Hi Guys! That crazy time of year is upon us around here so taking time out to write has somehow fallen to the bottom of my list of priorities for the past 6 weeks. We are currently on holiday in Cape Town visiting our home away from home and trying desperately to relax, soak up the sun and recover from what seems to have been a super busy year. Given I’m spending a quality four weeks unwinding with my hubby and our fur kids and I’ve taken a little time to think…. so expect the rest of this post to discuss some feelings, if speaking about feelings is as uncomfortable for you as it is for me… so be prepared!
Looking back over the year I somehow feel a little melancholy that it managed to slip by so fast, and as I shared with you in my last post, 2014 hasn’t quite lived up to all I expected from it. Some could argue I’m my own worst critic and setting hefty goals is a sure fire way of letting yourself down every time. Some may say that ultimately we don’t have any control over our destiny so why bother planning at all. I firmly believe that planning is a tool that works for me… if I look back on the years where I had no plan at all I got to the end of the year and felt directionless, which sort of made me feel empty. If it had to choose between melancholy about not achieving hefty goals or empty and directionless I would definitely choose melancholy.
Along with all the melancholy around here I got news a few days ago of a colleague who had taken his life this December, this after a family friend took her life earlier this year. Along with the two suicides and a number of natural deaths and one senseless murder amongst our close family and friends and in the last 12 months. I’m feeling pretty despondent about how short our time is on this earth, and how much of said time we squander on what doesn’t matter.
Between not achieving the goals I put so much pressure on myself to achieve + feeling that it ultimately seems so silly to beat myself up over goals not met given our time on this planet is short + my heart breaking when people take their own lives sooner than they should have, left me in a heap of tears. I’m not the world’s biggest crier so when I actually get it out it’s a big thing in my life. Hubby and I decided to take the dogs to a quiet beach near where our home is in Cape Town for some time to reflect. As I stood there mulling all this over in my head, breathing in the fresh ocean air I started to make sense of it all in my head and my heart. I took the time to forgive myself. I took the time to forgive those who took their lives before I was ready to say goodbye. I took the time to mourn for and remember those who passed away. I took the time to remember the family left behind after their dad and granddad was brutally murdered.
In short: I took time. I shared my hurt with a trusted friend. I took time to breathe.
If you’ve read this far I’m sure your thinking that this isn’t your usual December post filled with photos of happy families and snaps of wonderful food. It’s a post about the reality of life’s burdens. It’s a post that I wanted to share because after writing it I’m already feeling better, lighter. The time I took to go somewhere quiet and speak to a friend helped me get my thoughts in order. This reminded me that the old adage of a problem shared is a problem halved is true.
Mental health is an aspect of health so seldom discussed and whilst I don’t confess to have the degrees or the studies to back it up, I firmly believe that if you are beating yourself up about something that is worrying you, that you should consider doing the same as I have done and share your burdens with someone you can talk to. Take the time to find a quiet place where you feel comfortable to reflect and perhaps clear the air a bit for the year ahead. Taking the time to work on your mental muscle is just as important as eating right and exercising if you really want to live your best life so go out there and find a friend and invite them for coffee and share!