Oddly enough, I’ve just logged into my blog for the first time in ages (we won’t talk about that), and today – on the day of writing this blog – 13th February – is the apparently the fifth anniversary of this blog’s existence. So, yeah…that’s…a thing, I guess. I tried updating the look of the site to mark the occasion, but I just ended up losing all of the menus and widgets (if you know anything about blogging or websites, you’ll know what that means), so I ended up putting it all back how it was before. Big accomplishments today, people! But then I thought, you know what? It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve been (ahem) blogging, it doesn’t matter about the layout and the colour pallet and the fonts and the sidebar and the footers of your website. It means absolutely nothing at all if you don’t write on the damn thing. So here I am. How have you been?
I’m not going to lie to you, 2019 wasn’t one of my favourite years. It’s been a year of upheaval and change. I HATE change (no, you might be thinking you also hate change, but you don’t hate it as much as me, I promise you – you don’t; I’ll fight you for that title, baby). And there was more change in 2019 than my poor little constitution could handle. I’m not going to go into massive amounts of detail (or I’d have to kill you), but we’re talking about my career. My home life has always been happy and settled; husband, kids, cats – what more can a girl ask for? But last year, I pretty much decided to turn my working life upside down – a job of thirteen years standing. It was a mundane lifestyle I was pretty comfortable in, and I’m usually of the opinion that ‘if it ‘aint broke, don’t fix it’. But, if I’m honest it was a little bit…’broke’ (as you can see, my grammar has gone downhill in the intervening months). However, events forced my hand – yet even then, I still could have chosen to hang on in there if I’d really wanted to. But I decided it was time to walk away and do something new – just read a few of my more recent blogs (if you can stomach it) and you’ll get the basic gist.
With that new life came a thing they call ‘learning’…ew… (you can teach an old dog new tricks, but the old dog isn’t exactly going to enjoy it), a loss of old friends and colleagues, and a new way of life I just wasn’t entirely prepared for. No, it’s worse than that. It was a bit like the death of something, and all the while – for months on end – wondering if I’d made a massive mistake. I’m quite comfortable admitting to you that I was deeply unhappy. All the little pleasures that I derive from life suddenly became…effort…effort I simply no longer had the energy for. I just couldn’t engage my disquieted mind enough to be able to do anything. Normally, I read every night – I have for over twenty years, but I couldn’t even read a book. And even though I love to write (it usually cheers me right up), the blog was one of the first things to go out of the window; my mind was just in too much turmoil to even spin a yarn or turn a phrase. I managed to keep attending my weekly choir somehow; it was the one and only thing that really took me out of myself. But even my beloved workouts suffered – the one thing I know for a fact that will release those good endorphins and set me up for the day – even that became a monumental effort. I remember turning on a fitness DVD one day and realising five minutes in that I wasn’t actually following the routine at all. I was just…standing there worrying about my problems. You see, my head just wasn’t right. The constant worry and angst, which wouldn’t relent in my waking hours, had started to take its toll. I could only look forward to going to bed at night – at least then I could shut off the stress for a few hours. And the worst of it was that I couldn’t even tell people how miserable I was, because everyone was so proud of me for changing my career so late in life. And I didn’t want to disappoint people. Regrets; I’ve had a few.
It’s only now at the beginning of 2020 that I’m finally starting to feel settled again. The big and scary changes are (more or less) behind me. I’ve managed to exercise throughout ‘the troubles’ (even though I didn’t always want to), I’m reading again, I’m less reliant on watching non-taxing TV shows (Poirot, Miss Marple, Jonathan Creek – that kind of thing) in my bedroom to still my hectic brain, and (fingers crossed) the writing is back on the agenda. Do you know what? It’s a big fat lie when they tell you that change is as good as a rest. If that’s a rest, then I’m absolutely knackered. When you’re forty-eight, change is simply hideous. But as hideous as it was, it was necessary. And I’m now glad I did what I did. Those nagging doubts and secret regrets have begun to fade away. Without challenge, there can be no change. Anyway, I sincerely hope your 2019 was better than mine – here’s to a rewarding yet comfortable 2020. And, if things go to plan, maybe even a sixth year of blogging?