A birthday always puts me in a reflective mood and over the last few days I’ve started having my annual freak out/mini life crisis/review of the year. It’s the sort of feeling that many tend to get around New Years but as my birthday is so close to the end of the year I go through it earlier on. I don’t expect this to change now that I’m firmly in my thirties because every year I feel like there’s more expectation (mostly from myself) to achieve goals and strive to be a better, more fulfilled, happier, healthier person. Sometimes I find it exhausting because ultimately we’re striving for the impossible and constantly trying to achieve some kind of ‘perfection’ that doesn’t really exist and cannot really give us true happiness. But, I digress, and before this gets too deep and philosophical I wanted to reflect on my year. Excuse the self indulgence (but isn’t that what a blog really is?!) but I just wanted to think about parts of my life over the past year..
To blog or not to blog…that is the question!
I was really scared about writing and publishing a blog. I still am! I started ‘blogging’ whilst travelling, taking photos and recording my thoughts on some of the places that I visited and I found that relatively easy because I was so inspired by all I was doing and seeing. This year has been much harder, especially over the last six months. I’m proud to say I have a proper blog space and a place to call my own and I’m proud of my content but over the last few months especially I have struggled and felt like writers block was setting in.
Firstly, blogging is time consuming and having started a new job this year (more on that later!) during my evenings and weekends I haven’t felt like doing very much at all. Secondly, and I think more importantly, I’ve found it hard to know how honest to be with you. I really admire (and engage with) bloggers who bear their soul and talk about things that aren’t always easy to talk about, be it mental health, female friendship, attitudes towards health and fitness etc. I respond best to the people who do sometimes share things that aren’t always easy to talk about. But trying to be that person myself is hard as I don’t always feel like I want everyone to know how I’m feeling and therefore for me it’s easier to write a post about my favourite lipstick than to talk about something more personal. I’m always going to want to write about health and beauty but I hope next year I’ll be a little braver in talking about other things too.
As many of you know I went on a bit of a ‘journey’ with my career this year. I started out in January back in a job that wasn’t right, rather deflated after coming back to it after months of travelling, knowing that if I was going to change career then it was now or never. I worked with a careers coach which I found very difficult and although it was interesting at times I didn’t feel like I got enough out of it to justify the expense.
I was unemployed for three months which was tough and there were days where I’d not leave my pyjamas or the sofa and every single trip outside the flat would become a ‘big deal’ that I built up in my head. Too much time spent alone and in my head was not a good place to be although I did enjoy having the time to devote to my blog. For anyone who struggles with being alone like I do, I’d say try to get out as frequently as you can, go to a park, listen to music, grab a coffee, but do something to get out and about because spending all day every day inside will not be conducive to good mental health.
However there was light at the end of the tunnel after a thankless few months of job hunting, and for the first time in my life I genuinely feel happy to talk about my job to anyone who will listen. I used to avoid the subject of work at all costs but now I openly talk about what I do and where I work and it gives me a lot of satisfaction and contentment. It’s not perfect (nothing ever is) but I feel like all the uncertainty and stress of the last year was justified.
The other night I was out with Phil and some of his younger female colleagues and I just felt like his ancient wife. I was seeing all the girls enjoying themselves and my brain irrationally started thinking about how much more carefree they were because they were younger and weren’t having to worry about the possibility of having to have kids in the next few years. Poor Phil had no hope of understanding how I was feeling!
But I know I’m not the only one of my peers who’s unsure about how they feel about children, that in theory wants them but doesn’t want to have to give up their bodies and potentially stall their careers and change their lives to have them. On a daily basis I find myself conflicted between broodiness and the opposite of broodiness (is there a word for that?). It’s something that I know I should write about properly because I don’t think I’m the only person to feel this way. The battle in my head isn’t going to get resolved over night but in case anyone reading this feels the same then you’ll know that you’re not alone.
Worth the weight..
Over the last few months I’ve been annoyed at myself for putting on weight and not feeling motivated enough to exercise. I’m always feeling guilty, and making excuses (such as I work hard, I leave work too late, I’m too tired – all true but nonetheless excuses). I am realistic in the fact that I know trying to go on a diet/overhaul my lifestyle a month before Christmas will not be successful. I love this time of the year and I want to enjoy the Christmas meals and parties to the fullest. I also know that I don’t want to go regress into past mindsets where counting calories and being obsessive about food left me constantly striving for control and unable to be spontaneous when it came to eating out.
Next year, I want to try to find the buzz and energy I used to get when I exercised.. be it finding a new instructor or a new class that inspires me. I want to be more disciplined with my time (and that means leaving work on time more frequently) so that I can squeeze in a workout even if it’s just a short one. It means finding some form of exercise that fits into my lifestyle and is convenient (because let face it if it’s not convenient then it’s not going to happen!)
The F word..
And by that I mean friendship! I saw a video from Lily Pebbles talking about her new book (The F Word) and in true Sex and the City style it got me thinking about my friendships. It has been a year of ups and downs for me and the ups have included meeting some awesome ladies at work. It concerned me that joining a company predominantly made up of women would lead to bitchiness and nastiness and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the opposite. I admire so many of the women I work with for being great at their jobs, hard working and lovely, supportive people. There’s no competitiveness or back chat, we all get on and we lift each other up when we’re feeling down. It’s a really positive environment to be in and I’d say it was a definite highlight of my year meeting so many wonderful #girlbosses.
In terms of the downs I’ll write about them at another point when I feel ready to but I will say that I’ve learnt to be less sensitive and to be at peace with being who I am rather than worrying about whether people like me. Being kind, supportive and caring are traits that are really important to me and I’m now ok with saying that’s who I am and expecting the same from others. Any less and for me it’s just not worth it.
Clap on the back if you made it this far and happy birthday to all fellow Sagittarians out there! I’ll be doing some more 2017 roundups but for now over and out ..xxx