What a fabulous year!

30 Dec

Around New Year I like to review, contemplate, look at my achievements and also start to set the scene for what the next year will bring. So what about 2011?

At the beginning of the year I felt panicked about the future, I knew I had to make some major changes however the thought of putting any sort of plan into action scared me stupid and made me run for the hills.

Weight and fitness were now an established part of my life, my knee surgery had gone well and the rehabilitation was on schedule. The changes that were required were around the rest of my life playing catch up. My job was no longer making me happy, all I could see were frustrations and the feeling that there was more to life?

In the end it took until April for me to make any decisions but it was almost like a light going on. My problem was that in my obsessive planning head I thought I needed a secure, safe, written down plan, actually what I needed and where I was now was to have no plan. After all, the last couple of years had not really had a plan, their success had been going with the flow, taking the opportunities and worrying less?

So rather than a job or business idea I decided what I needed was to take some time, luckily I had some savings to be able to fund it.  I booked two trips, one to visit some friends in Germany and to do some mountain climbing and interestingly a pilates holiday in Tuscany.

What happened then over the next five months was amazing.  I could go on and on but here’s a  quick summary!

Three mountain summits, meeting old friends without reservations, pilates, learning to cook italian, swimming under the stars, finding a real love of photography, writing, life coaching, asking for help and realising the beauty of what it can bring, new and old friends, family, sailing in the Solent, blogging, walking, getting fitter, going up, coming down, freelancing, sourcing lightshades and bathrooms, Rome, returning to Tuscany and trains.

What has been just as important is what I’ve learnt. There have been vital lessons that I hope may help you if you’re in that place of wondering ‘what next?’.

  • It’s fine to ask for help, it takes strength to be able to do that; keeping your head in the sand just means you bumble along, nothing will ever change. It is never a sign of weakness to ask for help or to show your vulnerability?
  • Often the plan should be to have no plan – I’m an obsessive compulsive so have a clear need for planning – however my growth has come from embracing the here and now, looking for opportunities but not over thinking consequences or what it could mean. A little risk is a liberating experience!
  • I booked my sailing trip three days prior to the start date, my dad asked me ‘if I liked sailing’, I responded that I had no idea, but by the end of the weekend I would know one way or the other. The old me would have wanted more reassurances. It also taught me that until you give something a go, how do you really know?  After all if someone had had a crystal ball three years ago and had shown me, me today, it would never have happened because I wouldn’t have believed it was all possible.
  • Never under-estimate what you may be capable of, I’ve been amazed at every step I’ve taken.
  • Surround yourself with people who embrace what you want and are.  My family and friends (new and old) are incredibly important. I’d been far too independent, we all need human interaction and importantly support. I love them all very much.

As Autumn ended and winter arrived, a new job opportunity arrived, it meant going through a process that before was enough to scare me off, but I did it and a few weeks ago I started my new role – it’s looking good and comes with some great benefits such as free gym membership and I have a clear focus to ensure that it doesn’t take over what is now an important out of work life.

I’m still writing, this blog will continue as will my baking one, I’m also writing for other people and you never know one day I may be able to at least do it professionally on a part time basis.  I am forever grateful and a little overwhelmed by the messages I receive from people who read this and find it inspiring.

My photography is something I really love, it fills a real need and thanks to someone very special I’ve now moved on from my trusty Digital Compact to an SLR and I am so looking forward to doing more with it in the coming months.

And finally the end of the year has brought someone special into my life. Thanks to my life coach Jackie and a lot of work over the summer on my relationship with myself I found the confidence to get out there.  What has happened has been pretty amazing and I’m very happy in a way that I haven’t been for a long time; I am being honest with him and importantly with myself, I’m having a lot of fun and I don’t think I’ve stopped smiling in weeks.

It’s been an amazing year, 2010 was pretty good but this time last year I had no idea what 2011 would bring, it could well have been the best year of my life, yes that it still possible when you’re 44! It is never too late!

And 2012?  Well I’m excited about what it to come – there’s a new job to get stuck into, new physical challenge, I’m starting a new training regime tomorrow in an attempt to tone and reduce some of the loose skin, now this is something that will be very interesting.  And I’m very happy at where I am today.

So my new year message to you is to not be afraid of change, you do however have to want it to make it happen but anything is possible!

And the photo – well it was taken by my someone special – a friend tells me I am sparkling, I’ll go along with that!

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