What a year.
If you told me at the beginning what would happen by the end, I may have been able to be better prepared. If I had all the information about the what and how and especially the when….I may be in a better place now. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and we all know just how much it sucks to not have it.
2019 was, let’s just say, NOT the best for me.
I had no time for friends. I didn’t make time for them because I was too focused on trying to stop completely falling apart. Trying to stay sane, to be better, to make stuff work, to be happy, to make sure everyone else was happy too.
I lived vicariously through my own words, tried as hard as I could to keep my family happy, trying not to be hurt when I was told I wasn’t good enough, or when something didn’t work, or when we had another setback.
I tried really hard to not have a complete and utter flipping mental breakdown.
2019 nearly saw the end of my sanity, my willingness to care, and also my marriage (although that did end too, just a few months later). My anxiety and frustration, compounded with his depression and complete and utter lack of communication nearly broke me.
The one big thing I learned, albeit far too late to make much of a difference in the end, was that the most important person I had to ensure got taken care of, was me.
I found out the hard way that not spending time looking after yourself is a sure-fire way of losing the plot. Mentally, physically and emotionally.
I learned that if I didn’t ensure that I was OK, that I could cope, that I was well, that there was no way in hell I could continue trying to be a good mum, or a good wife, daughter, employee or friend.
The year is over now (thank Christ) and although I have dealt with a lot, I managed to come out the other end.
2019 saw me lose a good friend to a brain tumor, lots of family and friends to old age or ill health, I watched my country burn and thousands of people lose their homes. Even though my life may be not what I had hoped for, I still have so much.
As hard as it is to keep optimistic when the chips are down, you need to remember what’s actually important. It’s not money, not stuff, not nice houses or fancy cars. It’s you.
So why am I telling you this?
I started this site for several reasons. Mainly as a way for me to get my thoughts and frustrations out, kind of like a digital journal. I also wanted to share this with other women, as I see so many of you battling with the same crap that I do every day. We are all overwhelmed, frustrated and not looking after ourselves.
What did I do to help myself?
I started saying “Fuck It”.
The biggest thing is also the hardest (well, for most people anyway). Its a mindset change. Let it go. Not worry about it, let it slide. It’s the ability to weigh up a situation and just say, “You know what? Stuff It! I don’t care. It’s not going to worry me anymore”. That in itself is a really difficult thing to do, but trust me, it’s a game-changer.
I started taking care of myself.
I joined a fitness challenge. I started training more often. I ate better and I drank less. (not stopped drinking you understand, just drinking less….sanity comes first!). I didn’t turn into a gym junkie and I have absolutely no inclination to start running marathons but I made it my mission to start being a healthier version of myself.
I started making time for me.
I read more books. I watched Netflix (hello Outlander!). I let my girlfriends talk me into 4hour coastal walks, I had long baths, I wore earplugs to bed to actually get some proper sleep (heaven!) and I went grocery shopping by myself (simple, yet effective!). I told Himself to step it up and do more before I totally and utterly lost the will to live.
I started saying No.
No, I cannot come out. No. I cannot pick up kids today. No. I cannot come home early. No. I do not want to go visit friends/family we see all.the.time. No. I cannot take on this extra work. No. I cannot do X for you. As someone who is horrible at saying no, this was hard! I am, however, getting much, much better at it.
So here’s goodbye to 2019.
I hope that if you, like me have had a bit of a shit year and just want to know that you are not alone, I hear you.
If you want this next year to be better, know that it can be.
Bring on 2020 and change for the better.
Just Be You, Everyday.