I wrote my last post over a year ago. I’d decided to take a rest from the site and re-evaluate my life journey. While away I looked at was I doing and my life challenges. I felt I needed to do this because I was not ‘practising what I preached’. I did not feel ‘authentic’ while I had major issues in my life that weren’t being resolved. All this meant that my life satisfaction level was low in several areas. My business wasn’t earning me enough to live and my relationship was a mess. Lack of time to do everything meant I neglected giving quality attention to my family and my needs. My life had settled into a miserable rut.
So how could I help others if I had not ‘sorted’ out my life? I just looked in the mirror and saw a fraud. I felt that someone who writes about personal development should be making better progress towards a perfect life. The positive messages, the motivational mantras and success stories stopped inspiring me. How could a better life be possible?
I had reached a personal low. I’d mentally hit the floor. How could I bring myself back from this? How could I regain my mojo?
I gave myself time out. I reflected. I switched off. I reflected some more. I wrote in a journal and read it back.
What did I learn?
I could see aspects of my life were unhealthy. What was within my control? As I’ve often said, only my attitude and behaviours. This meant how I chose to respond to situations. How I answered back – or not. Actions I chose to take – or not.
My Life Journey
I’m now here, having been through many changes – some that I have directly instigated and others the direct or indirect results of my choices. The two years have been a useful break. I have grown and have a new perspective. Does this mean my life is perfect? Of course not. It is constantly undergoing changes, some good some not what I’d wish.
My recent life journey took courage, self belief, honesty, a need to try to resolve my issues and to accept how little control I had over most aspects of my life. I had to take responsibility for where I was and where I would take myself.
I had to take many steps, some that depended on the outcome of other actions first. Recognising my boundaries, what I wanted and what was realistic, considering others and myself was all part of the mental process. I am a low risk taker. I also like to analyse before taking action.
My business was not working. This was no surprise considering my attitude. I was trying to squeeze too much into my pot of time. I needed to return to work. Irrespective of whether my heart was in it, my job history was chequered and my previous skills were rusty. Many employers are wary of employing those who’ve had a taste of the freedom of self employment. The only control I had was in what and how I applied for various positions. After a few months of searching I got a break, took it. A couple of temporary positions and I’m now back in the cosy corporate fold with clipped wings and a mildly bruised ego.
I had to accept my relationship was failing too. We have now separated after 30 years, I bought him out of the family home and gained single parent status. I have had to learn that being on my own is OK. Life as a single parent has its own challenges. Finding family time is still hard but a little is better than none. I am doing my best.
Time for exercise and healthy eating are always challenges for me. Punishing myself with early morning boot-camps is what works for me at the moment. Not only can I feel smug about having exercised before my family gets up but I accept that my resolve would dissolve if I left exercise until the evening.
Time is finite and my time feels so limited. I still yearn to do so much. My focus on setting realistic goals that take my life and limitations into consideration is very important. No one can have it all. If I want to develop creatively or a business outside of employment it will take time if I am to maintain some security. I have learned that each day is a gift to be unwrapped, appreciated and used fully. Each life lesson, whether it is a failed attempt at something or a success is worth treasuring.
In a world where we are constantly made to believe that we can have what we want, that perfection is possible, that the universe will provide, I’ve endured the practical lesson that change is not always easy. It is often painful and slow and can take you forward and backwards. It is the journey of our lives and we all need to live our own lives, to own them, to take full responsibility for them.
A Road to Somewhere
Going forward I continue to look for the lessons that life is teaching me. When faced with obstacles and challenges I find it hard to be grateful for the good in my life. I make a choice to see how lucky I am. It is easy to believe everyone is better off, happier or more content than yourself. I choose to look to see what I have.
If you are struggling and keep failing take heart. It is the same for everyone. Life can only be lived where you are now. No one is perfect. No one ever becomes perfect. Learning to enjoy your life journey is one of the most important lessons you will ever learn. It is a lesson I am still learning. It is possible I will try to ignore it again but I know I will come back.
Today I choose to be happy. Today I choose to be grateful for all the good things in my life. Today is a good day.
Now, you choose.