few overdue highlights and a few wonderful spa’s for massages and facials. It’s been a good month. It’s so NB to not neglect yourself in the crazy busy of life. It’s essential to schedule time for your annual health checks and put your mind to rest should there be anything untoward bothering you (a close friend is battling breast cancer and another had a melanoma transfer to their lymph so I’m being a bit more concerned about the C word!) It’s also essential to get a little bit of pampering in every now and again. Even if it’s just a quick pedi in a pretty colour. I find pretty nails, freshly washed hair and a slick of bright lipstick really make life a bit better!
5. I’m listening to my body.
Renovations have taken it out of me. I’m shattered. Bone tired. The tired that goes with the first trimester of pregnancy (I AM NOT PREGNANT). It’s quite weird to feel this tired for me. It probably has something to do with going through the extreme stressors of renovating, working, traveling, mothering, blogging – all at the same time. Anyway I’ve decided not to beat myself up about it. A few days ago I was forcing myself to sit at my desk in the late afternoon after a morning of working and then an afternoon of lifting kids around. I had work to do and a deadline to meet but I was totally useless. Yes, I was typing but I was not in a creative space at all. My brain was offline. But in my mind I wouldn’t allow myself to go and lie down even though my bed is 1m from my desk. No, Type-A was damned if she would permit a break before work was complete. And it was completely ridiculous. Taking an hour out to lie down and rest my weary body and brain would have been FAR more productive in that moment. Our bodies know what we need. They are, in fact, our true bosses…. if we don’t listen to them we will burn out and be of no use to anyone, especially our bosses! And so, the next day, I lay down for a recharging nap. OK I realise it’s not possible for everyone. Most of you work in an office, many more have mischievous toddlers who need watching every moment of every day. I’ve been there!! Fortunately I’m in the sweet spot of parenting where my kids are now old enough to leave mom alone for an hour and NOT get into trouble. Thank the Lord! I’m not planning to make this a daily habit (although if you have babies or toddlers that sleep over lunchtime then by all means please do!!!) If you aren’t able to catch up during the week then maybe aim to spend an hour or two resting or sleeping on the weekend. I did that not once, but twice this past weekend. I won’t say I didn’t feel a little bit guilty that I wasn’t climbing the mountain or attending the polo or shopping at the Christmas markets. I had been invited to do all 3 and I just didn’t. I stayed home and I slept. It was probably the best use of my time in terms of my body and mind! Cheers to listening to my body and trying to actively managing my stress levels! Taking time out to recharge instead of ploughing on with work when I’m really not doing my best is a step in the right direction for achieving a more balanced me.
6. I’ve shared my load
This past month I’ve recruited a 6 wonderful Beauty Babes to help me out here on Becoming you with some extra beauty-centric blog posts. It’s lifted a huge burden from my shoulders and I’m so thrilled to have them on board. The guilt of my beauty cupboard was overwhelming me and I had no solution in sight as blogging about beauty is incredibly time consuming – trial, photograph, research, write. It’s probably one of the most time-consuming sides of my site. I’m hoping this new series will be a semi-solution. I will still be writing about beauty too but sharing the load is going a long way to making me feel more relaxed.
7. We reconnected as a family
Family holidays are so good for the soul. We spent a week traveling in the Wild Coast – a part of SA I had never explored – and it was a tonic. Time away from the normal routines and pressures making fun family memories is a wonderful way to reconnect as a family. We needed it. Living life out of our home was hard for us all. I underestimated how disruptive it would be for the kids and they took strain, mostly because we were taking strain. Kids are super perceptive and are not immune to reading your stress levels and taking them on themselves. We all loved spending time together. Uninterrupted, screen-free, fresh air filled time. Walks on the beach, games of pool, 4×4 safari’s, roadside picnic’s, time for chats. It was special. Keep an eye out for the upcoming series of posts about the spots we stayed at and the adventures we had…
Our Wild Coast family adventure is almost over but it wouldn't be complete without a visit to this iconic landmark… Hole in the Wall. Created millions of years ago through the unceasing action of waves against soft sandstone and shale that are capped with hard volcanic dolerite rock. It is the source of many legends in the Xhosa culture and known as the gateway to the world of their ancestors. The local name is esiKhaleni, which means ‘the place of sound’. #wildcoast #Transkei #holeinthewall #easterncape #southafrica #familyholiday #familytravel #familyfun #family #holiday #travel #instatravel #instafun #sea #wild #roadtrip #becomingyou
So that’s me. How are you??? I’d love to hear from you so please leave a comment below!