It’s 2018! Time is passing quickly and that is out of our control. As a 52 year old widow and mum to two pretty amazing 14 year olds, this year I’m just going with it! I miss my husband, he is in my every waking thought, every breath I take and is my every heartbeat. I will never let him go. But, I know it is time to take charge of my life and set a new, healthy, happy and hopeful path for my children and me. It is what he would want for us.
This new direction starts with me. I can’t take care of anyone if I am not taking care of myself first. I am the example my children will follow. Right now I know I am a shadow of the woman I can be. It’s my responsibility and mine alone to be all I can. Now it’s time to put my energy into that –time to make a few changes.
Yes I am grieving. I am physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually tired. I feel overstretched and at times over burdened by situations that are not always mine to fix. This year I am giving myself permission to continue to place my focus primarily on my children and me. And I’m OK with that.
“If you feel stuck and are looking for change…give yourself permission to be the change you are looking for, or at least to be the starting point for it.”
I want to embrace change and the growth that comes with it more easily this year. Now is a time for healing in our house. The grief process is different for each of us, whether in our house or yours, and the tools and techniques we use to cope will differ in the thousand different ways we differ from one and other. As I navigate this part of my life and the changes that are a natural part of it, with a renewed energy, I know my children will do the same. They may not seem to listen all the time, but I know for a fact that they see everything.
Through my experience with grief so far, I also know that right now I need just a little space to do what’s required to get through each day. I am looking for a sense of peace and calm, lots of love given and received, a liberal sprinkling of gentle kindness — just like the sugar on a donut. I also want to limit the amount of pressure and expectation in my day as much as possible. I think these are all good aims to have, for any of us, and for the most part they are highly achievable on any given day.
“Now is the perfect time to Look after You! It’s actually necessary that you do, if you are looking after others too.”
My top 10 areas of focus this year to improve my overall well-being are:
- New and healthier eating patterns: I’m trying the 16/8 intermittent fasting method. It makes sense to me and the technique is quite ancient. I’ll let you know how it goes. It is not a huge change…I will eat regularly over a period of 8 hours and fast for the 16 in between. (This is not for everyone, if it doesn’t appeal to you don’t try it. If you want to try it make sure you seek medical advice before making changes to your diet.)
- Walking more: a form of exercise that I know I can enjoy consistently — there is no explanation necessary with this one, I just need to walk more and my dog Otis is the perfect motivation to stay on track. I will add that walking barefoot on a safe, natural surface like grass or sand (earthing) has even more benefits.
- Continuing to observe a strong daily spiritual practice: this one is a must, for me at least. I am always more balanced, calmer, happier and intune when I observe my daily practice – daily. My practice of choice is based on the traditional principles and practices of Reiki…yours can be anything that enhances your well-being; from reading to yoga, your choices are limitless, all you need to do is make time– regularly.
- Meditation: how I wish I was good at this one. More practice is needed here! A quiet mind benefits all of us for more reasons than I have the space or time to write about today. The reason that makes me want to master it, however, is that it is only when we have a quiet mind can we really tap into the mysteries and truth of our inner wisdom and the whispers of those that we have loved and lost.
- Saying no to things that I don’t want to do. Let’s face it, we all struggle with this one at times. The first time I did this I felt like a real grown up, and it wasn’t really that long ago. Repeat after me, it’s OK to say no! You don’t even have to give a reason for a no. You just have to have the confidence to say it, and then say it with kindness.
- Writing more consistently: writing is cathartic for me. I have journalled for as long as I can remember and I am glad it is a skill I developed early. There are things in life that you think you will always remember…but time has a way of helping us forget, even the things we don’t want to. I think everyone has a story… and I don’t think there could ever possibly be enough books in the world. Have you thought about writing yours?
- Focusing strongly on building our new business with my sisters: to work side by side with my two gorgeous sister has been a wonderful distraction and is now turning into an amazing opportunity. I look forward to growing The Shed Luxe throughout 2018 and beyond. It pays to have a dream.
- Choosing happiness: this one may seem confusing, but it isn’t really. Life is full of choices. We don’t necessarily choose our circumstances but we can choose how we live with them. I choose happiness. It’s not always an easy choice for me at the moment, but it is the healthiest for all of us.
- Getting more sleep: this one is a choice I often don’t make. An old habit and a hard one to break — I tend to be a night Owl and Netflix is not helping. I’m just going to say I will try to get more sleep this year on a regular basis because I’d really like to be a more enthusiastic morning person.
- Decluttering my life: I hang on to things, not so much a hoarder (I hope) but letting go of stuff is not easy. I’m more likely to shuffle bits and pieces from place to place and dream about being a minimalist, than actually have a place for everything and put everything in its place. You know that old adage ‘cluttered space, cluttered mind’ — I think it could be true. So this is the year I’m letting go of anything that no longer serves me, to clear my head! Did I hear someone say creative people are messy?
What might your top 10 be? Try journaling them so you can look back over them regularly to see how you’re going!
Here’s to a happy and healthy 2018.
Thanks for listening (reading)
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