So, where are you in your life right now? Are you happy with your life or unhappy with your life? Do you feel it is time for a change?
The last 18 months with lockdowns, the threat of Covid-19, restricted movements, and working from home, or not working at all have been a time for reflection. Maybe you got fitter, or maybe not, maybe you got more creative, or maybe not. What do you want from your future?
Change is not easy and it can be very scary. I know, I made very big changes to my life in 2015. I gave up my regular secure job (well actually redundancy did not look too far away), relocated from Surrey to Suffolk and began a completely new life in a new place with no one I knew and to start with at least, no job and no income.
My advice, if you should want it, is that a bit more planning would not have gone amiss. My excuse or reason for not planning it all is that I was not in a great place in my mind, body or spirit at the time.
In 2013 a tragic and unexpected family bereavement meant that I lost my brother. Until he was gone I had not properly realised just how important he was to me. I was devastated by his loss and by its suddenness. He took his own life on a beautiful May morning when the sun was shining down through the new leaves on the oak tree and my life changed forever. After that so many things in my life did not matter any more. I still loved my children, but they were both grown and had their own lives. I felt lost and without direction. This feeling became worse not better over the following two years, and combined with a job which had changed hugely in that time I found myself very unhappy.
I put my house on the market and found a house in Suffolk to buy, I packed up my belongings and left Surrey on a beautiful sunny morning and drove to my new home where the heavens opened, the rain came down and all my belongings got soaked as the removal men brought them into the new house. A month later I was bitten by some insects and the bites swelled up and blistered and I cried with the pain.
I felt lonely and lost and I did not care what happened to me. I slept long hours and had no energy to plan ahead or do anything very constructive except begin, very slowly to explore the village and surrounding countryside where I had chosen to live. I also struggled to find a reflexologist, my go-to therapy for years. I was alone, completely alone for the first time in my life. Until then I had always had a role in my life. I had been a daughter, wife, mother, always with other people I either answered to, or was responsible for.
I can honestly say today that I do not really understand when those feelings started to change. When did I become aware of my house in Suffolk becoming my home? When did I discover a purpose and re-open my therapy business? When did I make proper friends and not just acquaintances in passing? When did I begin to feel whole again?
I could put dates on some of these things, but so many were gradual changes that led slowly and surely into my sense of having a life. In Surrey I existed to work. Now I work to exist. It is a challenge but it is also fun and on the days when I treat a client who really needs help, or I walk down to the river to be soothed by the ebb and flow of the tide, I know I am truly alive.
There are things I still wish for to make life run more smoothly (don’t we all), but somehow on the good days, it is so good it really doesn’t matter, and on the bad days I may be in despair for a few hours, but a walk across fields or in the woods, or sitting by the river watching the world go by at a slower pace, or even sitting in my now secluded garden, restore me and re-energise me to put one foot in front of the other and keep going.
So, this blog is not an advice line about how to make change happen, but more of a reflection on how not to….and yet I would not have had it any other way.
I am stronger emotionally and mentally than I have ever been and my trust in a higher power (I acknowledge it as Spirit) is stronger than ever, even when I argue with its way of working. I am also gentler and more reflective than before. I could be healthier and fitter, but then no one is perfect and we all have things to work on.
I now know how to be truly alone and that it is ok to be that way. I know how to be with friends and family, and enjoy the time with them without trying to have them conform to what I think is best. I have also learnt to have more respect for every single being I come across in this world, for the gifts they have and choose to share with me and those around them. I have also learned I am not a pushover.
I believe those are the changes that really matter. The final question I cannot seem to answer is, could I have made them without changing my life so completely?
So I leave you to consider what are the changes that really matter to you?