I really wasn't going to do a 'review of the last year' and a 'look forward to the coming year' thing. I really wasn't. And I especially wasn't going to blog about it. But I looked back to my first ever blog last January and noted that the optimism thing has taken a bit of a battering over the past few months and my mojo has been lost and found so many times it's quite giddy. Also I spent the best part of yesterday evening in tears after speaking to a friend I hadn't spoken to for a couple of years and hadn't seen for even longer. And I felt certain things needed to be looked at.
Said friend and I exchange Christmas cards every year with many promises of meeting up which never happens for a variety of reasons. In her card this year she mentioned she had had a few lengthy stays in hospital during the year so yesterday I rang to see how she was. I am glad to say she has recovered from her ill health and although she still has an operation to come it is corrective and she is quite well. She then asked after me.
I hadn't mentioned I had been made redundant. I tend not to give people I don't see regularly this information but I have had nearly two years of unemployment and it is becoming difficult to keep it out of conversations. So, somewhat reluctantly on my part and despite my attempts to change the direction of the conversation, we had a discussion about my current state, my prospects and my economic situation. My friend is a few years older than me, a kindly woman who is generally one of the first to help out any of her friends in need. She is also an unsentimental woman of opinions and after twenty minutes of her views on my prospects I felt absolutely awful. After the call I was almost devoid of any hope for the coming year. I just sat in tears of despair faced with so many things I was unable to change - my age for one.
Fortunately I had the good sense to then phone my very dear friends PH and PR, one after the other, who have known me 37 and 22 years respectively, know me very well and who were able to persuade me that there was hope and you didn't know what was going to be around the corner and every day is a new day and thus an opportunity. So I went to bed feeling a little better thanks to them.
The past two years have made me realise how very blessed I am with my friends and family. I wouldn't have got through without their support, kindness and generosity. I try to remember to let them know how much I love and value them.
However, in the early hours of this morning the bad feelings began to creep back and after looking to my favourite blogs to cheer me up (making phone calls at that hour not really being an option) and seeing all the yearly reviews, I realised that there are things in my life that need to change in some way.
Although it hasn't been successful - yet (see the optimism is creeping back), I am doing all I can to find employment (along with millions of others - which is the root of the problem). I also do some voluntary work which helps keep my skills base going, looks good on the CV and gets me out. So that is the outer me dealt with - apart from the need for money that is. But I need to address the inner me.
Unfortunately the inner me is an ostrich. I think I may have been one in more than one previous life so strong is my inclination to bury my head in the sand when faced with any perceived attack to my emotional equilibrium. The last few years have been so very challenging emotionally that this particular ostrich has buried herself head first up to her knees. Which is very, very uncomfortable. So the time has come to drag myself out and face a few things.
Firstly my health. I am not taking care of my physical well being and that needs to change this year. First and foremost exercise, fresh air and a healthy diet and not necessarily in that order. It is going to be difficult because over the past several months I have become reclusive and have taken to eating all the cakes and biscuits I have been busy baking whilst sitting in my comfy chair gazing unseeingly out of the window and it's a very safe place to be. I am not a lazy person by any means. I have many faults but laziness isn't one of them. I have worked and studied hard all my life but the past few years both in and out of work have taken a huge toll on my emotional resources in different ways and thus enabled my ostrich to grow in strength.
Secondly a change of mindset, attitude, outlook or whatever you care to call it is called for. I can easily sit here behind my keyboard and be very optimistic about what I want in my life but it's quite another thing to actually put it into practise and push myself forward to possible rejection with regards to my hopes, dreams and desires for a different kind of life. This bit I need to reflect on more. I need to work out how to strengthen my emotional resources again so that I can go forward without damaging myself emotionally because although being reclusive is safe, it is not a happy state. My inner ostrich is quaking - does this mean I might actually manage to do it???
Life is scary but it is time to find the point of it all again. To have faith that the universe will be kind to me and help me do it. Am posting this now. Before I get scared again and change my mind.