There’s been lots of pessimistic talk about 2016 (mostly thanks to Trump) but regardless, it was great year for me.
After 3 difficult years of dealing with the effects of a major mental health crisis, I’ve made some huge steps to rebuild my life..
Today I’d like to share the things that made it so good, and give you a peak into the year ahead.
Those damned medications
One of the impacts of my illness is the medications I take. They have been critical for keeping me well but like everyone I would rather not be taking them – but only if I am not at risk of reverting to that deep, dark hole of depression. Nothing is worth that.
In 2016 I tried to cut back one of my depression meds. However I did it too fast and after several weeks I could feel myself slowly slipping into that black hole. I reversed the dosage and over the next few weeks I came right again. It was disappointing but I will try again. This time I will cut back the dosage ever so slowly and see how it goes.
I did have success in getting off my anxiety medication. It wasn’t easy. Benzodiazepines are notoriously hard to kick. The withdrawal symptoms are much like the symptoms of anxiety; continual headaches, sleep disturbance, blurry vision and brain fog amongst others. At times, it’s difficult to tell the side-effects from the illness.
It took me nearly a year to wean myself off 2mg of Lorazepam – but I’ve done it. My over-active stress responses have settled and my brain is working so much better. Watch out, the creative juices are flowing again. Who knows where it will lead me? 🙂
Having just returned from another insightful 7-day silent retreat at Te Moata Retreat with teacher, Stephen Archer, I got to reflect on how four years of practicing mindfulness has changed my life.
My regular mediation practice has an immediate effect in calming the noise and helping me focus.
And then there’s the long-term effects – which is less obvious. On reflection I can see how I response to the world and deal with events is kinder and healthier. I know that despite what happens in my life, I am fundamentally okay.
There are, and always will be, good times and bad. But no matter what happens, life is doing it’s thing.
Blog – She Loves Life Over 50
In 2016 I joined the Blog Mastermind programme where I’ve been learning how to build a blog-based business.
I made a slow start but after months of playing with ideas it all fell into place. That’s when I woke up one morning with a flash of inspiration. SheLovesLifeOver50.com is the result.
I’m building this blog site over the next 12 months to include a range of products to help other women over 50 seeking support for:
* Career change or realignment
* Recovery from:
* Turning setbacks into success!
Plans include developing my coaching programme (face-to-face and on Skype), online resources and to publish a guide to loving life over 50.
I am really enjoying the creative aspect of this project, which fulfills my personal mission to live with grace, help others and stay creative. You can check it out and subscribe www.sheloveslifeover50.com
When I decided to use my year’s of experience and talents to help others, I received some coaching from Cassandra Gaisford after reading her book ‘Midlife Career Rescue – Employ Yourself.
The book includes several practical task sheets. While working through one of these I was reminded of all the reasons I love being in business. However any new business needed to be portable, flexible and made use of all the things I have learned over 57 years.
Starting something new is always scary – that mix of excitment and apprehension never goes away. But since starting the blog and putting my hand up as a coach/mentor, I have worked with some wonderful people to help them take their own transitions.
In 2016, I also worked with Keong Wong on the Heart Strategy project. Keong is back living in Auckland and further developing this wonderful tool that truly does get to the heart of what make you happy. So in 2017 I will be integrating the Heart Strategy into my coaching program.
My first grandee
On 19th November, we welcomed Arna May into the world. I was fortunate to be at her birth where she was born with one arm waving above her head as if to say, “It’s me. I’ve arrived.”
It had been a nervous four months up until this moment with my daughter Jacqui being put on bedrest. Having lost a prem baby previously, we all knew how much it meant to give this wee girl the best chance of survival.
My job for those four months was to care for Jacqui while she did her job as the human incubator. This time was very special for us and I am so pleased I was able to do it. There is nothing else I would have rather done with my time.
Now that Arna is here I’m savouring the joyful times, especially our play dates. I know Arna and I are going to be great friends.
(Thanks to the influence of my India friends, I have chosen “Nani” at my grandmother title. In Hindi it means mother’s mother. Perfect!)
Plans for 2017
I have learned that sharing our stories and being vulnerable and courageous, is key to helping others. I will do more of this in 2017.
My goals include ramping up my coach/mentoring business – so please let me know if you know anyone who might be interested in what I’ve got to offer. Also building SheLovesLifeOver50.com into sustainable online business – with a steady income stream.
Plus it’s a while since Grant & I had a big travel adventure – so later in the year we are planning a return trip to India. This time to Goa and the southern states. We also plan to visit Grant’s son in Adelaide over winter.
The Johnson Group business is in good shape. In my role as a director I’m involved in governance and strategy, while our fabulous staff deliver great services to our clients and candidates.
Best wishes for a great year in 2017. Please drop me an email if I can help you in any way.
PS. This will be my last post of this site for some time, however you can always find me at SheLovesLifeOver50.com or on Facebook and LinkedIn.