By Lynda Wallas

Hit the refresh button! It’s a new year…

I don’t know about you but for me last year was all about work. I struggled to find the balance that I crave, and that as an ongoing CFS sufferer I need. It feels like the more I do at work, the more they need me to do…. cut backs and restructures meaning there are less of us working on projects, so more to do per person (I’m a Business Analyst for a large bank 4 days a week…. supposedly 4 days lol!). The last 2.5 months I’ve worked 6 to 6.5 days a week to meet deadlines. I thought ‘ok, I can do this, just until Christmas….’

But what really changes beyond Christmas? There are simply more deadlines.
Over the holidays, I’ve found it hard to completely switch off. I know I need to do some serious hours before heading back into the office next week. But stopping for Christmas has meant finding that my body has once again almost had enough (you know that thing that happens…. you are fine pushing along, knowing you are over doing it but making it happen…. then there’s an end in sight and suddenly your body starts behaving like it will only just make it to the break!)

So many people seem to be saying that 2016 was so busy, or was not a great year…. so many of my friends seemed to wish it away on new year’s eve with a ‘good riddens’ wave of the hand. That’s a year of our life! A year we don’t get back.
And what will change this year if we don’t take decisive action?

And how do we take decisive action; how do we get off the wheel of work, pay day, pay bills, work….?
At our age we are moving headlong towards retirement too…. just an additional deadline!
Here’s this ‘mid-life collide’ thing again right, if you haven’t dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s yet, then it all starts to feel rather important and rather stressful (and sometimes even rather out of reach) right about now.

We are supposed to take a week or two at Christmas and come back refreshed and rejuvenated.
It’s a big ask based on the other 50 or so weeks of the year isn’t it! Our minds and bodies sparsely get passed the recalibration stage, let alone into the chilled zone.

If you are very fortunate then your weighing up at this time of the year isn’t a heavy burden…. you’ve dotted and crossed already, or your partner has, and financially all is well. Your lifestyle is the one you wanted and there’s not a heap of stressful scenarios vying for position in the back of your mind. Perhaps you have already said goodbye to the corporate wheel, or perhaps you’re at the top of it. Maybe you simply enjoy what you do and the road to retirement is not a scary one…. other than imagining life without your work.

But for a lot of us, that is not the case. There are so many pitfalls these days that can interrupt your income, either causing a deviation from the plan (meaning you feel like you are always playing catch-up) or causing a complete ‘off road’ experience, veered down a ditch, stuck in the mud, needing a tow truck and potentially bolt cutters to get you out. Whether it’s a break-up, a health issue, a bad investment (or all of the above), it’s going to challenge your mid-life peace of mind and enjoyment. And it’s not just financial issues; there are emotional and health issues too that can collide at mid-life and mean that you are forced down a path of uncertainty and uncomfortableness…. meaning enlightenment 🙂

But that’s just it though isn’t it…. sometimes we forget that we are up for the challenge. We are tested because we are strong enough, because we can dig deep. We have a vision and a belief of what is coming towards us, and a new year only brings it closer.

Whether 2016 was all sweetness and light, or dappled with grey patches, it’s gone… and now a fresh opportunity lies before you. Regardless of the challenges that you see out of the corner of your eye, you can reassess and refresh, ready to go again, perhaps with a different approach. If you didn’t get sufficient time to refresh, fake it! You can pretend rejuvenated to a certain degree, it’s a bit of a mind game. Decide to put any lingering stuff aside, close the chapter, ring fence it back there in 2016. Then do some things differently in the first days of the new year…. get up earlier and greet the day, feel more gratitude for what you do have, say ‘thank you’ the moment your feet hit the ground in the mornings… actually begin that yoga practise, or leave 15 minutes at the end of each day to simple sit and meditate, letting the mind go blank, leaving the day behind in order to sleep peacefully. Stop pushing so hard; let things come to you a little. Then make those small changes new habits that will serve you well in 2017.

I love my weekly horoscope this morning; it sums up the last 10 years quite incredibly in a few short sentences. I’ve certainly felt like I’ve been looking at random pieces and wondering how I join them up to build the future that I envisage.

‘A dismantled engine is of little use to anyone. The parts just sit on the workbench, creating an oily mess which is of interest only to a keen mechanic. When that same engine is reinstalled in a vehicle it becomes a powerful machine that can take you almost anywhere. With Mercury retrograde, you’ve been looking at various parts of your life and wondering what possible use they could have. You’ve been affecting repairs without much thought to what you might be rebuilding. This month, as Venus changes signs, the parts will all fall magically into place.’

I especially like these words from my daily forecast: ‘This week, assume the game wants you to win.’

Ha, yes…. because it truly does! Sometimes we can get so bogged down in the daily grind and in life’s challenges that we forget we are here to win! That if there is indeed anything that’s pre-determined then it is that we are supposed to be happy and successful and loved. That dreams are the real stuff, they do come true…. if you live them, if you choose to consciously move towards them (rather than staying put, hoping and wishing from a distance).

For me, I’ve got 2 sessions with a life coach in January because I feel like I need to talk to someone in order to make sense of some of those pieces, before I assemble them into something that isn’t spot on what I want. I want to be asked all the questions in case there are things that I’m avoiding unknowingly (or knowingly) and so that I’ve thought through all the options. I feel like there’s no more time now for adventures down the wrong path.

Do what you need to do now to feel a positive current taking you to where you want to be. Get refreshed!
Know that there will be rewards where there are currently challenges.

Lynda Wallas
Lynda Wallas
About me

I’ve always been interested in health and fitness…. which turned out to be a good thing when fertility treatment in my 30s took a toll on my health, leading to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and early onset menopause. More about Lynda...

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