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Starting Over…Again!

It’s not us, it’s you!

In two weeks time I will be starting a new job.  Yes, that’s right folks, another one.  In fact, this will be the fourth job I have had this year.  When I look back on 2018, I am sure the archives will be full of memories of being interviewed.

The last few weeks have been strange and strained.  I have felt unable to get into it here on the blog.  Without knowing what was next, it seemed like self-indulgent whining.  Since the summer, I have started, and finished, two new roles.  For the record, neither of these positions were supposed to be temporary.

I have tried to reassure myself that these things happen.  Everyone is allowed to have a run of bad luck sometimes.  However, I couldn’t prevent my confidence from being severely dented.  The last job ended after only 8 week.  My boss told me he didn’t think I was the right person for the job.  He wasn’t firing me, as such, but there was a clear invitation to resign.

As I sat across from him at that board room table, I tried to remain composed.  All I could think was “he is right.”  All these years I have been playing a part.  Now, finally, I am being exposed as the fraud I always knew I was.  At least that is what I thought on that fateful Wednesday.

In the weeks since then, there has been a lot of soul searching and no small amount of tears.  I honestly did not know if I had what it would take to dust off the CV.  To try to sell myself again.  My shame and my sadness were so raw.  I felt sure that it would be obvious to anyone who met me.

Luckily, there’s no better decision making tool than not having a choice.  I wasn’t in immediate danger of ending up on the bread line.  However, I knew I needed to get back to work in short order.  A month or two of unemployment was realistically all I could afford.

Of course, I fantasized about walking away from corporate life.  Immersing myself instead in my writing, Zumba and the Podcast.  As appealing as that sounds, it isn’t a viable option right now.  I am not ruling it out completely.  It’s just more of a long term proposition.

Getting back on the horse

I realised that I needed to build myself back up again.  Hearing “no” is an inevitable part of job seeking.  I needed to restore my resilience and my energy to be able to withstand it.  I had given myself the deadline of the New Year to try to get something in place.  As many of you who know me will understand, I am not good as sitting still.  I am prone to depression.  Lounging around in a dressing gown will surely set me on that course.  It was important for me to stay busy.

I needed a new project.  Something exciting to take my mind off my current situation and keep my brain engaged.  Just then, something amazing happened.  A Facebook friend (to this day I am still unsure how we are even connected) put up a post looking for someone to help him.  He needed a writer for his MMA blog.  I answered his call.  I admitted knowing very little about MMA or any sport for that matter.  In spite of my lack of expertise, he decided to let me try out.

This project turned out to be exactly what I needed.  It is a challenge for sure.  I am learning a lot, which I always love and getting to meet so many interesting people.  Under my editor’s guidance I am producing work that I am incredibly proud of.  Doing things like driving 220km to attend MMA fights on my own, which I never would have imagined myself doing.

All of this started to have an affect on me.  My confidence began to return.  I started to feel less useless.  Furthermore, I figured out that as humans, our capability to reinvent ourselves is infinite.  If I can step into the role of MMA reporter, what else can I do?  We are only limited by our imagination.  It made me feel a lot better about having to sell myself in the job market, that’s for sure.

It is a cliché, but I do believe that sometimes when it feels like everything is falling apart, it is actually falling into place.  Had I not had such a bad run of employment luck this year, I never would have had these few weeks off to rest and reevaluate.  I experienced what was probably my greatest professional fear coming to pass, and I lived to tell the tale.  That fear won’t have as great a hold over me in the future.

I also would not have had the opportunity to try something new and the pick up some new skills.  I have interviewed some people for the site.  This has lead me to consider interviewing people for the Podcast.  I don’t know if I would have felt equipped to do before.  It has shown me that even at the ripe old age of 37, I can still learn.  Adventure is still out there for me.  I am still able to surprise myself.

I am proud of myself for walking away from a bad situation.  The Arwen of old would have gritted her teeth and tried to make it work.  I am no longer prepared to sacrifice my self-worth for a pay cheque.  That is huge.

I am going into this new role full of excitement and hopeful that it will be a good fit.  If it doesn’t work out I might have to try lion taming!  At the risk of sounding ambivalent, if it isn’t a good fit, it won’t be the end of the world.  I now know I am capable of dusting myself off and trying again.  I will keep you posted.  Be well xxx

 

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21 Day No Added Sugar Challenge

I have never had a particularly sweet tooth, but I have noticed over the last while more and more sweet treats sneaking in to my diet. So I have decided my challenge for November will be to try to avoid all added sugar for three weeks, starting on Monday the 5th.

This is not because sugar is evil or inherently bad for us, but because our western diets have far too much of it. Each generation consuming more than the one before. Food companies sneak it in everywhere, even in to foods marketed to appear “healthy.”

So for 21 days, I will be going cold turkey. So cakes, biscuits or sweets obviously, but also getting back to label reading! Anything with added sugar or sweeteners will be getting left on the shelf.

There are plenty of different “detoxes” and “diets” out there, that’s not what this is. This is just about giving my body a little break from a substance it has been getting too much of. I think I will probably realise it has been getting even more than I think.

Wish me luck and as always feel free to join me. Be well xxx

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No Half Measures

So folks, here we are, October 15th and half way through Sober October.  I wanted to give you all a little update on how the last two weeks of clean living have gone.  Full disclosure, I did not really expect to be writing this post, as I felt sure I would cave before the first weekend was out.  However, it hasn’t actually been too bad (so far.)

The first weekend of sobriety did feel a little odd.  I honestly can’t remember the last time I had gone a full week without any alcohol.  Which is probably a sure sign that a detox was long overdue.  Even when I am sick, hot whiskey is my go to, so it was definitely alien.  We were staying in on the Saturday night, as I had a busy day planned for Sunday, and usually we would be having a few beers or a bottle of wine as we plough through some box set or other.  Imbibing on sparkling water instead, left a lot to be desired.  I really did feel like I was missing something.  However, a late night dash to McDonald’s for ice-cream satisfied my craving.

The second weekend was a little less weird.  I was out with a friend Saturday night and I was perfectly happy to drive and for her to have a few drinks.  I enjoyed my night just as much as I would have had I been drinking, and it was so nice waking up the next morning/afternoon feeling fresh.  Last night I made another trip through the Drive Thru in my pj’s for McFlurries to enjoy while we watched a movie.  Normally I could take or leave ice-cream, but I seem to be doing more taking lately!

Like a lot of habits, my alcohol intake has a lot to do with association.  I enjoy nothing more at the end of a tough week than a couple of cold beers.  I tell myself that I work hard, and so I deserve it.  It helps me to relax, I assure myself.  The truth is, when I am very tired, alcohol makes me feel even more exhausted.  So instead of being able to stay up a little later catching up with my husband, I end up wanting to fall into bed at the same time as I do on a school night.  I also find that even one or two drinks affects my sleep quality, and makes me dehydrated the following day.  Not an ideal start to the weekend, especially when I am teaching a class on a Saturday morning!

So, what’s the upside to all this?

Firstly, I feel better.  Not like I could leap tall buildings in a single bound or anything, but I definitely have more clarity of mind, and more energy.  I have been struggling with insomnia the past few months, and I am finding that without the alcohol my sleep seems to be better quality.  Even if I am still not getting enough.

Secondly, my health markers are improving.  My weight has crept up quite a bit this year, and although it’s not bothering me overly at the moment, it is in the back of my mind that I should think about tackling it at some stage.  Obviously enough, drinking thousands of calories every weekend is not helping.  Since the beginning of month my scale weight has slowly started to come down.  My tummy is looking less bloated and I am generally feeling more positive about myself.  As well as this, my resting heart rate has reduced and is back below 60bpm for the first time in a good while.

My recovery has improved.  Alcohol is a diuretic and makes you dehydrated, this is absolutely terrible for your body when it is trying to recover from exercise.  In the last couple of weeks, even though I am teaching more often, I feel like it is taking less out of me, which can only be good news.

I have more money in purse.  It turns out that two ice-creams costs a lot less than a couple of nights of drinking!

I get to enjoy a movie without having to get up to pee 37 times!

There are loads of other health benefits associated with reducing your alcohol intake, but these are the ones I am seeing and feeling after a mere 14 days.  I have no doubt that when the month is over, I will enjoy a drink or two.  It is my birthday and wedding anniversary that weekend, after all.  But I am seriously thinking about making it a much less significant part of my life in the future.

Let me know how you have been getting on.  Be well xxx