Ok....first things first! I know March is a little late to wish you "Happy New Year" but sometimes life throws you a curve ball that you just have to catch, and it can take a while to get back on track. Let me explain.
In October last year, my hubby found out that his workplace was closing down. He was offered a job an hour and a half from where we live and had to make a decision as to whether he would take it. Initially, he wasn't going to, but after a random conversation, our lives were changed. He decided to take the job and we had to move house in order for that to happen. In the short space of 3 weeks, we downsized from our large 4 bedroom house into a 2 bedroom granny flat on the other side of town. It was a huge effort and a huge move. It has taken us out of our familiar surroundings, away from family and friends, and created quite a bit of upheaval emotionally and physically.
Why do I share this with you? Because we all live in a real world, with real situations that challenge us and push us, sometimes beyond our limits, and it would be wrong of me to sit here and tell you that I never experience stress, upheaval, challenges, or that I never have melt downs. I do....and let me tell you, sometimes it ain't pretty!!
It has taken me 4 months to finally sit down and share this with my community, not because I've been lazy or not wanting to share it, but because I just haven't had the head space to sit and write anything.
The whole experience of moving was so fast, and so immense, that it left me drained and on the edge of burn out for a time. Coping with the emotional side of things has been a big challenge, and there are days that I can still feel teary if I allow myself to go down that way of thinking. Stress is no respecter of persons, and just because I help others who are suffering from its effects, that doesn't mean that I'm immune to it.
What I have learnt over the years, is to recognise the subtle changes I feel within myself when I am experiencing the negative effects of too much stress. It might be the rush of adrenaline in the pit of my stomach, or my heart beating a little harder than normal, or changes in my sleep patterns, or I might find myself reaching for sweet foods or getting angry over silly things. You see, the human body is simply amazing.....it will give you little hints that things aren't quite right long before you are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. It's a bit like the story of Hansel and Gretel with the trail of crumbs. The little things you feel that aren't quite right are clues to a bigger picture, and if you deal with them while they are little, you will dramatically lessen your chances of reaching that not-so-inviting bigger picture.
The stress response can be a double edged sword. It can literally save your life if you are in some sort of immediate danger, or it can lead you down the path of sickness and disease if it becomes chronic and uncontrolled. That's why each of us needs to be in tune with our own body....so we can recognise those little signals it is giving out.
So, here I am 4 months down the track of uprooting my life and finding joy in exploring new places and making a life for us in a cute little granny flat. The stress has subsided (mostly), my housework takes me hardly any time (win!), and I now live near some great organic food places (win again!).
Quite often change brings with it some unexpected joy and blessings, and those are the things that I will be watching out for. :)